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Whole Grain Bowl with Parmesan Shrimp + Yams

Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
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Why we love it:

This meal takes you through all of the steps to make it as pictured, but a grain bowl is a wonderful way to use up leftovers. Don’t feel tied to what’s here - check out what you need to use up and add it to this meal!


  • 1 cup Green Lentils
  • 1 cup Basmati Rice (Brown)
  • 112 teaspoons Kosher Salt (divided)
  • 1 Yam
  • 1 teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil (divided)
  • 112 pounds Shrimp (peeled and deveined - if frozen, make sure they’re fully defrosted)
  • 12 cup Parmesan Cheese (grated)
  • 10 ounces Baby Spinach
  • 12 teaspoon Sesame Oil (this is for the dressing, you’ll use an additional drizzle for the spinach)
  • 1 Grapefruit (ruby red or your choice of variety)
  • 1 Blood Orange (or mandarin)
  • 3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • 14 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Water (this is for the dressing, you’ll need a separate pot of water for the grains)
  • 14 cup Avocado Oil
  • 14 cup Pepitas

Cooking Instructions


    Bring 4 cups of water to a boil and add the lentils and brown rice. We’re going to boil them like pasta because it’s faster, they can cook together this way, and it’s more streamlined than cooking both separately. Stir in about 1 teaspoon of salt, and return to a boil, then turn down to a steady simmer. Cook for about 30 minutes or until the grains are tender but not falling apart. Drain in a colander.

  • 2. YAM

    Wash the yam, then dice it into small cubes. Toss with a light drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Toss on a second baking sheet and place in the oven. Roast for about 12 minutes, tossing once on the pan for even cooking. Remove when they’re tender and set aside.

  • 3. SPINACH

    Wash the baby spinach. Add a ½ teaspoon of sesame oil to a sauté pan, then the spinach. Toss in the pan until wilted. Remove from the heat and set aside for serving.

  • 4. SHRIMP

    Pat the shrimp dry with a clean tea towel or paper towel. Place them in a bowl and toss with a drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of salt between your fingers, black pepper to taste and the parmesan cheese. Toss to coat. Heat a large sauté pan over medium and add a drizzle of olive oil. Add the shrimp in one layer and cook about 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown and just cooked through. If needed, set aside and repeat with a second batch so you aren’t crowding the pan.

  • 5. CITRUS

    Slice the rind from the grapefruit (bonus points for zesting it first! Use a pinch in the dressing and you can freeze the rest for the next time you make a pound cake or smoothies) and slice the fruit into segments between the pith, or for an easier method, just slice into round wheels.

    Slice the orange in ½ with the peel on, then into ⅓” thick slices.


    In a jar with a lid, combine: soy sauce, honey, Dijon, garlic powder, water, ½ teaspoon sesame oil, and avocado oil. Add the lid and shake hard to emulsify the dressing. If you have grapefruit zest, add a pinch of it now.

  • 7. SERVING

    Serve scoops of the grain base in the bottom of your largest bowls. Pat it down so it makes a nice flat base. Around the edges make little piles of yams, shrimp, spinach, grapefruit and orange. Garnish with pepitas. Serve dressing on the side.

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    be sure to use tamari not regular soy sauce
    omit parmesan and use nutritional yeast
    use small cubes or extra firm-dry packed tofu with the parmesan. Or use the same method with cauliflower florets cut small. Or to go a completely different direction, omit and serve with a fried egg instead. Cubed, shredded or thinly sliced chicken breast also work great in this meal instead
    any grain or noodle works. Favorites are: soba noodles, quinoa, sushi rice, farro
    what’s in season? Pears would be great, pineapple, plum slices. I’ve even seen blueberries on savory bowls like this
  • HONEY:
    use sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup or agave
    you can use all olive oil if preferred
    any oil is really ok here. Up to you!

Kid Friendly Version

How to Tweak This Recipe for Kids:

  • I love these bowls for kids and families because they are so easy to make it feel elegant and grown up, but kids can have the components they like, assembled to their tastes. If you need a win on the plate, add some steamed broccoli, edamame, sliced carrots. Try seared sausages, smoked salmon or sliced steak instead of shrimp. It’s great served with hummus or yogurt. Or a fried egg. They can try the other ingredients that are new to them

Prep Ahead & Use It Up

  1. Cook the lentils. They can be served cold or reheat to plate the bowl
  2. Cook the yams and serve cold or reheat to plate the bowl
  3. Make the dressing, you could even double this recipe as it will taste great on lots of salads or grains for a few weeks
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