Earthy Grain Bowl

Crispy chickpeas—they’re full of protein, you can spice them with anything, and they taste like popcorn. What’s not to love? In this recipe, I borrowed It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken’s crispy chickpea recipe and paired it with umami-flavored veggies, earthy, chewy farro, and tangy sauerkraut. Wait! (If you already know the wonderful secrets of sauerkraut, skip this part) Before you run from this recipe in horror, let me reintroduce you to sauerkraut! Maybe you started off on the wrong terms—eating it in a slaw-like manner, tasting a giant spoonful straight from the jar, trying some sauerkraut that’s fermented a little too long—don’t worry, sauerkraut is nothing to be afraid of. These funky cabbage pickles are actually pretty cool—they’re full of probiotics, which aid in digestion, and in moderation, that can add a little kick to recipes that no other food can contribute. In this recipe, it balances out the earthy flavors of mushrooms and farro and gives it a little bite. The mushrooms I found at the farmer’s market, along with the kale (Against the Grain again!) but the sauerkraut was the real star of my farmer’s market haul this week: it’s locally made beet sauerkraut, which turns it beautifully pink! When I put this bowl together, I knew it was going to look gorgeous—and guess what? It tastes gorgeous too! Even without the pretty pink sauerkraut, you won’t miss out on the flavor—give this groovy grain bowl a try, and enjoy your hopefully improved relationship with sauerkraut!

Ingredients (serves one with extra chickpeas)

For the crispy chickpeas:

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For grain bowl:

  • 1/2 cup farro, dry (you will have extra)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black fermented garlic, minced
  • 1 cup kale, chopped
  • 1/3 cup oyster mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1/4 teaspoon maple syrup
  • Milk of choice or water
  • Sauerkraut for topping
  • Optional: hot sauce for topping

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Place chickpeas on a layer of paper towels or a kitchen towel and let sit 15-30 min.
  2. Once oven is heated, spread chickpeas out on a lined baking sheet and bake 30 min, making sure to shake the pan every once in awhile (it makes them extra crispy!)
  3. Remove chickpeas from the oven, move to a bowl, and toss with olive oil, paprika, thyme, and salt. Return to the baking sheet and bake 10-15 min more until golden brown
  4. Cook farro according to directions
  5. Make maple tahini sauce: in a small bowl, combine tahini and maple syrup, add water or milk of choice until thin enough to drizzle
  6. Heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium skillet over high heat. Place mushrooms in pan and reduce heat to low (make sure they aren’t touching or they won’t brown.) Cook 2-3 min until one side is browned
  7. Add garlic and kale and sautee 5-7 min until kale is wilted and slightly crispy
  8. Fill bowl with kale and mushrooms, however much farro you want, and sauerkraut. Top with maple tahini sauce and (optional) hot sauce

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