Bowls are kind of a thing right now. Ever had a grain bowl or a broth bowl? Some have funny names like Buddha bowls and poke bowls and people are even eating their smoothies from bowls. I am not one of these people. It’s my opinion that you should only need a spoon if you’re getting the remaining bits from the blender once your smoothie is ready. It’s a drink, friends.
A bowl is just a term for serving several small portions of different foods together in one dish. It is big in the vegan world but can be tailored to any diet. Bowls are great for packing lots of flavors and textures into one dish. Today, we’re using quinoa as the base for our bowl that will have a bit of a Greek salad taste. Sound good?!
Quinoa has a nice nutty taste and superfood qualities. It’s a complete protein source that’s also high in iron, magnesium, and fiber. Quinoa is one of the healthiest pantry staples and a great alternative to rice. If you have never eaten it, give it a try! If my kids like it, I know you’ll like it!
This dish comes together pretty simply and quickly in under 25 minutes. It can be served as an entree or as a side dish. You could serve it warm as a bed topped with baked or grilled fish or as a side with the meat of your choice. You could serve it cold as a meal of its own (like I’m eating it today), or you could serve it over greens like peppery arugula and/or baby spinach!
This is making me so hungry! Let’s get started!
How this Bowl is Done
First, rinse your quinoa. This may seem like an unnecessary step (I used to think so), but it can really affect the taste of the dish. There is a natural coating on the quinoa that can be bitter. Sometimes the quinoa has been rinsed before packaging, but it’s a quick step and a simple rinse under cool water, so I don’t like to chance it anymore.
TIP: If your strainer isn’t one with fine mesh, place a paper towel over the strainer and the quinoa on top so when you run it under cool water, it won’t slip through the holes. 🙂 These are my favorite strainers!
Next, add your rinsed quinoa to a saucepan and toast it for about one minute to dry it out and release some of its natural nuttiness. Then add the vegetable broth. I use water and add 1 tsp of this Better than Bouillon Vegetable Base and it’s wonderful. The packages of broth or stock work great as well and if you’re out of all of it, you can use water and it will still be delicious!
Now we wait for the water to come to a full boil and then turn the burner to the lowest setting, cover the quinoa and let it cook for 15 minutes. While the quinoa is doing its thing, you can prep your veggies.
When the quinoa has cooked for 15 minutes, remove from heat but DON’T PEEK! Leave the lid on for 5 minutes and then you can see the beauties.
Fluff with a fork and you’re good to go! Quinoa at this point can be stored as is in the fridge for 5 days. You can freeze it for two months.
If you’re preparing the dish for immediate use, toss the quinoa with the cucumbers, peppers, and tomatoes and skip to the vinaigrette preparation. Toss immediately and serve with crumbled feta. If you prefer it to be a cold salad or for later use, combine the quinoa with the veggies and refrigerate. When you’re ready to serve, toss with the vinaigrette and top with feta.
Now for the Vinaigrette
It’s super easy and I promise you’ve never had anything so flavorful (unless you’ve had my watermelon arugula salad, which also uses this vinaigrette!) I use it on everything!! Everyone who has ever tried it has loved it, so I hope you do too! Let me know in the comments below!
Simply whisk the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, garlic, salt, and pepper together and you’ve got the only vinaigrette you’ll ever need for any salad ever again. It’s that good.
It’s a pretty bowl with tons of nutritious, nutty goodness from the quinoa, crunch from the tomatoes, peppers, and cucumber, the zing from the honey garlic vinaigrette and saltiness from the feta cheese. I love to eat this chilled all by itself, but it would be a wonderful accompaniment to grilled beef, pork or chicken. Toss in some shrimp (maybe sautéed in oil and garlic?!) and you will have taken this bowl to another level!
If you love quinoa like we do, you might also like my Quick Mexican Quinoa Skillet!
If you try this recipe, let me know how it goes! You can leave a comment below or find me on Instagram @_mybusykitchen #mybusykitchen
Thank you for stopping by My Busy Kitchen! -Tiffany x
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth (I add 1 tsp Better than Bouillon Vegetable Base and 2 cups of water)
- 1 bell pepper, diced (any color – I used green from my garden!)
- 1 cup diced tomatoes (I used cherry)
- 1 cup cucumber, diced
- 1/3 cup feta, crumbled
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
Rinse the quinoa in a small mesh strainer with cool water and drain.
Heat a saucepan to medium and toast the quinoa for 1 minute, stirring it around a couple of times.
Add the vegetable/chicken broth and 1/4 tsp of the salt, stir, cover and bring to a boil.
Once at a rolling boil, reduce heat to the lowest setting and cook, covered, for 15 minutes.
While the quinoa is cooking, prep the remaining ingredients. Chop the tomatoes, dice the bell pepper and cucumber.
After 15 minutes, remove the quinoa from the heat, but don’t open the lid!
Let it sit for 5 more minutes before you take a peek!
After 5 minutes, fluff the quinoa with a fork.
For a warm/room temperature dish, transfer to a mixing bowl and add the bell pepper, cucumber, and tomatoes. Toss to thoroughly combine.
For a cold entree or side dish, transfer to a mixing bowl and add the bell pepper, cucumber, and tomatoes. Toss to thoroughly combine and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
In a small mixing bowl add the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Whisk to combine.
When you’re ready to serve the dish (either room temp or chilled), pour the vinaigrette over the quinoa and toss together to combine.
Taste! You may need a bit more salt or pepper.
Top with feta and serve!
Note: Wait to dress the salad and top with feta until you’re ready to serve. If making ahead, store separately. This will keep 3-4 days in the fridge. Quinoa alone will keep 5 days in the fridge.