Five healthy one-bowl meals from Whole Food, Bowl Food

Back to the roots bowl with baby beetroot, millet and chilli herb dressing.
Back to the roots bowl with baby beetroot, millet and chilli herb dressing. Photo: Sue Stubbs

Ingredients in their natural state shine in these healthy and simple recipes from Anna Lisle's Whole Food, Bowl Food. All recipes are gluten free.

Back-to-the-roots bowl with baby beetroot, millet and chilli herb dressing

This is one of my husband's favourite meals. His other favourites include American-style barbecue ribs and hot chips, if that helps to convince you how good this is. Millet is a nutty gluten-free grain that has a high amino-acid protein profile and contains more iron than any other cereal grain.The herb dressing in this salad wakes up the flavours of the dish but if you don't like heat, skip the chilli flakes.

5 to 6 fresh colourful baby beetroots, about 500g 

Whole Food, Bowl Food by Anna Lisle. Published by New Holland, RRP $45.
Whole Food, Bowl Food by Anna Lisle. Published by New Holland, RRP $45. Photo: Supplied

200g millet, rinsed and drained

500ml chicken broth or stock, or vegetable broth or stock (for vegan and vegetarian option)

4 red (or watermelon) radishes, finely sliced on a mandolin

Chilli herb dressing

1 bunch flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

1 bunch coriander, finely chopped

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2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated on a fine zester

1 tsp chilli flakes

1 tsp Dijon mustard

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 200C.

2. Wrap each beetroot bulb in foil. Spread out on a baking tray and cook for 45 to 50 minutes or until tender. The cooking time will vary depending on the size of your beetroot. Check, at intervals, by piercing the beetroot with a skewer – if there is no resistance, the beetroot is cooked.

3. While the beetroot is cooking, place the millet and broth in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover and cook until the liquid has been absorbed and the millet is tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Uncover, fluff with a fork and set aside.

4. To make the herb dressing, place all the ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine.Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

5. Once beetroot is cooked and is cool enough to handle, use plastic gloves to peel the beetroot. Cut beetroot in half, thinly slice and place in a medium bowl. Add the cooked millet and sliced radishes. Pour over dressing and gently toss to combine. Divide between bowls to serve.

Note: Whenever I make this salad, I triple the dressing to use for salads the following week or to toss over soft boiled eggs for breakfast.

Serves 4

Mushroom and leek quinoa risotto with dill pesto.

Mushroom and leek quinoa risotto with dill pesto. Photo: Sue Stubbs

Mushroom and leek quinoa risotto with dill pesto

I've toyed with this recipe for quite some time, worried that quinoa couldn't replicate the creaminess of arborio rice.Then I began testing and realised that quinoa is perfect, especially as it's a lot more forgiving than arborio rice (it won't become mush if you overcook it). It is always a challenge to get the right parmesan-to-butter-to-mushroom-ratio so use this recipe as a guide but trust your tastebuds – and make changes as you see fit. Please, please make the dill pesto. It adds a final fling of flavour that makes this dish.

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3 tbsp butter, coarsely chopped

1 large red onion, finely diced

1 leek, white part only, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

190g quinoa (white, red or tricolour), washed and rinsed

500ml chicken broth or stock

300g assorted mushrooms, chopped

50g parmesan, finely grated, plus extra to serve

Dill pesto

½ bunch dill, finely chopped

1 bunch flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

100 ml (3½ fl oz) extra virgin olive oil

50g pumpkin seeds (pepitas), finely chopped

½ lemon, juiced

1. Heat oil and one tablespoon of the butter in a saucepan over a medium-high temperature. Add onion, leek and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden and tender, about five minutes. Add quinoa and stir to coat the grains.

2.  Pour in the broth and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook until the broth is absorbed and the quinoa is cooked, about 15 minutes.

3. Heat the remaining two tablespoons of butter in a frypan to a medium-high temperature.When the butter starts foaming, add chopped mushrooms and stir until the mushrooms are golden and tender, about five minutes. Add mushrooms to the "risotto" and stir to combine.

4.  To make the pesto, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and season to taste. Alternatively, you can place all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse to combine.

5. When ready to serve, add parmesan to the "risotto" and stir until thickened slightly, about two minutes. Season to taste, divide between bowls and scatter generously with dill pesto.

Serves 4

Nutty brown rice detox salad with blood orange vinaigrette.

Nutty brown rice detox salad with blood orange vinaigrette. Photo: Sue Stubbs

Nutty brown rice detox salad with blood orange vinaigrette

I often forget just how good these simple ingredients taste together, especially if you can get your hands on some sweet, blushing blood oranges.This is my version of a detox salad – far from bland – a zingy, citrus-based dressing full of fresh ginger tossed through with aromatic herbs, nutty brown rice and a crunch of nuts and seeds. If you have some poached or grilled chicken breast on hand, you can add this for a protein boost.

