These days, if we’re not flexing our culinary muscles baking sourdough (the new social media sensation) or making whipped coffee, we’re probably spending increasing amounts of time staring into our pantries, wondering how we can cobble together one more meal before venturing out for groceries.
Our Manager of Food Services, Ginger Dermott, is no different. “The other night, we pulled together rice bowls from limited ingredients,” she told me. “I feel like rice bowls are a super fun and easy way to include all the food groups into one meal.”
When asked, Ginger was happy to share one of her most recent rice bowl meals featuring jasmine rice and other pantry staples, along with some meat and veg from local producers. Read on, and perhaps you, too, can find some pantry inspiration.
In the morning, she started one pound of dried beans (in this case, black beans from Goranson Farm in Dresden) in a Crock-Pot (low setting) topped with two inches of water, two tablespoons salt (Ginger’s note: “feel free to start with less and season more later; I just like salt!”), and four teaspoons cumin.
Closer to mealtime, she gathered the rest of her ingredients: sautéed baby bok choy from Morning Dew Farm (Newcastle, ME) and sweet potatoes cut and roasted in olive oil, salt, and pepper at 400˚ until soft. Then, to satisfy all tastes, she seasoned and cooked some ground pork from The Milkhouse (South China, ME) as well as tofu for the vegetarian in the household.
The appetizer was steamed edamame pods sprinkled in coarse sea salt (“the only frozen vegetable available during my last shopping trip,” Ginger says).
Then, each family member assembled their own bowl. “We poured the liquid from black beans over the rice,” Ginger adds, “and then soy sauce and seasoned rice wine vinegar, to taste. If you have it, feta cheese would also be good crumbled on top.”
Feel free to experiment with your own bowls—any canned, fresh, or frozen veg, meat, or cheese you have on hand would make a great rice bowl, and leftovers can be incorporated into a number of dishes in days to come.
~Photos courtesy of Ginger Dermott