I’ve come to realize that there’s very little more satisfying to me than a hearty grain bowl packed with veggies.
Not only do I find it super satisfying thanks to the fact that they’re packed with whole grains, protein, heart-healthy fat and fiber, but it’s also so incredibly versatile. It can literally be ANYTHING you want it to be. I find it particularly makes for good Friday lunches because it’s a great “clean out the fridge” strategy. Got some extra broccoli left over? Toss it in! Some peppers from your fajita night? Throw those babies in the pan! Extra zucchini from making zucchini bread? Perfect for this dish!
You can also completely change the dish depending on the sauce you use. And this here dish is living proof of that. I made an easy farro and summer veggie dish the other night with some corn on the cob, cherry tomatoes and zucchini that I had floating in the fridge. I sautéed it with garlic and olive oil then topped it all with fresh mozzarella and basil making it a perfect Italian style dish.
This week I used those same veggies, but chose more Mexican-style spices and topped it with avocado, hot sauce and cilantro and it became something completely different.
Grain bowls are particularly helpful if you’re eating on a budget because you can stock up on a few different types of grains (quinoa, farro, bulgur, etc.), protein sources (beans, tofu, chicken sausage) and then just keep mixing up your dishes all week long!
It’s also nice because the longer these bowls sit, the more their flavors marinate so by the end of the week they’re even BETTER than they were when you first made them!
- 1 cup tri-colored quinoa, cooked (I used Bob's Red Mill)
- 1 medium zucchini, washed and diced
- 2 ears of corn on the cob, shucked and kernels cut off
- 1/3 cup cherry tomatoes, diced
- 1 cup canned low-sodium dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder (less if you prefer less spice)
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1-2 teaspoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional toppings: hot sauce, avocado, chopped cilantro, plain yogurt, fresh lime juice, chipotle lime avocado yogurt sauce (recipe below)
- 2 ripe avocados
- 1/3 cup plain yogurt
- 1 tablespoon liquid from a can of chipotles in adobo
- Squeeze of lime juice from 1/2 a lime
- Place a large sauté pan over medium heat
- When the pan is hot, add a drizzle of olive oil (about 1-2 teaspoons)
- Add chopped veggies, spices, salt and pepper tossing to combine well
- Sauté veggies just tender then add kidney beans, tossing to combine and warm
- Add veggie and kidney bean mixture to 1 cup cooked quinoa
- Top with toppings of choice
- Add to a food processor and process until fully combined