I think at least 80% of the meals I make for myself end up piled into a bowl. I like it that way – the different flavors and textures blend together in each bite, and the combinations of veggies, grains, proteins, herbs, sauces and spices are endless…
I’m also often cooking for one, so it’s a convenient way to control my portions and season it just the way I like it. Then I take a big spoon, collapse on my comfy couch, and savor every bite :)
My creations typically involve some kind of grain (quinoa, polenta, or brown rice), steamed or sautéed greens, sautéed or roasted seasonal veggies, and either beans, eggs, lentils, tofu, veggie sausage or chicken. Then comes the endless flavor combinations concocted of herbs, cheeses, spices, and sauces, which I change up every time. The bowl concept is great because I always end up with a well-balanced meal, and it makes for easy eating whether at home, on the go, or leftover for tomorrow’s lunch!
I wanted to share a few of my favorite quinoa bowls as of late:
- Red pepper, kale + [veggie] sausage quinoa bowl, from Cooking Quinoa
I followed the basic recipe [in the link above] but used tomatoes, red bell pepper and kale for the veggies, and ground veggie sausage.
- Quinoa, lentil, kale, roasted broccoli + balsamic chicken with tahini sauce + feta.
This one has so many delicious layers, you can’t even see the quinoa underneath! To prepare this I first roasted some broccoli with a chopped garlic clove and chopped onion, baked a chicken breast in balsamic vinegar, and steamed a bit of kale. Then I layered up my bowl with leftover quinoa + lentils, kale, roasted veggies, chopped chicken, my favorite homemade tahini sauce, a drizzle of balsamic, parsley and feta. I know I know, lots of ingredients, but they go together so well.
And perhaps my most favorite has been this big bowl of love:
- Roasted vegetable + chickpea quinoa bowl, adapted from here.
- 1/4 cup dry quinoa
- 1 zucchini or summer squash, sliced into rounds and half-circles if you’d like
- cherry tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
- onion, chopped
- garlic clove, chopped
- few leaves of kale, chopped
- 1/4 cup chickpeas
- olive oil
- sea salt, pepper + oregano
- lemon, fresh parsley + feta to serve
Roast the tomatoes, zucchini, onion + garlic on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzling them with olive oil and sprinkling with salt and pepper. Bake at 375 for about 30 minutes, flipping/stirring once.
Cook the quinoa with 1/2 cup of water over the stove and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, adding the kale right on top of the quinoa near the end so it steams and softens.
Move your desired amount of quinoa to a bowl and fluff with a fork. Add kale, roasted vegetables and chickpeas. Sprinkle generously with salt, pepper + oregano. Squeeze the juice of an entire lemon all over the dish, drizzle with a little olive oil, and top with chilled feta and fresh parsley.
This made one hearty meal for me with some leftovers, but it’s probably a good amount as a side dish for two.
I foresee many a this dish in the coming summer months… as mom’s garden starts giving birth to more squashes and tomatoes than we know what to do with :]
So do you have any favorite combinations for one-bowl meals? Since I make these so often I’d love to have some new ideas!!