Please let me explain the title of this post.
I don’t mean to offend anyone in any way, but well, this bowl is all about the sauce. The sauce was inspired by the “bitchin’ sauce” that my cousin Abby has been telling me about for months. She buys it from the farmers market in San Diego, CA and she LOVES it. You can read all about it here.
Abby’s favorite is the cilantro chili flavor, so I decided to take that flavor and make my own Bitchin’ Sauce, which then turned into this pretty Bitchin’ California Bowl, which I am in love with!
I mean, it has all of my very favorite things, and it’s so pretty. Like just looking at it gives me a boost of energy, you know?? Trust me, I totally need an extra boost of energy these day!!
So anyway, please forgive the name if it offends you… and please just focus on the delicious layers of flavors within this bowl.
So, I’m going to break this bowl down piece by piece, OK? Cool.
***Layer #1: your Bitchin’ Sauce, duh. If you live in California and know about this sauce than you know this sauce is legit. You can also go buy the real stuff and skip the homemade version to make your life a little simpler, BUT let me say that my homemade version is simple as can be and you can also adjust the flavors and texture to whatever your heart desires. All you need is a blender some almond butter, lemon, spices and a heck of a lot of cilantro…super sorry to all you cilantro haters out there…you guys can make/buy the original Bitchin’ Sauce which has zero cilantro. 🙂
BONUS: the Bitchin’ Sauce doubles as a KILLER dip for chips, crackers and veggies of all kinds. Score!
***Layer #2: your grains, aka the must have of any “bowl” recipe. I went with cooked barley in true Cali style, but quinoa works great two!
***Layer #3: the protein. A lot of times I will keep my bowl recipes vegetarian, but for my Cali bowls I really wanted to do a pesto roasted chicken + pesto roasted chickpeas. If you are vegetarian, just omit the chicken and double the chickpeas…either way pesto anything is a delicious addition to these healthy bowls!
***Layer #4: the veggies + fruits… my favorite part!! Roasted beets, radishes, artichokes, cucumbers, watercress, blood oranges, jalapeno slices and avocado…so basically the most epic combo of Cali’s best fruits + veggies!
***Layer #5: the toppings/finishing touches. Toasted walnuts, toasted pumpkin seeds and um cotija cheese, YESS.
So do you now you see what I am talking about??? So many layers of goodness and all packed into one KILLER bowl, hehe, this makes me so happy!! 🙂
Also, bowl food? I’m curious, how do we feel about it? Clearly I am for it, but I want to know, are you guys still into it… or totally over it?!?
Oh and um, on a random note I totally forgot to tell you guys how Red did in the US Open last Friday. Sorry, I know a lot of you have been wondering, but I just got swamped…what’s new, right?
ANYWAY, Red kind of KILLED it. He got 5th, which yes is not first, but for his age the kid KILLED it. This now ranks him 8th in the World Snowboarding points list, so pretty dang awesome. If you would like to watch his run, click here. He’s actually supposed to head off to China to compete in the World Cup (TTR Olympics) but I think he has decided to stay back and film for a movie part he is doing. He went to China last year and well, let’s just say he was NOT really into it. Things are pretty different over there and he’s only 15, I think he just wants some time home chilling with the fam. I get that.
If only I could get Red to eat one of these killer Bitchin’ California Bowls, but let’s be honest, Red would never go near a bowl of food this colorful. Somehow I’ve got to figure out a way to ease him into these types of healthier dishes. Maybe just the Bitchin’ Sauce on top of a bowl of lettuce and carrots with cheese… something simple. For now though, I’m sure he would much more prefer something like these cookies!!
Bitchin' California Bowl.
- 4 red or yellow beets quartered or halved
- 1 bunch radishes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt + pepper to taste
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts or tenders (omit if vegan)
- 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas rinsed
- 1/2 cup homemade pesto or store bought
- 2-3 cups cooked barley and or quinoa
- 8 ounces marinated artichokes drained
- 2 blood oranges grapefruits and or kiwi, sliced
- 1-2 avocados sliced
- 1-2 jalapenos sliced + seeded if desired
- 1/3 cup walnuts toasted
- 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds toasted
- 1/2 cup cotija cheese crumbed
- fresh microgreens dill, parsley, cilantro + lemons, for serving
Cilantro Chili Bitchin Sauce
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Peel the beets if desired (I prefer to leave the skin on my beets). Place the beets and radishes on a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil, salt and pepper. On a separate baking sheet add the chicken and toss with 1/4 cup of the pesto. Place both pans in the oven and roast for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, give the veggies a toss and add the chickpeas to the pan with chicken. Toss the remaining 1/4 cup pesto with the chickpeas until the chickpeas are well coated. Return both pans to the oven and continue roasting for another 10 minutes or until the veggies are lightly charred, the chicken cooked through and the chickpeas warmed. Cooking times for the chicken will vary depending on it's size.
Allow the chicken to rest five minutes and slice.
To assemble the bowls, divide the barley between bowls. Add the artichokes, chickpeas and toss together with the barley. Add the chicken, beets + radishes and then add the citrus, avocado + jalapenos. Sprinkle walnuts, pumpkin seeds and cotija cheese. Serve with the Bitchin Sauce (see below).
Cilantro Chili Bitchin Sauce
Combine all ingredients in a high powdered blender or food processor and blend until completely smooth or creamy. If needed, add water to thin the sauce out. The sauce should be the consistency of hummus or just slightly thinner if desired. Taste and adjust the salt to your liking. The sauce can be stored for up to a week in the fridge.
Bowls for us….ok ok, and then the cookies. I mean, obviously. 🙂