The foods found in this bowl are my ultimate FAVE combination of foods to create a delicious nourish bowl with! In fact, I think I have some rendition of this meal nearly every single day.
All of the foods in this bowl are especially helpful for easing anxiety, and when eaten in combination can help to keep your blood sugars balanced (another thing super important thing to pay attention to for easing anxiety).
I love eating ‘nourish bowls’ because it’s one of the easiest ways to make such a healthy balanced meal! When building nourish bowls I always encourage people to pay attention to these 4 (+1 bonus) components:
- Leafy greens: these should make up half the bowl!
- A nourishing protein source: can be animal or plant based
- Complex carbohydrates: this includes things like starchy veg and whole grains
- Healthy fats: these are the oils you cook with, the dressing you use (if it contains oil/ nut butters), avocado, etc.
- BONUS: adding in delicious extras to give your bowl a nutritious (and delicious) boost – this can be anything from sauerkraut, to sprouts, hemp hearts, etc.
Below are some of the many reasons why each element in this particular nourish bowl recipe are so helpful for reducing anxiety:
- Yams: provide complex carbohydrates giving you a long steady supply of energy, helping to keep your blood sugars stabilized & therefore your mood stable as well
- Quinoa: similar to the yams as it provides complex carbohydrates. Quinoa also contains all 9 essential amino acids making them a complete protein – including tryptophan which is needed to produce serotonin (your feel good neurotransmitter)
- Tempeh: a healthy protein source to help keep blood sugars balanced and also a fermented food which is great for gut
- Chickpeas: loaded with soluble fibre which can help flush out toxins that might be interfering with your gut health and in turn your mental health
- Kale: loaded with all sorts of micronutrients such as magnesium and folate. Low levels of micronutrients (especially magnesium) have been linked to higher levels of anxiety
- Sauerkraut: loaded with probiotics to support gut health & serotonin production. It’s also loaded with bio available B vitamins which are needed to help reduce anxiety
- Hemp hearts/ sesame seeds: loaded with healthy fats to help keep blood sugars balanced & support hormones for anxiety
- Nut/ Seed Based Dressing: loaded with healthy fats to help balance blood sugars and support mental health, similar to hemp hearts/ sesame seeds
– 1 medium yam, cut into cubes
– 1-2 cups kale, finely chopped
– 75 – 100g tempeh, cut into cubes
– 1/4 cup quinoa
– 1/2 cup chickpeas
– 1/8 tsp curry powder, paprika, and cumin powder
– Generous pinch of sea salt
– 2 Tbsp (or more) hummus
– 1-2 Tbsp. of sauerkraut
– Optional: avocado for some additional healthy fats
– Garnish: sesame seeds or hemp hearts
– Olive or avocado oil for cooking with
– 1/2 Tbsp Tamari
Sauce: I often mix up the sauce depending on what I am in the mood for! Below are a few options
– Peanut sauce
– Creamy tahini sauce
– Fave store bought option (for those who live in B.C.): Little Creek Caesar dressing with a drizzle of tahina (runny tahini)
– Pre-heat oven to 400F (convection)
– Place the chopped yam on a cookie tray, drizzle with oil, and then put them in the oven to bake for 25-30 or so minutes, flipping halfway through. NOTE: you can cut up more yams to have leftovers on hand to add to other meals throughout the week
– In the mean time, cook your quinoa according to package directions. Again, I recommend cooking more than needed to have on hand as leftovers (if just cooking for myself – 1 cup dried quinoa goes pretty far for 3-5 days)!
– Pre-heat a cast iron pan with a drizzle of oil, then add your chopped tempeh to it and saute until lightly browned – approx. 5-6 minutes. Add the splash of Tamari after the tempeh has been cooking for 2 minutes. Once cooked, removed and set aside (cooking tempeh can be this simple!).
– Open a can of chickpeas and then drain & rinse them. You can also cook your own, but if you want to do so, I recommend making a large batch ahead of time as they can be quite timely to cook!
– In your already pre-heated cast iron pan, drizzle with another bit of oil – and add your chickpeas. Followed by the cumin, curry powder, paprika, and sea salt. Allow to saute until they crisp to your liking, stirring often. If the pan seems dry, add additional oil.
– Finely chop your kale and then add to your serving bowl. Drizzle with a touch of olive oil and give a quick massage with your hands.
– When everything has finished cooking, begin assembling your bowl
– You can either put things in groups (like I do in the picture) or just place everything together!
– Don’t forget to add a scoop of sauerkraut for probiotic goodness and then drizzle with your dressing of choice 🙂