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Dressings & Sauces

Mix & Match: DIY Flavor Toppers for Every Grain Bowl

Crunchy, crispy, target and nutrient-dense, these grain bowl toppers add the perfect oomph to your meal.

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The key to a well-balanced bowl, both flavor- and texture-wise? You’ve got to add the right toppings. Whether you’re seeking something that adds crunch, a bit of heat or tartness, an extra layer of flavor or that satisfying bite, you need to go beyond grains and veggies alone. We’ve created the perfect mix-and-match toppings that will up the flavor and take your custom bowl blends to new heights.

But you don’t have to stick to using these delicious toppers in a customized grain bowl. They can be used in so many different ways – add the pickled cabbage to salads or sandwiches, or munch on the red lentil crisps as an afternoon snack. You can enjoy each one of these recipes in a variety of dishes, or even eat them on their own for a burst of flavor (and, in most cases, a satisfying crunch). Make extra, and you can keep them on hand for use throughout the week.

Ingredients

Pickled cabbage

  • ¾ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1⁄4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp raw honey
  • 1⁄2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage

Red lentil crisps

  • 1⁄2 cup red lentils, soaked for 30 minutes
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1⁄4 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1⁄4 tsp sea salt
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1⁄4 cup chopped cilantro

Super seedy clusters

  • 1/3 cup almond flour
  • 1⁄4 cup pepita seeds
  • 1⁄4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1⁄4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbsp flaxseeds
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp grainy mustard
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1⁄2 tsp sea salt

Zucchini chips

  • 1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1⁄4 tsp sea salt and ground black pepper

Preparation

Make the Pickled Cabbage:

Makes 1 cup

In a small saucepan on medium-high, bring vinegar, water, honey and salt to a simmer. Turn off heat, add cabbage and let sit at least 20 minutes. Cabbage can be kept for up to 5 days in the fridge. Note: Also try thinly sliced carrots, cucumbers, chopped green beans, asparagus or cauliflower florets.

Make the Red Lentil Crisps:

Makes 24

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and mist with cooking spray.
  2. Drain lentils and add to a high-speed blender. Add vinegar, tomato paste, garlic powder, cayenne, salt and water; blend on high to a creamy, paste-like consistency, 60 to 90 seconds. Add cilantro and pulse 4 to 5 times. Pour mixture onto prepared baking sheet. Using a spatula, spread into a thin, even 10 x 14-inch rectangle.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes.Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut into individual crackers. Spray again with cooking spray and bake for 10 to 12 minutes more. Let crackers cool completely to crisp up.

Make the Super Seedy Clusters:

Makes 1¼ cups

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment. In a small bowl, mix together all ingredients so that they clump together. Sprinkle mixture
    onto prepared baking sheet, using your hands to form into clumps.
  2. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. Set aside to cool.

Make the Zucchini Chips:

Makes 2 cups

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Thinly slice zucchini with a knife or mandoline and arrange in a single layer on prepared sheets. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 10 minutes, watching closely. 2. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F. Flip zucchini and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until edges are brown, not burnt. The chips will continue to crisp as they cool.

Note: Also try thinly sliced sweet potato, beets, torn kale leaves or Brussels sprout leaves. Just keep an eye out for browning edges, and adjust the cooking time accordingly.