Rainbow Bowls with Peanut Sauce

By Ann Fulton

A literal rainbow of fresh produce adds colorful crunch and visual appeal to these flexible rice-based bowls. The flavor-popping peanut sauce is easy to make and endlessly versatile--the proverbial pot of gold! 
Jump to Recipe

A literal rainbow of fresh produce adds colorful crunch and visual appeal to these flexible rice-based bowls. The flavor-popping peanut sauce is easy to make and endlessly versatile–the proverbial pot of gold! 

 

Who doesn’t love a rainbow? They’re pretty to look at and their fleeting nature adds thrill to a sighting.

In many cultures, rainbows are a symbol of hope. The transformation from stormy darkness to vibrant sun and color is a powerful image for many who witness it.

Rainbows are also a symbol of good luck and fortune — for this, we need only to think of leprechauns hiding their pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

As children, rainbows are used to teach us our colors and are one of the first things we learn to draw. More on Roy G. Biv to come.

To be complete and fully realized, of course, all the colors of the rainbow need to be represented. This explains why the colorful arch is also a symbol of equality and inclusion.

In 1994, the rainbow flag officially and fittingly became the symbol of the LGBTQ+ community (though it was designed in 1978 by artist Gilbert Baker). In the years since, this flag has become an enduring representation of pride and support for the LGBTQ+ community and their fight for equal rights, as well as a celebration of the beauty and diversity within the community. The rainbow flag is flown at Pride events throughout the month of June.

Beyond the meaningful symbolism, these bowls ultimately score high marks in our house because they taste great. As an added bonus, they offer lots of flexibility.  

A literal rainbow of fresh produce adds colorful crunch and visual appeal to these flexible rice-based bowls. The flavor-popping peanut sauce is easy to make and endlessly versatile--the proverbial pot of gold! 

Brightly colored vegetables make these bowls visually stunning, and the peanut sauce adds the wow factor in the flavor department. Happily, the sauce can be pulled together with pantry ingredients and will keep for weeks in the refrigerator. 

A literal rainbow of fresh produce adds colorful crunch and visual appeal to these flexible rice-based bowls. The flavor-popping peanut sauce is easy to make and endlessly versatile--the proverbial pot of gold! 

🌈

Use the name Roy G. Biv to remember the colors and consult the following list for inspiration beyond the ingredients mentioned in the recipe card:

Red – Tomatoes and red bell pepper—even radishes work well.

Orange – Shredded carrots are my go-to, but orange bell pepper is a great option too.

Yellow – Beyond yellow bell pepper, you could use corn or summer squash.

Green – This one is easy—so many choices! I typically use snow peas, avocado, and scallions, but cucumbers, spinach, steamed broccoli, and edamame are worthy choices.   

Blue – I rely on the rice to represent blue and indigo, but you could add roasted blue potatoes.

Indigo – Black rice takes on an indigo hue once cooked.

Violet – Red cabbage, red onion (including Pickled Red Onions), and even shredded raw red beets, work well.

 

Tips and suggestions:

  • For best texture and flavor overall, I very thinly slice or julienne the vegetable—and I use a peeler for the carrots.
  • Black rice (also called Japonica or forbidden rice) is now widely available in larger grocery stores and offers a fun alternative to the more commonly used white and brown varieties. And while I use it here to add the blue-indigo element of the rainbow, you may use what you have on hand. Rice noodles complement the bowls beautifully too.
  • For serving, the rice in these bowls may be hot, cold, or room temperature. Feel free cook the rice in advance and let sit at room temperature for up to two hours, or refrigerate it. I often gently reheat the rice in the microwave before adding the remaining ingredients for an appealing balance of cool and warm ingredients.
  • A case for avocado… When stirred in, the chopped avocado mixes with the other ingredients and acts as a binder. Its softer “mouthfeel” also balances the crunchy vegetables. 
  • The vegetables in these bowls are generally raw, making for quicker prep, although you could substitute cooked veggies like steamed broccoli or green beans if preferred.
  • You may absolutely eyeball the measurements. I aim for a scant ¼ cup per bowl of most of the veggies, although you may increase or decrease based on personal preference.

