The Brain Bowl

Fortify your body and power your mind with this recipe. It'll get you an anti-Alzheimer's Brain Bowl, seasoned with brain-protecting spices such as turmeric, which crosses the blood brain barrier and has been shown to reduce amyloid plaques. The Brain Bowl delivers all the fiber, plant proteins, and polyphenols your body needs to kill oxidative radicals. 

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1 Large sweet potato or two small sweet potatoes (skinned and sliced into 1/2 inch thick slices)
1 tbsp Extra-virgin olive oil
1 can (15 oz.) Chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
1 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Coriander
1 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Smoked paprika
1/2 tsp Garlic powder
1/2 tsp Cayenne powder
1 cup Uncooked quinoa
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1/8 tsp Salt
3 cups Kale (massaged with a teaspoon of lemon juice and a pinch of salt or spring mix)
1 Avocado (sliced)
2 tbsp Sunflower seeds
1 tbsp Hemp seeds

Preheat oven to 375ºF and line a large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Spread out the chopped sweet potato on one half of sheet. Put 1/2 tablespoon of oil and toss the potatoes until coated. Sprinkle with fine grain sea salt.

Roasted chickpeas: Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Transfer the chickpeas to a bowl, drizzle with 1/2 teaspoon oil, and sprinkle with the spices. Toss gently to combine. Transfer to the other half of the baking sheet next to sweet potatoes, spreading it in one layer.

Place both the sweet potato and chickpeas into the preheated oven. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove and flip the sweet potato pieces (for even cooking, but not necessary). Place back in the oven for another 15 minutes. When the chickpeas are golden and the sweet potatoes are lightly browned on the bottom and fork tender, they are ready.

Cook the quinoa meanwhile: Rinse the quinoa very well in a fine mesh sieve and transfer to a medium pot. Add 1 3/4 cups water and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 tsp of turmeric and 1/8 tsp of salt. Reduce heat to medium, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and cook for 13-16 minutes, until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender and fluffy. Once cooked, fluff with a fork and remove from heat. Season with black pepper, optionally.

Assemble the bowl: greens at one quarter of a large shallow bowl, quinoa on the second quarter, roasted veggies and chickpeas in the rest of the bowl. Add the sliced avocado in the center, and drizzle about 2 tablespoons of lemon tahini dressing on top.

Sprinkle with sunflower and hemp seeds. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe by Dr. Ayesha Sherzai, neurologist and co-director of The Brain Health & Alzheimer's Prevention Program at Cedars-Sinai