purple power bowl

this week is going to be one for the history books...quite literally. it's book-ended by martin luther king jr. day and the women's march on washington. in between that, a lecture with world-renowned dc chef josé andrés on food and sustainability, a going away party for my best friend, a stay-cation with my brother, dram & grain and a ravioli/martini-making party with matt. wowie.

purple power bowl || planting my roots

my go-to lunch this week is what i'm deeming "the purple power bowl." it's packed with color and nutrient-dense foods, and will power me through what i'm *hoping* will be a very empowering week. the purple comes from roasted purple sweet potatoes, quick pickle red onions and beet hummus. the purple elements are mixed into a bed of leafy greens and quinoa, and topped off with a drizzle of avocado dressing. if you prepare all the elements on a sunday night, it makes for a great work lunch throughout the week. i've broken out each element of the salad individually, so you can mix and match the components as you'd like.

beet hummus || planting my roots

i listened to the latest bon appetit podcast on "lunch al desko," (link below) and it inspired me to up my lunch game a bit, a la the purple power bowl. i'm guilty of the daily desk lunch, which honestly is probably bad for my creativity, eyes and social life. i always pack a pretty healthy (and money-saving!) lunch, but i do scarf it down when i'm still trying to type a million miles a minute. thanks to this podcast, a couple changes i'm making are: 1) pour my jumbled tupperware contents into a real bowl. 2) eat with a real fork. 3) change the desk scenery. 4) take a break. 

purple power bowl || planting my roots

purple power bowl

serves 4

what you'll need/what you'll do:

for the roasted purple sweet potatoes (serious eats roasting technique)
2 large purple sweet potatoes
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp crushed garlic

  1. fill a small stockpot about half way with water. heat water to 135 - 170° fahrenheit, and add diced purple sweet potatoes. cover.
  2. let sweet potatoes stand in warm water for approximately an hour. 30 minutes in, preheat oven to 400° fahrenheit.
  3. after hour has passed, drain potatoes. toss them back into stockpot and add extra virgin olive oil, kosher salt and crushed garlic. gently stir so that sweet potatoes are coated.
  4. pour onto baking sheet. bake for 40 minutes, flipping half-way through baking.
  5. remove from oven and set aside to cool. 

for the quick pickle red onion (bon appétit recipe)
1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 red onion, thinly sliced

  1. whisk together apple cider vinegar, sugar, kosher salt and 1 cup water in a small bowl until sugar and salt dissolve.
  2. place red onion in large bowl, then pour vinegar mixture over the onion. let rest at room temperature for an hour.
  3. drain excess liquid before serving. place leftovers in covered bowl in fridge.

for the beet hummus
1 cup chickpeas, skins removed
3 beets, roasted and skins peeled
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup tahini
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp crushed garlic
fresh black pepper, to taste

  1. place all ingredients in food processor. blend until very, very smooth. 
  2. keep leftover hummus in fridge, covered.

for the avocado dressing
1/2 avocado
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp crushed garlic
3 tbsp cold water (more if you'd like it thinner)

  1. place all ingredients in food processor. blend until very, very smooth.
  2. keep leftover dressing in fridge, covered. because top will brown, mix with spoon each time before serving. this will last up to four days.  

for the full purple power salad
1 pound leafy greens (blend of kale, spinach and/or arugula)
1 cup quinoa, prepared (with a dash of powdered garlic and pinch of salt)

if you are eating salad for weekday lunches....

  1. lay out four salad-size tupperware containers. place in each a few large handfuls of greens, 1/4 cup prepared quinoa, a scoop of purple sweet potatoes, pickled red onions and beet hummus. pack avocado dressing separately and mix in when ready to eat. 

if you are eating salad to serve a group...

  1. arrange all ingredients (greens, prepared quinoa, purple sweet potatoes, pickled red onions and beet hummus) in large bowl. toss to combine with avocado dressing when ready to serve.