Salad

200g brown rice, washed and rinsed

500ml water

2 tbsp pumpkin seeds (pepitas), about 20g

2 tbsp sunflower seeds, about 20g

2 tbsp almonds, about 20g, roughly chopped

½ bunch flat leaf parsley or micro parsley, roughly chopped

½ bunch mint, roughly chopped

½ small spanish onion, peeled and finely diced

2 ripe avocados, diced

1 orange, cut into ½-centimetre thick wheel-shaped slices

1 blood orange, cut into ½-centimetre thick wheel-shaped slices

Blood orange vinaigrette

1 tsp blood orange zest (or orange zest)

3 tbsp blood orange juice (or orange juice)

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

2-3 centimetre ginger, finely grated

¼ tsp sea salt

125ml extra virgin olive oil

1.  Start by steaming the brown rice. Place rice, water and a pinch of salt in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until rice is just tender and the water has evaporated, about 30 to 35 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature.

2.  Meanwhile, prepare the seeds. Heat a small non-stick frypan over a low temperature. Add pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and almonds and dry roast, stirring regularly, until lightly golden. Set aside until ready to serve.

3.  To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the blood orange zest, juice, vinegar, Dijon mustard, ginger and salt in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until the dressing is thick.

4.  When ready to serve, place cooled rice in a large bowl, add flat leaf parsley, mint, onion and avocado. Drizzle over vinaigrette and toss to combine.

5. Divide rice between bowls and top with orange and blood orange wheels and toasted seeds and nuts.

Note: You can substitute uncooked rice with 600 grams cooked brown rice and skip step 1. If blood oranges are out of season, substitute with any citrus fruit such as ruby grapefruit, tangelo, mandarin or orange.

Serves 4

Crunchy cauliflower salad with mango, lime and jalapeno dressing.

Crunchy cauliflower salad with mango, lime and jalapeno dressing. Photo: Sue Stubbs

Crunchy cauliflower salad with mango, lime and jalapeno dressing

I have the same affection for roasted cauliflower as I do for coffee and sweet potato wedges. Don't throw away the cauliflower stem – chop it up and throw it in with the florets; it crisps up beautifully when you roast it. In winter, I make this dressing without the mango. Just add another tablespoon or two of olive oil.

1 large cauliflower head (1 kilogram), broken into small florets

3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp sea salt

150g baby spinach leaves

2 spring onions, finely sliced

1 ripe avocado, diced

½ bunch coriander, roughly copped

½ bunch mint, roughly chopped seeds (arils) from ½ pomegranate (optional)

Mango, lime and jalapeno dressing

2 pickled jalapenos, finely chopped

1 mango, roughly diced

2 medium limes, juiced

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1.  To cook the cauliflower, heat half the oil in a heavy-based frypan to a medium-high temperature. In batches, cook the cauliflower florets, adding a little more oil with each batch, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Cook for 6 to 10 minutes, turning so they colour evenly. Once golden, transfer to a plate with absorbent paper and sprinkle with a little salt. Repeat with remaining cauliflower. You may need to add more oil to get the cauliflower golden and crunchy. Alternatively, you can roast your cauliflower in the oven. Preheat oven to 180C, toss cauliflower with oil and spread in a single layer on a baking tray. Roast for 40 minutes, tossing occasionally, or until lightly golden. Allow to cool to room temperature.

2.  Place all dressing ingredients in a food processor and blend until mango has pureed and combined. Season to taste.

3.  Place spinach leaves, spring onions, avocado, coriander, mint and cooled crunchy cauliflower florets in a large bowl. Add dressing and toss to combine.

4.  Divide between bowls and top with pomegranate arils (if using).

Serves 4

Smoky barbequed squid with papaya and tamarind salsa.

Smoky barbecued squid with papaya and tamarind salsa. Photo: Sue Stubbs

Smoky barbecued squid with papaya and tamarind salsa

In the middle of summer, when it feels almost too hot to eat – and I stress the "almost" part – this is the type of dish I crave. Spicy and fragrant with bold and fresh flavours, this just-seared squid and fresh salsa comes together in minutes. If you can't source fresh squid, any fresh seafood will do the trick.

4 small, squid (calamari) tubes, cleaned

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 tsp ground cumin

½ tsp smoked paprika

2 tsp sea salt

Mayonnaise, to serve

Papaya and tamarind salsa

½ red papaya or yellow pawpaw (about 400 grams), peeled, deseeded and diced

2 large red chillis, deseeded, thinly sliced

2 spring onions, thinly sliced

½ ripe avocado, diced

½ bunch coriander, roughly chopped

½ bunch mint, roughly chopped

1 tbsp tamarind puree

1 tbsp lime (or lemon) juice

2 tsp gluten free fish sauce

1.  For the squid, split the tubes and lay them flat. Score the surface of each tube in a fine criss-cross pattern. Cut the squid into large irregular triangles. Pat dry with absorbent paper to remove any excess water. Place squid in a bowl and add oil, garlic, cumin, paprika and salt. Toss to combine and set aside until ready to cook.

2.  To make the salsa, combine the papaya, chilli, spring onions, avocado, coriander and mint in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together tamarind, lime juice and fish sauce. Pour dressing over the salsa mixture and toss to combine.

3.  Heat the barbecue or grill pan to a high temperature. When the grill is hot, cook squid, turning occasionally, until lightly charred and just cooked, about two minutes each side. Serve immediately with papaya and tamarind salsa and mayonnaise.

Serves 4

Anna Lisle's Whole Food, Bowl Food is published by New Holland, RRP $45.