We love True Food Kitchen. It’s one of our favorite places to eat. I always order the Ancient Grains Bowl. Sometimes I leave it vegetarian, other times I add shrimp or chicken, but one thing is for sure…I ALWAYS eat every last bite! I love it so much I wanted to enjoy this healthy meal at home, so I came up with a Copycat True Food Kitchen Ancient Grains Bowl of my own!
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I am sure True Food Kitchen makes their own combination of ancient grains but fortunately for us there are several ancient grain mixes to choose from in markets and online. For this bowl I used a quinoa, rice and chickpea blend I picked up at Whole Foods Market. They also carry a 7 grain lentil blend and Organic Super Grain Blend. Trader Joe’s has an ancient grain blend as well. Any and all work well, so pick your favorite! Just note that the cooking time for each ancient grain mix is different, so plan accordingly.
This beautiful bowl is abundant with vegetables: sweet potatoes, red onion, snow peas, and mushrooms, all capped off with a gorgeous ripe avocado. So much good in one pretty little bowl.
The original recipe uses a miso glaze on the veggies. I skip the soy in my ‘copycat’ version and use a simple mixture of Sambal Oelek (a Thai chili paste), dijon mustard and honey. Just whisk together and you have an amazing sweet and spicy sauce that works well with so many dishes…like my Spicy Shrimp and Cauliflower Rice Bowl. After assembling your bowl, generously drizzle over the veggies and your meal is complete.
Put It All Together:
Voila! The Ancient Grain bowl in all it’s healthful glory! Colorful, nutritious, easy to make and best of all, delicious!
True Food Kitchen serves this recipe with a dallop of fresh pesto! I love this addition but it’s not mandatory. If you choose to add it, you can use store bought pesto or make my vegetarian pesto recipe. If you’d like to add protein, add some sliced rotisserie chicken or shrimp sautéed in olive oil.
The Recipe: Copy Cat True Food Kitchen Ancient Grain Bowl!
Tips and what you need: ancient grains…my favorites are 7 grain lentil blend and Organic Super Grain Blend or Trader Joe’s ancient grain blend. A Thai Chili Paste called Sambal Oelek (<—Amazon link) provides the heat. You can also find Sambal Oelek in the Asian section of most markets. As always, you need a good knife and a great sea salt!
I love the Ancient Grains Bowl at True Food Kitchen so much that when I am not in California I have to make my own version! I love this one as is, but also sometimes add rotisserie chicken or sautéed shrimp.
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced 1/2"
- 1 small red onion, peeled and sliced
- 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- 2 servings ancient grains of your choice, cooked to package instructions (see notes above in blog post) You can also use straight up quinoa
- 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon Sambal Oelek (add more or less depending on how you like the heat!
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup snow peas
- 3/4 cup mushrooms, sliced
- 1 ripe avocado, sliced
- 1 tablespoon chives for garnish
- sliced rotisserie chicken or shrimp sautéed in olive oil, if you want to add protein
- pesto, the TFK version contains a dallop of pesto. I love it, but it's not a game changer, so with or without is fine. Use store bought or my recipe link in blog post above
Preheat oven to 425 degrees, place oven rack in upper third position in oven. Cover a rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper, set aside
Prepare potatoes and onion, place on parchment covered cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground pepper, toss. Be sure all veggies are glistening with oil
Place in oven and set the timer for 35 minutes
After potatoes and onions have been in the oven for 15 minutes or so, start cooking grains. The time it takes for the grains to cook will depend on which grains you buy, so be sure to check timing. Also, I find that many instructions on these grains are not spot on. My grains are almost always done before all the water is absorbed. If this happens to you, just drain the extra water using the pot lid rather than continuing to cook.
While grains cook, slice mushrooms and chives. Whisk together honey, sambal oelek and dijon mustard, set aside
When timer goes off, check potatoes. If they are almost done (crispy browned edges) add mushrooms and snow peas to pan and set timer for 5 more minutes. (If potatoes need a little more time, be patient, ovens vary, just add veggies when potatoes are almost done)
Remove veggies from oven, divide cooked grains into two bowls, top with veggies, drizzle generously with sauce, leaving some in a small bowl to use as needed. Add avocado, chives and a dallop of pesto if using. Serve!
