I’m not much of a meal planner. I’d love to be. The thought of KNOWING what food you’re making all week, and buying groceries just for those meals sounds heavenly. But the reality is, I’m just not that organized. And I probably won’t ever be.
So instead of “meal planning” I do more “ingredient planning”. There are a handful of things I always use when I cook. My “go-tos”. So every week I make sure I have a few of these things ready to go in the fridge. Cooked grains in big batches, some fresh veggies washed and prepped, beans already cooked (or let’s be honest, just even rinsed out of the can). And then I can easily put together a few quick meals for lunch or dinner.
This mediterranean greek quinoa bowl is essentially me just pulling together a few things (already made and ready to go) from my fridge. It couldn’t have been simpler to put together and it was the perfect summer lunch. Light and refreshing. Delicious, and an added bonus that it’s actually GOOD for you.
Quinoa is one of my favorite grains. As a vegetarian, I’m always looking for ways to include more plant protein into my diet. Quinoa (which is actually a seed, but is cooked like a grain) is jam-packed with protein, fiber, amino acids, and other important trace minerals.
When I’m cooking quinoa I like to make it in big batches. I first rinse it using a mesh strainer and then I “toast” it before adding any liquid. To toast the quinoa I simply place it in the pot with a little olive oil and cook it over medium heat, stirring frequently, until you get a nutty flavor. I find that this little extra step adds great depth and nutty flavor. I also cook my quinoa (and all of my grains) using chicken stock instead of water.
To put this yummy little mediterranean greek quinoa bowl together I just added in a ton of my favorite veggies. Some sliced cucumbers (I love those little tiny ones), red peppers, tomatoes and red onion (olives would be great here – but I have a severe love-hate relationship with olives so they didn’t make the cut today). Some garbanzo beans, feta and of course a generous helping of fresh herbs.
For the dressing, I quickly mixed up some oregano, salt and pepper, red wine vinegar and olive oil. Shook it all together and then drenched all the veggies and quinoa. Tossed it all together and then dug in.
I am so happy with the way this greek quinoa bowl turned out. It was so easy to put together, super delicious, and left me feeling light an refreshed. It’s for sure one of my new “go-to” lunches this summer and I have no doubt it will be yours too.
- 2 cups of cooked quinoa
- 1 cup of sliced cucumber
- 1 cup of halved cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup of diced red pepper
- 1 cup of garbanzo beans (cooked, rinsed and drained)
- ½ cup of diced red onion
- ½ cup of fet
- ½ cup of fresh parsley and dill
- ¼ cup of good quality olive oil
- 4 tbsp of red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp of dry oregano
- 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
- In a large serving bowl, add the 2 cups of cooked quinoa
- directly on top, arrange the tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, garbanzo beans, red peppers, feta and and herbs
- In a small bowl, wisk together the chopped garlic, oregano, red wine vinegar, and olive oil. Add salt/pepper to taste.
- Generously dirzzle the dressing dricetly over the veggies and quinoa. Toss and enjoy.
For other “bowl” ideas, check out our southwest chicken quinoa bowl or our spicy buddha bowl with sweet potato and forbidden rice.