Big Bowl of Random Goodness

Oh how I love the big green fiesta-ware looking plastic bowls at Whole Foods Market. But, much to my dismay, not every Whole Foods has them. I have learned the hard way – anticipation of filling a green bowl with goodies at a location away from home – only to find the green bowl is not a given: They’re green at my local Bellevue and Redmond, Washington locations. They don’t exist in Reno, and they are instead just to-go containers. They’re plates in Salt Lake City. Sigh. The {lack of} real problems in my life!

Vessel aside, I love what goes in the bowls/plates/cardboard carriers at the Whole Foods hot bar most. I somehow manage to keep the cost in check, even though the per-pound price adds up fast when you put anything in the bowl! It’s imperative to not buy items that are really heavy, so of course, veggie selections fare well.

If you’ve been with me for awhile around these parts, you may remember that I am a mixer. I will throw a bunch of random stuff together and chow down. There’s the big ‘ol salad. The manymany smoothies. And, then, there’s this green bowl, which houses a random mix of goodies.

For those with a knowledge of German, you may know a term called “gemischtes,” or, basically “mixed stuff.” I could live on mixed stuff. What am I talking about?! I do live on mixed stuff. And it drives a certain 2ChiliBreadBowl nutty. I have seriously thought about buying him one of those plates meant for children that has the little divided sections in it so he can keep order amongst his dinner. I guess that’s what you get from someone who draws houses for a living – he needs order and I am fine with chaos!

A couple weeks ago I mentioned I had a bit of a mix up with a zucchini and ended up with a mixed bowl for my dinner made of a garbanzo bean burger, some roasted sweet potatoes, and short grain bulgur. It was good! So, I made it again to take a picture and share.


Basically, this was an assembly of a bunch of leftovers, but, here’s what’s in it:

  • 1 cup of short grain bulgur prepared with homemade veggie broth
  • 1/2 a roasted sweet potato, skin on
  • Sautéed white mushrooms and onion, and a handful of braised kale
  • 1 garbanzo bean burger patty

You know what would be good on this mixture? Some of Mama Pea’s Mmmm-Sauce!

The thing about big bowls of random mixed stuff is you get to use up little bits of leftovers from your fridge. I love cleaning out and using up! Not wasting food is a great way to save money.

To make a good bowl of random stuff, there are really no rules, but consider:

  • A grain as the base – brown rice, bulgur wheat, quinoa, etc.
  • A protein source – bean/veggie burger patties work great here, but if you eat meat, a nice lean chicken breast or maybe lean steak strips
  • Colorful veggies – broccoli, kale, spinach – or whatever veggies you happen to have on hand
  • Some good starch – I love a sweet potato any day of the week, so, I always have them on hand, and they go so great in this mixture. Yukons or russets would work too – whatever you have!
  • Sauce if you want it

For the bowl above, here is what I did, albeit on different days!

For the kale:

  • Sautee some onions, mushrooms and kale until the kale starts to wilt and the onions are translucent

To roast the potatoes:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 F
  • Cut a sweet potato into chunks
  • Place into a casserole dish and spritz with olive oil, a dash of cinnamon, a dash of brown sugar, and a little salt if you please (I skip the salt)
  • Bake for 20 minutes and then stir the potatoes
  • Bake for another 20-25 minutes, until the potatoes are lightly browned and soft

For the Garbanzo Bean Burger

I thought I’d share with you my “recipe” for a garbanzo bean patty. I use the term recipe loosely, because this emerged from a “little bit of this, little bit of that” blending session one day, but I think I have remembered everything. I have found the key to a good bean burger patty so that it holds together is blending it up in the food processor to a coarse consistency.

  • 1 cup of drained chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup brown rice
  • 1 carrot, cut into chunks
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into chunks
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 egg
  • Handful of Swiss chard
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Preheat the broiler
  • Pulse everything together in the food processor until you get a coarsely blended mixture.
  • Form into patties, and brown in a nonstick skillet for 2-3 minutes on each side
  • Place in a sprayed casserole dish and put under the broiler for 3 minutes on each side

Then, I just dumped everything on top of a bowl of warmed bulgur. Funny it took so many words to share such a simple concept!

What are your favorite mixes of random ingredients?

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