It’s All About the Bowl

Breakfast bowls, Greek bowls, burrito bowls, Buddha bowls…a side dish, a main dish, a great packed lunch!  I like this new fad!  Here are a few things you can put in your quinoa bowl: sliced avocado                                                                      roasted broccoli boiled eggs                                                                            roasted chickpeas roasted or pickled beets                                                     roasted sweet potatoes corn                                                                                        lentils pickled red onions                                                              shredded brussels sprouts toasted pine nuts                                                                 hummus squash                                                                                   capers mung beans                                                                          roasted eggplant roasted tomatoes                                                                 feta mushrooms                                                                          shredded carrots spinach                                                                                  roasted red peppers arugula                                                                                  basil goats cheese                                                                         berries almonds                                                                                honey almond butter                                                                     mint black beans                                                                          cilantro Make it Mexican, mediterranean, Indian, Asian…I guess I should stop here.  The possibilities are endless! Here’s what I put in mine:  1 cup dry quinoa, cooked,  2 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme and 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts.  I had about 2 cups of leftover butternut squash, so I used that.  I had already peeled and chopped it into small pieces for a previous recipe and hadn’t used it all.  I added some chopped onion and roughly chopped garlic, olive oil, salt and freshly ground pepper and roasted it at 400°, checking every 15 minutes until golden on the edges. DSC_3030 Boil quinoa according to package directions. To toast pine nuts, cook over low heat in a dry skillet, turning constantly until light golden. I placed 1 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil in a medium sized skillet and melted butter over medium heat, stirring continuously until the butter and oil begin to brown slightly, about 2 minutes.  I added my prepared sage until it sizzled and then removed it from the heat. DSC_3031 I then tossed the cooked quinoa with the squash and sage browned butter mixture, along with the toasted pine nuts. DSC_3033 What is quinoa, you ask?  Other than some tiny beads that become squiggly little weird, hairy things after you cook them? Quinoa is a whole grain that contains all 9 essential amino acids, the building blocks for protein.  See related post:  The Udder Truth About Milk  For those of you with celiac disease or gluten intolerance, quinoa is gluten-free, is packed with protein and is a good carbohydrate source!  So, what about that low carb diet?  With 6 grams of protein in a single serving, this is an outstanding option for a meatless meal! Half of your grains should be whole and YES!, you need grains. See related post: Let’s Crunch Numbers!  Whole grains provide fiber which promotes digestive and heart health.  Research now shows whole grains also contains multiple vitamins and minerals, plus high levels of antioxidants.
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