I had never used tahini in anything other than homemade hummus before but when I found this simple recipe for Tahini Sauce I was in food heaven. Seriously. Tahini is made from ground sesame seeds which are a great source of calcium as well as magnesium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc and dietary fiber (see link below). This makes sesame seeds, and thus tahini, an excellent addition to any whole-foods, plant-based diet. This tahini sauce is an ingredient in a dish called Shanghai Rice Bowl in Brendan Brazier’s Whole Foods to Thrive (did I mention before that Brendan is a fellow Canadian? Woot-woot –shout out to Canadians making a difference!). I took bits and pieces of ingredients from that and his other rice bowl recipe, Temple Rice Bowl, and concocted my own rice bowl using the heavenly tahini sauce. It has just about everything you can think of from rice, seeds, herbs, sauteed and fresh veggies to chickpeas. This combination is just so good that my husband has declared it akin to an awesome restaurant dish. I even made this as a birthday supper for our decidedly dedicated omnivore friend John and he also really enjoyed it (I hadn’t used the tomatoes in that version yet – I just served the rice bowl with a side of steamed asparagus). I would go so far as to say that this sauce and rice bowl combo are award winning, and it is all because of the star player: tahini sauce! So play around with it and make it your own but I would definitely recommend keeping the caramelized the onions. Again, versatility is key: change up ingredients for whatever you prefer or have on hand but whatever you do, don’t neglect to make this delicious tahini sauce part of your repertoire. Oh, and sidebar tip: rice freezes very well, so go ahead, cook up a big batch of rice and portion whatever you are not going to use into freezer-safe containers and store until needed.
I also invite you to take a look at my first companion post, What Sammy Ate, to see how I made this dish into a kid-friendly version my 5 year old enjoyed.
Veggie Rice Bowl with Tahini Sauce
- 4 cups cooked brown rice (any kind will do, short, long, basmati)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 medium – large yellow onions, sliced
- 2 tbsp soy sauce, plus some to drizzle
- 1 cup fresh or frozen peas (you can substitute a sliced red pepper)
- 1 cup canned or cooked chickpeas (you can substitute homemade hummus)
- 2/3 cup tahini sauce (see recipe below)
- 2 tsp mixed herbs (any combination of oregano, basil, marjoram, dill, thyme, rosemary and sage)
- Sesame oil to drizzle
- 1 tbsp sunflower seeds
- 1 tbsp hemp hearts
- 1 tsp poppy seeds
- 1 cup grape and/or orange tomatoes, sliced in half
Divide the rice into 2 bowls and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and sautee the onions until caramelized. Add the soy sauce, peas and chickpeas, stir to combine and cook approximately 3 minutes or until heated through. Meanwhile, warm up the rice in the microwave. Generously pour half the tahini sauce onto each rice bowl. Sprinkle each bowl with half the herb mix and drizzle with sesame oil and soy sauce. Spoon the caramelized onion-pea-chickpea mix onto the rice bowls and then sprinkle with the seeds. Garnish with tomato slices and serve immediately.
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped or 1/4 cup dried parsley
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2/3 cup water
- ½ cup tahini
Process all ingredients in a blender until smooth. If the tahini is especially thick, add a tablespoon of water at a time until you get a pourable consistency. Stored properly in the fridge, this sauce should keep for up to 4 days.
- Wake and Bake: Tahini Muffins with Figs (sweets.seriouseats.com)
- To-Die-For Tahini-Lemon Salad Dressing (Vegan + Gluten-Free) (healthandwellnesswarrior.com)