The Goods

Recipe: Chef Shahir and Steven Sabados' Vegetable Grain Bowls

Two very different, healthy meals in a bowl, both seriously Insta-worthy.

Two very different, healthy meals in a bowl, both seriously Insta-worthy

Rice bowls have been a hugely popular food trend for some time now, but if you haven’t had one yourself, think of them like a salad on steroids. They’re a complete meal, all rolled into one tasty arrangement to include a veggie base, protein, carbs, something crunchy and of course, a delicious sauce. All-vegetarian and of course, aesthetically pleasing, Steven and Shahir each created their own recipes for these colourful creations.

Steven’s bowl is as much about presentation as it is about flavour. Using complementary colours of the brightest foods around, this Sabados specialty salad is sure to please. Shahir’s bowl is all about texture and flavour. His Green Goddess dressing is delicious and is leaps and bounds healthier than the original.


For Steven’s Bowl:

  • 1 cup Israeli couscous or 2 cups cauliflower florets (purple or yellow)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 strands of saffron, optional
  • ⅓ cup vegetable or olive oil
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, julienne
  • ¼ red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 large yellow carrot, peeled into ribbons
  • 1 cup edamame beans
  • 1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp pistachios, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For Shahir’s Bowl:

  • 1 medium sweet potato, cut into thin half moons
  • ½ cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 cup rice of your choice
  • 2 strands saffron
  • 1 orange bell pepper, julienne
  • 1 medium yellow zucchini, cut into paper thin rounds
  • 2-3 radishes, sliced paper thin
  • 1 large handful parsley (leaves and stems)
  • 1 large handful cilantro (leaves and stems)
  • 1 cup plain yogurt (your choice)
  • 1 avocado
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced or rasped
  • Water to loosen
  • 1 cup sprouts (alfalfa or sunflower sprouts)
  • ½ cup toasted pumpkin seeds
  • Salt and pepper to taste


For Steven’s Couscous, Cauliflower and Cabbage Bowl with Sesame Soy Dressing:

First prepare your couscous. Option #1: Add Israeli couscous, water and saffron to a medium pot. Bring to a boil, once boiling reduce to a simmer and cook for approximately 10 minutes until al dente. Option # 2: Cut cauliflower into small florets and add to a food processor. Pulse until broken down and the size of regular couscous. Remove any pieces of stem and set aside.

Next add 3 tbsp of vegetable or olive oil to a non stick pan over medium high heat. Slice your onion into thin slices and toss in cornstarch and a pinch of salt and pepper. Add to hot oil and fry until crispy, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan and drain onto a paper towel, set aside.

Now prepare your vegetables. Julienne your bell pepper and core your cabbage and cut into thin slices. Wash and peel your carrot, then still using the peeler continue peeling your carrot into ribbons. Place your ribbons in a bowl of ice water so they start to curl. Cook or defrost edamame beans according to package instructions.

To a small bowl whisk together remaining vegetable or olive oil, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and sesame oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To assemble, artfully arrange half of all prepared ingredients to a large single serving bowl, either mixed or in sections. Sprinkle pistachios over the salad. Pour dressing over top, toss and enjoy!

Add remaining ingredients to a large tupperware or mason jar for work the next day. Store dressing separately and dress before eating.

For Shahir’s Red Lentil Rice and Sweet Potato Bowl with Green Goddess Dressing:

Preheat oven to 375F.

Wash and scrub sweet potato. Slice in half lengthwise and slice into ¼ inch half moons. Spread flat on a large baking sheet. Drizzle over 2-3 tbsp olive oil, season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss to coat and bake at 375F for 25-30 minutes, until tender and browned. 

While potatoes are in the oven, cook rice and lentils. Follow package instructions and add saffron strands to pot of rice and water. Remove from heat and fluff rice with a fork, set aside. Add lentils to a pot of water and cook according to package instructions.

While rice and potatoes are cooking start preparing your vegetables. Julienne your pepper and slice yellow zucchini and radish into paper thin rounds, set aside.

To make the green goddess dressing, first thoroughly wash your parsley and cilantro and add to a blender along with yogurt, avocado, lemon juice, minced garlic, remaining olive oil and salt and pepper. Blend until smooth and no chunks remain. Add water if necessary to thin out sauce.

To a large single serving bowl add half of all of your prepared ingredients. Artfully arrange in quadrants or mix together. Pour as much Green Goddess dressing as desired. Finish by garnishing with toasted pumpkin seeds. Add the remaining half of ingredients to a resealable container or mason jar for work the next day. Package dressing separately, enjoy!

Servings: Each bowl makes 1 dinner + 1 lunch


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