The Ultimate Winter Bliss Bowl

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Each week we offer one food, flavor or idea for an #anticancer diet. This week, think bliss. Our new contributor, Lindsay Ostrom, offers an easy formula for a quick, wholesome, healthy meal. Make this part of your kitchen repertoire and enjoy!

What a trendy + delicious + healthy little bliss bowls situation we’ve got going on, and just in time for these icy-cold winter days where you need that plant power more than ever but all you want to eat ever is turkey with gravy and mashed potatoes and every morsel of stuffing ever made. Topped with more gravy. Or no – just me?

This ultimate bliss bowl “recipe” is not really much of a recipe.

It’s more of a formula: falafel, greens, roasted veggies, spicy peppers and nuts and tahini / olive oil / lemon juice / honey for topping. <- I mean, that’s seriously it. That’s everything.

You should probably use an exact recipe for the falafel, because that’s a little trickier to get just right. But the whole idea behind bliss bowls as I define them is to just pack in a bunch of pretty and flavorful and multi-textured and colorful plant-based foods into a dish and eat it all together in its combined wonderfulness. This recipe-formula is so flexible, so adaptable to whatever veggies you like or have on hand, and so AMAZING for make-ahead lunches.

Not to spoil any future blog post surprises or anything, but I’ve also been just taking everything in the bliss bowls and stuffing them into naan or pita bread (but mostly naan, because warm, pillowy garlic naan is for sure the meaning of life) and obsessing over some of the most epic lunch sandwiches that have ever come out of my kitchen.

It would NOT be a bad idea to double the roasted veggies here. Prep everything up, get it stored in separate containers in the fridge, and at lunchtime just toss it all together.

Serves 4 Bliss Bowls


For the Roasted Veggies

  • 5-7 carrots
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Peel the carrots and cut into thin strips and place on a roasting pan (a jelly roll pan works well because then the veggies don’t slide off).
Chop the cauliflower into small florets and place on a separate roasting pan.
Drizzle each pan with oil and sprinkle each pan with cumin, salt, and pepper. Toss around on the pan to combine.
Bake for 20-30 minutes – stir occasionally, but not too often otherwise you’ll disrupt the browning process.
To get more browning, bake for an additional 10-15 minutes.
When the veggies are done, remove from oven and set aside to cool.


For the Bliss Bowls

  • 8-10 pieces of Simple 5 Ingredient Baked Falafel (*see instructions below)
  • 2-3 cups spinach
  • 1-2 cups chopped red cabbage
  • 1 jalapeño, cut into slices
  • ¼ cup crushed pistachios
  • tahini, lemon juice, honey, and/or olive oil for drizzling


For the *Falafel

  • 2 cups cooked lentils
  • 1 huge handful (a cup or so) fresh cilantro leaves and stems
  • 1 huge handful (a cup or so) fresh parsley leaves and stems
  • half a jalapeño (if you like spicy – leave ribs and seeds!)
  • 1½ tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • a squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons all purpose flour (sub a gluten free flour if needed)


Make this falafel so you have it all ready to go! It takes about 30 minutes.

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Pulse all ingredients except flour in a food processor until combined. The mixture should form semi-dry crumbles that stick together when you press them.
  • Stir in the flour – just one tablespoon at a time, until it’s just dry enough to handle.
  • Form into 9 patties and bake for 18 minutes. Remove from oven and use in salads, sandwiches, bowls, etc.
  • Refrigerate for a few days or freeze.


Traditional falafel is made with chickpeas. I used lentils here because I’m more likely to have lentils on hand at any given time. Also: because I LOVE lentils. I have not tried this recipe with chickpeas.

For the lentils, lean towards just barely cooked. That will give you a better texture than overly wet, heavy, and mushy lentils.

If you don’t have a jalapeño, use red pepper flakes for heat.

Bliss Bowl Assembly

Assemble spinach, red cabbage, falafel, carrots, and roasted cauliflower in the bowls. Top with jalapeño and pistachios. Drizzle with tahini, lemon juice, honey, olive oil, and salt and pepper as needed.

Photograph by Lindsay Ostrom

Reprinted with permission of Lindsay Ostrom


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