Harvest Grain Bowl with Shiitake Miso Cashew Sauce

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Harvest Grain Bowl

As the weather turns chilly and the days grow shorter, I find that our family craves hearty comfort food more and more. This healthy, but filling Harvest Grain Bowl hits the spot every time!

Grain bowls are absolutely a go-to dinner in our home. They’re quick and easy to prepare, which is important to me when it feels like our time is always being stretched by projects and farm chores. But, they’re also satisfying and nutritious, so we aren’t filling up on quick-fix junk that makes our bodies feel sluggish and blah.

{ Related: How we prep meals and ingredients throughout the year }

We always crave fresh food that keeps us moving. My to-do list is far too long to be sidelined by a meal that doesn’t meet our nutritional needs. I have things to build, ideas to create, and a lot I want to accomplish, for goodness sake!

A fork full of grain bowl

But, that doesn’t mean we don’t still want something cozy and comforting in our bellies on a blustery evening. Savory, creamy warmth and lots of delicious textures really hit the spot after a long day of work.

That’s where my Harvest Grain Bowl always comes to the rescue!

Unlike the other grain bowls I keep in rotation on our menu that are typically bright and light, this one has hearty textures and complex savory flavors that are perfect for this time of year. It is truly a substantial meal!

Make sure to pin this recipe for later–this is sure to be an instant family favorite!

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Harvest bowl recipe pin

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What is a grain bowl?

Grain bowls are delicious all-in-one meals that start with a foundation of a grain (or pseudo-grain, like cauli-rice), then adds a protein, selection of veggies, and, finally, is finished with a yummy sauce and variety of toppings. What makes grain bowls especially fun is that you arrange the entire meal in an artful way within a single bowl.

I love creating new grain bowl recipes because you only need to follow one simple formula. Just think about the flavors and textures you want to achieve, and start experimenting. It truly is a fun way to practice creativity and be artistic in the kitchen!

If you’d like to learn how to create your own grain bowl recipes, be sure to snag my handy Grain Bowl Recipe Guide, which includes some of our favorite sauce recipes, too!

Looking for some delicious and easy ideas for dinner?

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The five components of a grain bowl

How to make a Harvest Grain Bowl

When you think about heartiness and comfort food, first and foremost, you want something filling. Then, it needs a creaminess factor with especially savory flavors. And, of course, you want fresh and seasonal ingredients. That was really the inspiration when I created this recipe.

I just kept envisioning a hungry, flannel-clad lumberjack tromping into a log cabin on a snowy evening. Truth be told, my own burly husband fully embodies that look this time of year! 😂

Let’s break down all of the Harvest Grain Bowl components…

Bowl of wild rice

Grains

For the heartiness factor, I wanted to use a grain that was rather substantial. I started with my favorite blend of wild rice. If you’d like, you could also sub half the rice for riced cauliflower to hide some extra veggies.

This is an especially great tip if you’re cooking for kiddos! They never even notice the cauliflower because it blends so easily with the wild rice.

Plant-based sausage cooking in pan

Protein

While any protein would work, I used our favorite plant-based sausage for this bowl. It’s gluten-free and vegan, so it works for most dietary needs (although if you have a pea allergy, you will need to choose a different option).

I love the way this sausage is already seasoned, so there’s little you need to do when preparing it. You can either cook the entire sausage link, then cut it into slices, or chop it up before you throw it into the pan, if you want it crumbled. Both ways are equally wonderful, and you’ll notice in the photos that I prepared both options to show the artistic difference in the finished bowl.

Chopped root vegetables in bowl

Veggies

I love to have some greens in our grain bowls, so I immediately went for chopped kale as a part of the foundation. You can either layer the kale in the bowl, or mix it with your grains like I did.

Because this is a Harvest Grain Bowl, I went with rosemary-roasted root vegetables as a feature of the bowl. Just chop up potatoes and carrots into bite-size pieces, then add in diced onions and minced garlic. Sprinkle the herbs and seasonings over the top with a drizzle of olive oil, and roast in the oven.

For an extra nutritional boost, I like to use tri-colored root vegetables. For example, purple carrots and potatoes contain anthocyanins, which studies show help to decrease inflammation and fight heart disease. You can usually find these tri-colored bags of veggies in your produce section near their monochromatic counterparts.

Dried shiitake mushrooms in bowl

Sauce and Toppings

Here’s a truth about every grain bowl: The sauce and toppings are the KEY ingredients that bring it all together. You can get quite creative with the other components, but this is the part of the recipe that really brings it home.

Like I said, I was going for complex, creamy, and savory notes in this recipe. Keeping that in mind, the Shiitake Miso Cashew Sauce is truly the pièce de résistance in this grain bowl. It is so amazingly scrumptious…you’ll want to eat it with a spoon!

