Grain Bowls

 Even though I don’t have any little mouths to feed at home, I love veggie grain bowls. No matter how tired or in pain I am, I can always manage to whip up some variation of this simple, healthy stuff (which makes great next-day leftovers too). Here are five keys to building the perfect grain bowl.  

1. Grains: I like hearty ones like brown rice, quinoa, and whole-wheat pearl couscous (the plump kind). Cook a big batch on Sunday, and save 1/2 to 1 cup for each later-in-the-week bowl.

2. Veggies: The sweeter, the better. Think beets, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and red bell peppers, onions, —leftovers come in handy here. Chop into bite-size pieces, and sprinkle over the grains.

3. Greens: Throw in some raw or steamed kale, spinach, broccoli, or other good-for-you green. I am a fan of the microwave for steaming. (Psst, it doesn’t kill nutrients.)

4. Proteins: Add a handful of black beans, chickpeas, or edamame for a tasty protein boost (8 grams per 1/2-cup serving!). If you’re not into beans, go the baked cubed tofu or tempeh route.

5. Sauce: Use any bottled or homemade sauce you like—just make sure it is wow-worthy. Peanut sauce? Pesto? Annie’s Goddess Dressing? All game.

That’s it! Garnish with any extra favorites like crumbled feta, fresh cilantro, sliced scallions, pumpkin seeds, or avocado, and dig in.


I saw these recipes in a magazine and tweeted them to how my husband and I would like them. 

Israeli Couscous and Broccoli Bowl



1 ½ Tbs. olive oil

1 -2 Tbs. tomato paste

1 small onion, finely chopped (1 cup)

1 small pinch salt

2 jarred roasted red peppers, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp.)

½ tsp. smoked paprika

½ cup loosely packed parsley leaves

¼ cup blanched almonds or walnuts

 (we like walnuts)

½ Tbs. balsamic vinegar

Couscous and Broccoli

1 ½ cups whole-wheat Israeli couscous

4 carrots  coarsely grated 

1 lb. broccoli, chopped into 1-inch florets

1 Tbs. olive oil

1 Tbs. lemon juice

1. To make Sauce: Heat oil in saucepan over medium-high heat. Add tomato paste, and sauté 30 seconds. Add onion and salt, and sauté 10 minutes. Add red peppers, garlic, and paprika; cook 5 minutes. Transfer to food processor, and purée with parsley, almonds, and vinegar.

2. To make Couscous and Broccoli: cook couscous according to package directions.

3. Steam broccoli 5 minutes, or until tender. Toss with oil and lemon juice in bowl. Divide couscous among bowls. Top with broccoli, then 3 Tbs. Sauce.

Nutrition Information: 

Calories:  340

Protein:  13 g

Total Fat:  15 g

Saturated Fat:  2 g

Carbohydrates:  56 g

Cholesterol:  0 mg

Sodium:  114 mg

Fiber:  13 g

Sugar:  3 g

Yield:  Serves 4

Sweet Potato Bowl with Chimichurri Bowl 


Sweet Potatoes and Quinoa

3 large sweet potatoes, skin-on, finely diced (1 ½–2 lb.)

1 small one chopped 

1 tsp. olive oil

1 cup red or multi color quinoa, rinsed and drained

2 small, ripe yet firm avocados, peeled and sliced, optional


¼ cup olive oil

3 cups loosely packed Italian parsley leaves, roughly chopped

3 Tbs. lemon juice

2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)

½ tsp. sweet paprika

¼ tsp. red pepper flakes

1. To make Sweet Potatoes and Quinoa: Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss sweet potatoes with oil on large baking sheet, and spread in single layer. Season with salt and pepper, if desired, and roast 15 to 20 minutes, or until soft, stirring halfway through. And Onion last 5-7 minutes 

2. Meanwhile, bring quinoa and 2 cups water to a boil in small saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook
15 minutes, or until tender. Season with salt, if desired.

3. To make Chimichurri: Warm oil in small saucepan over medium heat. Blend parsley, lemon juice, garlic, paprika, and red pepper flakes in food processor until coarsely chopped. Pour in warm oil, and pulse quickly until blended.

4. Divide sweet potatoes and quinoa among 4 bowls. Top each serving with 3 Tbs. Chimichurri, and garnish with sliced avocado, if using. Drizzle with extra Chimichurri, if desired.

Nutrition Information: 

Calories:  420

Protein:  10 g

Total Fat:  14 g

Saturated Fat:  2 g

Carbohydrates:  71 g

Cholesterol:  0 mg

Sodium:  110 mg

Fiber:  10 g

Sugar:  9 g

Yield:  Serves 4

Pick one from each category 


2 cups boiled and chopped collard greens (optional base)

2 cups lettuce (optional base)
1/4 cup couscous (optional grain)

1 cup cooked barley (optional grain)

2 cups wheat berry (optional grain)
1 cup edamame (optional protein)

1 cup cooked chickpeas (optional protein)

2 poached eggs (optional protein)
1/4 cup thinly sliced radish (optional topping)

1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (optional topping)

1/4 cup pickled cherry peppers (optional topping)


1. Add your desired base to salad bowl.

 2. Pour in desired grains.

 3. Add a protein.

 4. Toss in toppings.

5. Top with desired salad dressing. Choosefrom pesto vinaigrette, romesco vinaigrette, or spicy yogurt and lime dressing.

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