MAY I PLEASE ASK A FAVOR?
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It is FABULOUS! I’m guessing yours is even better than True Foods.
Aw thanks. Have you had theirs? It’s pretty amazing!
If I have a miso I really like, would I substitute equal amounts for the samba oelek if I wanted to use miso? Excited to try this!
No. Miso is not hot and sambal oelek is very hot. You want the hot 🙂
nailed it!! This was SO delicious!! I could eat this every day!!
Beautiful hearty bowl of goodness!
I am going to look for one of those lentil/grain combos.
Wud it be good to substitute coconut aminos instead of that soya component or are so going in another direction with the sambal oelek (which I do have!)?
What is your favourite salt?
Thanks for a delightful inspiring dish.
Hi Carol, yes, I went in a different direction with the sauce. The TFK sauce is a spicy miso glaze. I made a three ingredient sauce that I use in lots of receips that is different, but just as good IMHO:) And for your second question: I love pink Himalayan and Maldon’s Flaked sea salt.
I love the flavors combined here! It totally sounds like comfort food to me.
This was the best – love healthy bowls like this! I use Sambal a lot when cooking but never thought to use it in a healthy bowl like this, it really gave this dish extra oomph!
I can’t wait to try this. I’ve never had a grain bowl before but after seeing yours how could I not want it.
Love True Foods but I haven’t tried this dish there. Now I’ll make yours instead!
I know you’ll love either!
So spectacular! Even better than the original!
I don’t know what it is about grains, but they’re so mystifyingly comforting and cozy. What a great bowl with so much variety and nutrition. Yum!
LOVE True Food Kitchen. So great that you made a replica of this dish! I bet it’s even more delicious homemade.
Aren’t we lucky to live near them?!
This looks incredible and I’m really into sweet potatoes right now!
I am always into sweet potatoes 😉
What a healthy and delicious recipe. I’m so excited to make this for my work week!
I’m so excited to make this for my work week. This is the perfect recipe AND it is healthy!
This was perfect! My hubby and the Frenchman loved it!!
I went to True Food Kitchen for the first time this year while visiting friends in Texas. I so wish we had one here in Michigan. Thanks for this recipe. I can make this and relive my trip!
I didn’t know they had a Texas location! Lucky you!
Can I use regular red Thai chili paste instead of the one you use? I always have it on hand.
Can I use regular red Thai chili paste instead of the one you use?
Sure! In my experience regular Thai chili paste might not be as spicy as Sambal Oelek so play with the amount and see what works 🙂
This is a great recipe
Thank you Terry. Glad you enjoyed it!
AMAZING!! Will be making this over and over again. Thank you!
I am so glad you liked it Amanda!
This recipe was amazing. I am a quarantine cook so I am just learning, but I do love this bowl from True Foods. Everything was perfect and the sauce for the sweet potatoes was delicious and easy. I am sure I will use it for other things in the future. Usually when a recipe has high marks it doesn’t always live up to the hype, but this was brilliant. Thank you so much. I grilled salmon and added it to the mix and it was perfect! I appreciate you 🙂
Thank you Harold! I am so glad you loved the recipe and took the time to comment. Much thanks!
Thanks for sharing! Does it keep long?
It reheats well. But I have only kept it one day 🙂
This was delicious! I should have added the onions later than the sweet potatoes, because they cooked faster. I substituted Sriracha for the Sambal Oelek, and my husband and I both loved the sauce. Thanks for a wonderful recipe! I will definitely make it again.
I am so glad you liked it!
Hey just made this recipe using Chilli garlic jam, I dont think It quite had the same kick as it would with the Sambal olek. Hopefully next time I’ll follow the recipe more closely ! 🙂
I bet it was still really good!
You’re the best!!! Gahh this is absolutely my favorite from True Food! Now I. An make it whenever I wanted. You certainly nailed this and made it even better!!! Thank you tons!!!! Now if only I can find that flourless chocolate molten cake. 😊
Yay! Thanks so much Ashley. I am so glad you liked it. I do have a molten chocolate cake recipe on this site. It’s not flourless, but it is delicious!