If you’ve never cooked with shiitake mushrooms, you’re in for a treat. They have a distinctively rich, woody, buttery taste that is really loaded with umami (savory) flavor. You’ll find their earthy notes to be much more bold and robust than other varieties of mushrooms, and that really puts this grain bowl over the top!

I always use dried shiitake mushrooms for this sauce because, for starters, I don’t have to worry about whether they’re in stock at the market. Keeping them in our pantry makes them readily available for any recipe, and they’re so easy to re-hydrate. The dried mushrooms also have a much stronger flavor than fresh varieties in the grocery store because they’re harvested at the proper time and dried right away instead of being shipped in cold storage.

A sprinkling of slivered almonds adds some extra crunch that balances the creaminess of the sauce. Then, to really tickle the tastebuds, I added Zante currants as a topping for a zing of sweet-tart flavor.

With all of these delicious harvest flavors, this grain bowl wants for nothing! I hope you enjoy this complete and nutritious one-bowl meal, and, even more so, I hope it becomes a regular on your fall and winter menu!

Harvest grain bowl recipe

Harvest Grain Bowl with Shiitake Miso Cashew Sauce

With hearty textures and complex savory flavors, this Harvest Grain Bowl will keep you full and happy through the chilly months of the year!
Print Recipe
Prep Time:10 mins
Cook Time:30 mins

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups wild rice blend
  • 1.5 cups kale, chopped
  • 3 links plant-based sausage

Rosemary Roasted Root Vegetables

  • 1 pound fingerling potatoes tri-colored
  • ½ cup onions, diced
  • 6 ounces carrots tri-colored
  • ½ tsp rosemary
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Shiitake Miso Cashew Sauce

  • 1 cup raw cashews (soak for 5 hours, or overnight)
  • ounce dried shiitake mushrooms (re-hydrate in warm water for 30 minutes)
  • ½ shallot, sliced
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp veggie broth concentrate *see note
  • ½ cup water
  • tsp thyme
  • ¼ tsp rosemary
  • ½ tbsp white miso paste
  • ½ tsp salt (adjust to taste)
  • ¼ tsp pepper

Toppings

  • slivered almonds
  • Zante currants

Instructions

  • Cook the wild rice according to package instructions. While rice is cooking, blanch the kale. Combine kale with the cooked rice.
  • Optional: You can use half-and-half wild rice and riced cauliflower, if you prefer.
  • Cook the plant-based sausage according to package directions. You should either slice the cooked sausage into bite-sized pieces, or crumble the uncooked sausage before cooking.

To Make Roasted Root Vegetables:

  • Chop potatoes and carrots into bite-sized chunks. Combine with diced onion, minced garlic, and seasonings. Drizzle with olive oil, then stir to evenly coat. Coat a baking sheet with non-stick spray, then roast veggies at 450°F for 20-30 minutes, turning once.

To Make Shiitake Miso Cashew Sauce:

  • After re-hydrating the mushrooms, slice thinly. Saute mushrooms, shallots, and garlic in a non-stick pan. Add a small amount of olive oil, if desired, to prevent sticking.
  • Add all ingredients, including the sauteed mushroom mixture, to a high-speed blender. Blend until completely smooth (this takes several minutes). If sauce is too thick, add additional water one tablespoon at a time to thin to desired consistency. Adjust salt to taste.

To Assemble the Bowl:

  • Add ⅙ of the rice/kale mixture to the center of each bowl (about ½ cup per bowl).
  • Arrange the roasted root vegetables, sausage, and sauce in discrete sections around the outer edges of the rice.
  • Add slivered almonds and currants, as desired.

Notes

  1. This is the veggie broth concentrate we use. It’s gluten-free and non-gmo, and it adds great flavor to so many recipes. It does, however, contain xantham gum. If that is something you are trying to avoid, you’ll need to use a different product, such as homemade veggie broth. As written, the concentrate is the equivalent of 1/2 cup of broth (just omit the water in the recipe if you use homemade broth). I have not tested this recipe to know the proper conversion for using other options, but I will update the recipe when I do. 
  2. It’s important to use raw cashews in this recipe–not roasted. They will provide the creamiest result. If all you have is dry-roasted cashews, you can use them, however, be aware that the sauce will not have the same creamy texture, and the roasted flavor will come through as well.
  3. I use white miso paste in my recipes, but if you only have access to red or brown miso, try cutting the amount in half. Red and brown miso both have a much stronger and saltier flavor.
Servings: 6
Delicious harvest grain bowl with sausage, root vegetables, and shiitake miso cashew sauce

Looking for some delicious and easy ideas for dinner?

Get my free grain bowl recipe guide

Let’s be email pen pals! Sign up to join our community, and get your free printable PDF Grain Bowl Recipe Guide. This is so good!  

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