Quentin Bacon
Active Time
45 Mins
Total Time
1 Hour

"While in Los Angeles filming the second season of Top Chef Just Desserts last year, I discovered Café Gratitude, a vegan café with a cult following," Gail Simmons says. "For me, its fresh, simple food was the perfect antidote to all that sugar. I became addicted to aptly named dishes like I Am Fortified—a bowl of whole grains with lots of cooked vegetables. When I got back to New York, I developed my own version."

How to Make It

Step 1

In a medium saucepan, cover the brown rice with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until the rice is just tender, about 40 minutes. Drain and return the rice to the saucepan; keep covered.

Step 2

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the quinoa with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover the saucepan and simmer over low heat until the quinoa is tender and all of the water has been absorbed, 20 minutes.

Step 3

In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the carrot and cook until starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the shiitake, cover and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Add the zucchini, season with salt and cook, stirring a few times, until tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

Step 4

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet. Add the broccoli, cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring a few times, until deep green, 5 minutes. Add the kale, cover and cook, stirring a few times, until the broccoli and kale are just tender, 4 minutes. Season with salt. Stir in the other vegetables.

Step 5

In a small bowl, whisk the tahini with the lemon juice, garlic, warm water and crushed red pepper. Season with salt.

Step 6

Transfer the brown rice and quinoa to bowls. Top with the cooked vegetables, diced avocado and bean sprouts. Serve, passing the tahini sauce at the table.

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Ratings & Reviews

just for the tahini sauce .....

October 14, 2015
This recipe stands out to me, having used a very similar lemon juice, water, black pepper and tahini sauce/cream in another dish - a Mexicanish chickpea stew, where one mixed the sauce throughout the rest of the cooked ingredients - but I have not yet cooked this dish. However, just from having tried the tahini sauce before I would recommend giving this meal a go, even if you are not a big fan of raw tahini, as the cream/sauce does not leave one's mouth with that clammy, clawy after taste/feeling. Vary the amount of tahini cream to one's liking - at first I liked a little, but now I prefer a stronger taste, even though I do not still like tahini by itself.

AvantGarden's Review

January 27, 2014
So delicious, healthy, and wholesome. Great flavors, whole grains, adaptable to many other veggie combinations. It was exactly what I was craving and so satisfying!