I was at Laughing Planet Café on Mississippi Avenue in Portland a few weeks ago and had an East Indian Bowl that I decided I could probably eat for lunch every day. So, I went to work sleuthing out the ingredients like my husband assesses a wood inlay to see if he can replicate the design on the serving trays he makes.

For those who don’t know, Laughing Planet serves delicious and nutritious burritos, bowls and other yummy goodness in bright, upbeat atmospheres around the Portland area. It would be fantastic if they’d share the wealth by opening up a space on this side of the River but, until then, my favorite location is on Belmont Street because they have a wonderful outdoor space in the back with strings of lights dangling from the trees.

Aside from the fact that this East Indian Bowl just tasted perfect, I knew it was packed with protein which is something I’m always on the lookout for. If you do some calculating, a serving of brown rice with a serving of lentils with a serving of garbanzos (plus add in the fact that there’s protein in the peanut sauce and vegetables), adds up to 23-30 grams of protein per serving in this dish. This is a filling, guilt-free lunch that will get you through the rest of the day a lot better than a cheeseburger, fries and pop.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to replicate the Pickled Lime-Mango Salsa that was served on the side but I barely dipped my food in that. The Thai Peanut Sauce is what everything was mixed with and a good peanut sauce recipe really adds flavor and moistness to dishes.

East Indian Bowl

1 cup brown rice

East Indian Bowl

East Indian Bowl

1 cup lentils

1 15 oz can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

11 oz cauliflower, rinsed and chopped

1 large zucchini, rinsed and chopped

1 large carrot, rinsed and julienned

½ green pepper, chopped

2 Tbsp olive oil

¼ C cilantro, chopped

1 medium onion, diced

Peanut Sauce

1 C smooth peanut butter *I buy the kind freshly made out of the machine at Winco or Fred Meyer and am addicted to it

¼ C chopped cilantro

3 Tbsp sugar – or- just under 2 Tbsp Agave Nectar

2 Tbsp soy sauce -or- Bragg’s

2 tsp cider vinegar

2 cloves garlic, minced

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp curry

Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add brown rice and simmer for 18 minutes. Drain and set aside in a large bowl. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add lentils and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain and add to the rice. Add drained garbanzo beans to rice/lentil mixture. In a large bowl, combine the chopped vegetables and cook, covered, in the microwave for 5-7 minutes or steam over the stove.  In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Saute the cilantro and onion. Meanwhile, whisk peanut butter with 1 cup of hot water in a medium bowl (2 quarts or more). Stir in remaining ingredients. Add more hot water to thin the sauce to the consistency that it will pour over all the ingredients and toss well (approximately ½ – 1 cup more). Add the brown rice, lentils, garbanzo beans and vegetables to the cilantro/onion mixture and combine. Drizzle peanut sauce over everything and mix well. Heat all ingredients thoroughly in the skillet before serving. Serves 4 – 6.

Peanut Sauce adapted from a recipe found in Vegetarian Times http://www.vegetariantimes.com/recipe/broccoli-dipped-in-wonderful-peanut-sauce/




I am a Clark County native. I am Level 2 WSET (wine and spirit education trust)-certified and enjoy pairing wine with my passion for travel and fondness of food. My most prized possessions are the memories of places I've been with my husband, the chance encounters we've been blessed to have along the way and my carry-on bag. I can often be seen around town and in tasting rooms with our two beautiful, double-Merle Australian shepherds, Challenge and Baby Girl.

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