We can all appreciate the idea of bringing lunch to work to avoid buying the often less nutritious and cost-effective option of getting something on the go. But, truth is, packing a salad or wrap can get boring and thinking about doing a lot more than that can be daunting. Enter the quinoa bowl.

The key is making a large batch of quinoa at the beginning of the week (we give you our Perfect Fluffy Quinoa recipe below). Then, you can just make the toppings as you need them. Here are three great lunch bowl ideas that are healthy, delicious, simple-to-make and easily transportable.

Cauliflower, Coriander + Chickpea Quinoa Bowl With Cilantro Vinaigrette

Serves 2-4

For the bowl

  • 1 small head of cauliflower, broken up into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 can (or 1.5 cups) cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • olive oil
  • salt + pepper

For the Cilantro Vinaigrette

  • 3 tablespoons of white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
  • handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
  • salt + pepper

Preparation

1. Grind the coriander and cumin seeds in a mortar and pestle.

2. In a large frying pan, add the ground up seeds over medium high heat until they become fragrant (about a minute). Add about 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil (enough to coat the bottom of the pan) and let heat, about 30 seconds. Add the cauliflower and season with salt and pepper. Cover the pan and let the cauliflower cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes (you don't want to stir it because you want the cauliflower to brown). Uncover the pan, give the cauliflower a stir and cook for another 5 minutes or so until the cauliflower is soft and slightly brown on all sides.

3. To make the dressing, add the vinegar and the mustard to a small mixing bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until combined. Add the cilantro and season with salt and pepper.

4. Add one cup of Perfect Fluffy Quinoa (recipe below) to each bowl (or container). Divide the cauliflower among the bowls and drizzle with the dressing (or pack dressing in a separate container if you're taking it with you).

Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl

Serves 2

For the bowl

  • 10 grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 small cucumbers, seeded and sliced
  • 10 olives
  • 3-4 chives, roughly chopped
  • 2 small chunks of feta (optional)
  • 2 cups of Perfect Fluffy Quinoa (recipe below)
  • olive oil
  • salt + pepper

For the Lemon Parsley Vinaigrette

  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • handful of parsley, chopped
  • salt + pepper

Preparation

1. Combine the tomatoes, cucumber, olives and feta in a mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with about a tablespoon of olive oil. Mix to combine.

2. To make the dressing: add the lemon and vinegar to a small mixing bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until incorporated. Add the parsley and season with salt and pepper.

3. Divide the quinoa between two bowls (or containers). Evenly distribute the veggie mixture and top with dressing (or pack the dressing in a separate container if you're taking it with you.

Honey Roasted Roots With Tahini Yogurt

Serves 2

For the roots

  • about 1 lbs mixed root vegetables (we use carrots, the parsnips and a mix of yellow and red beets), sliced in half on a diagonal (you want rustic, organic pieces that are almost bite-sized but still feel whole)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of honey (or agave)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups of Perfect Fluffy Quinoa (recipe below)
  • salt + pepper

For the Tahini Yogurt

  • 3 heaping tablespoons of thick, strained yogurt (we prefer Greek for this)
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • squeeze of lemon
  • salt + pepper to taste

Preparation

1. Pre-heat oven to 425ºF.

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment and or foil. Add the roots, honey, olive oil and salt and pepper. Using your hands, massage the oil and honey into the roots until evenly combined. Arrange the roots in a single layer and bake for about 15 minutes. Grab the baking sheet with an oven mitt and give it a shake to re-distribute the roots. Cook for another 10 minutes or so until the roots are soft and slightly browned. Remove from oven.

3. Meanwhile, make the tahini yogurt. Combine all ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Arrange 1 cup of quinoa in each bowl (or container). Divide the roots evenly among the bowls. Top each bowl with a generous dollop of the tahini yogurt.

Perfect Fluffy Quinoa

Makes 3 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • pinch of sea salt

Preparation

1. Rinse the quinoa before cooking.

2. Place the quinoa, water and a pinch of salt in a large pot over high heat. Cover the pot and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed and the germs have begun to spiral. If there's still water in the pot, leave the heat on low with the top off to let the water evaporate of drain in a fine mesh strainer.

3. Turn of the heat and grab a dry paper or kitchen towel. Place it between the pot and the lid and let that sit for about 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving.

Photography: V.K. Rees

Recipes + Styling: Christina Liva

Interns: Emma Saccone & Katie Kosaya


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