There are days when I find myself craving a bowl of goodies piled together and call it dinner. Yesterday’s dinner was Balsamic Quinoa Chickpea Protein Bowl. SO GOOD. So many flavors and textures. So much goodness from the quinoa, chickpeas, green beans, kale and tomatoes. A simple basil infused balsamic dressing is all this protein bowl needed to pop up. If I was making this bowl in the summer, I would probably swap that basil balsamic for a basil lemon/citrus dressing, but that’s just me dreaming of sunshine right now..
I’m gonna make this post quick, really quick. This doesn’t reflect the amazing protein bowl recipe at all, but I need a bit of sleep today. I should probably rephrase that, well basically for the last eight years I’ve been lacking sleep! lol YES, The Joys of Motherhood. But not to sound like I’m whining here, because oh the minute I start saying something like that, the Mr.will remind me—Mahy, your New Year’s resolution should be to stop whining.. ok, fair and square. I’m NOT whining, I’ve been well rested and oh so pampered all those years.
Ok I’ll briefly let you in my last week..girls were sick. That’s not a shocker I know, because that’s what winters are for, right? But the littlest miss J. started with a stomach bug which took it’s course and then moved on to her older sister miss D. And like that was not enough, a flu came swooping right in with that type of cough that keeps you awake all night..I gave in a few days ago and got some cough syrups which I don’t believe in—yes, ok I have a pharmacy degree and it’s probably a disgrace to admit that..but maybe that’s why I gave up that degree LONG ago lol 🙂 Ok bottom line, I need some sleep today!
So back to this delicious protein bowl or goodness bowl I made myself yesterday. I’ve been cooking for two for a while now (for the above reasons), and since it’s the time to get healthier la la la, I’ve been making SO many bowls like that. Do you remember those killer GOOD lentil Fall Harvest Buddha Bowl? I made them quite a bunch of times too. Today’s bowl is more of a salad, maybe quinoa salad, or kale salad. The amazingness of bowls like these is that you can totally add in or swap any ingredients you have. You can actually make a nice big healthy good for you bowl and call it—clean the fridge goodness bowl!
I started today with quinoa. I know it sounds like quinoa is like old news now, but I seriously LOVE quinoa. I love that bite and neutral taste. If you’re still figuring out quinoa—you can read this post on How To Cook Quinoa for a fool proof way and tips. Lots of times I’l make huge batches and store them by the cup in a ziplock in the freezer. Today was one of those days. So I took that bag from the freezer, it thawed for a couple of hours over the counter and I just reheated it a bit in the microwave (stove top is great too with a bit of water keeping the lid on).
I’ve also added some sautéed green beans. I buy a huge bag of those frozen beans and when I feel stuck or rushed I reach out to them always. They’re so quick sautéed from frozen with a bit of garlic, salt and olive oil (or butter if you’re in that mood). Now my bowl has quinoa, a veggie, so I added fresh chopped kale (any greens work great!), some tomatoes, and bocconcini (skip this if you’re making these bowls vegan). Then for extra protein, I added chickpeas. Love the taste, texture and pure protein it adds to the protein bowl. Try adding some lentils, nuts, herbs, avocados, cucumbers..etc..you just can’t go wrong here!
The dressing. It’s all about the dressing. I’ve made a basil, garlic balsamic. Simple, sweet, warm and goes with the Italian flare. Lemon or orange juice with garlic and basil is another great alternative. A super awesome Perfect Tahini Sauce or an Avocado dressing like this Shrimp Salad with Avocado Dressing and Mexican Style Lentil Detox Salad. So now have a look at your fridge, add in your favorites and dress up a super delicious protein bowl for dinner today! Enjoy 🙂
- 2 cups of frozen green beans (or fresh)
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- pinch of salt
- 2 cups of cooked quinoa
- 1 cup of tomatoes (cherry tomatoes, tricolour or any type)
- ⅔ cups of bocconcini cheese (optional)
- 2 cups of chopped kale
- 1½ cups of cooked chickpeas (or canned, rinsed)
- Basil Balsamic dressing:
- 1 small garlic clove
- 1 teaspoon of mustard
- 2 tablespoons of minced fresh basil leaves
- ¼ cup of Balsamic vinegar
- ⅓ cup of olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- Cook the green beans. Preheat a skillet with olive oil to medium high heat and add in the garlic and green beans. Sauté them for 2 minutes and then cover the skillet. Lower the heat to low and let the green beans cook for 8 minutes or so until done.
- Assemble the bowls, add the quinoa on a side, then the kale, green beans, tomatoes, bocconcini and chickpeas.
- Make the dressing: Place all the ingredients in a small container and place the lid on. Shake the container very well until blended and emulsified.
- Drizzle 2 tablespoons (more or less) of the salad dressing over each bowl and keep the rest of the dressing in the fridge for a month.
- Garnish with some fresh basil leaves and enjoy 🙂