 

How else can I use peanut sauce?

The peanut sauce complements a wide variety of ingredients, making these bowls endlessly adaptable. It also means that you may find new and delicious uses for the leftovers, from a sauce for chicken (think chicken satay), stir fries, and noodle bowls to a dressing for broccoli salad or slaw. It also makes these Asian Chicken Wraps sing.

As mentioned, you may substitute a favorite store-bought peanut sauce, but for added convenience, the homemade sauce can be made ahead and will keep for weeks in the fridge.

A literal rainbow of fresh produce adds colorful crunch and visual appeal to these flexible rice-based bowls. The flavor-popping peanut sauce is easy to make and endlessly versatile--the proverbial pot of gold! 

These bowls are a great way to use leftover rice and the lingering odds and ends in your crisper drawer. The rainbow theme is fun, but a few favorite vegetables along with the rice and a protein of choice will create a filling meal.  

The most effective way to cook black rice to tender, chewy perfection happens to be the easiest. Precise measurements don't even matter!

Black rice, also called forbidden rice, offers creative appeal and a mildly nutty flavor to these satisfying bows, although any variety of rice – even rice noodles – may be used. 

A literal rainbow of fresh produce adds colorful crunch and visual appeal to these flexible rice-based bowls. The flavor-popping peanut sauce is easy to make and endlessly versatile--the proverbial pot of gold! 

A literal rainbow of fresh produce adds colorful crunch and visual appeal to these flexible rice-based bowls. The flavor-popping peanut sauce is the pot of gold! 

“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.”
~ Dolly Parton

Rainbow Bowls with Peanut Sauce
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes (cook time for black rice)
Total Time: 50 minutes
Yield: 4 entree servings
You may use this recipe as a guideline, adding amounts of the various ingredients that appeal to you. Or incorporate different vegetables, like the ones mentioned in the main post. For added flexibility, the bowls are also easy to make gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, and vegan.

For a fun, complementary side dish, serve with a bowl of steamed edamame in the shell.
Ingredients
  • 3 cups cooked black rice (from 1 cup uncooked; could substitute rice noodles or brown or white rice)
  • ~ ⅛ a head of red/purple cabbage (about 1 cup), thinly sliced or shredded
  • 3 ounces (about 1 cup) snow peas, halved diagonally or thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, julienned or shaved with vegetable peeler
  • 1 small to medium red or yellow pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 12 to 15 cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 avocado, sliced or diced
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • Peanut sauce (homemade or your favorite store-bought)
  • Protein topper: Cooked chicken, shrimp, salmon, tofu, edamame, or chickpeas
  • Optional garnish: 4 teaspoons sesame seeds or 4 tablespoons peanuts (or nuts/seeds of choice); 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, a lime wedge

Instructions

Assemble the bowls: Divide the cooked rice among four bowls. Arrange the veggies in piles around the bowl. For a rainbow effect, go in this order: red, orange, yellow, green, and purple. (The black rice turns an indigo blue shade when cooked. See options and substitutions provided in the main post.) Sprinkle scallions over all, and top with optional protein and or herbs, nuts and/or seeds of choice. Drizzle with a few tablespoons of dressing. To eat, I like to mix everything together for great flavor in each bite and drizzle with more dressing as needed.

For meal prep: Divide rice among 4 bowls. Fill 4 (2-ounce) salad dressing cups with the peanut sauce and place lids on top. Arrange veggies and protein of choice in piles on top of the rice. Nestle dressing cups among the piles. Scatter the optional toppings overall. (For nuts and seeds, add just before serving to preserve crunch.)

More On YouTube More on Instagram
Tried this recipe?Post a picture on instagram and we will repost it! Mention @fountainavenuekitchen or tag #fountainavenuekitchen!
The Fountain Avenue Kitchen https://fountainavenuekitchen.com/

 

Leave a Reply

Make it? Rate the recipe:

Your email address will not be published.