If anyone has been to the lovely Asheville, NC, you have most likely heard of Tupelo Honey Cafe. It’s a wonderful combination of fresh vegetables and southern flavors with a reasonable price tag. Similarly, if you have visited me in Greenville, we most likely took you to Tupelo Honey Cafe which has now opened in Greenville.
The first time I ever visited Tupelo was after running a race downtown, and I ordered this magnificent Venerated Veggie Bowl complete with fried okra and goat cheese grits. I fell in love. I honestly cannot recall a time when I went to Tupelo and did not order this dish (or split it with someone). It is that good. They also served it to me in yellow Fiestaware, and of course then I had to buy Fiestaware. I’m telling you, this place is amazing. So if you find yourself in Asheville or Greenville – definitely check it out.
Well, here is my homemade version of the wonderfulness Tupelo has introduced me to. Of course, being a dietitian, I used quinoa instead of grits and baked the okra instead of frying it. I promise you though, the combination of flavors and textures are still there. Not to mention, just like going to the restaurant, it filled me right up and I had to save half for lunch tomorrow!
Quinoa, Kale and Bacon Veggie Bowl
Servings: 2 + leftovers
- 10-15 okra, chopped into small pieces
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 1.5 oz goat cheese
- 4 cups kale
- 4 slices bacon
- 1 cup black eyed peas, fresh or defrosted from frozen
- 1/2 cup fresh mild salsa
- Pepper, to taste
- Smoked paprika, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Step 1: Make the oven “fried” okra. Scramble the egg in a small bowl, and place the breadcrumbs in another bowl. Coat a baking pan with a small amount of oil. Using an assembly line method, take a small amount of chopped okra and dip them into the egg wash, followed by the breadcrumbs and place in the baking dish. Continue this process until all of the okra are in the baking pan, and bake on 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes until browned. (photo below)
- Mean while, Step 2: Quinoa. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil and add in the 1/2 cup of quinoa, reduce to low and let simmer covered for 10-15 minutes.
- Step 3: Bacon, Kale and black eyed peas. While the okra is baking and the quinoa cooking, heat a large pan to medium high heat. Add 4 slices of bacon, and cook until crispy. Remove bacon from the pan, pat with a paper towel and let cool. Add kale to the pan and sautee. Cover and cook for about 4-5 minutes. Add in the black eyed peas, pepper and smoked paprika and mix well. Cover and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
- Once the quinoa is cooked, add in the goat cheese and stir until completely mixed.
- Assemble your veggie bowl by adding a 1/2 cup of quinoa to each bowl, followed by half of the kale/black eyed pea mix and 1/2 of the okra. Top with 1/4 cup fresh salsa and 2 crumbled bacon slices.
- Enjoy your veggie bowl and save your leftovers for breakfast or lunch tomorrow!