This Colorful Grain Bowl Is Superfood-Packed & Perfect For Lunch

mbg Editorial Assistant By Eliza Sullivan
mbg Editorial Assistant
Eliza Sullivan is an editorial assistant at mindbodygreen. She received a B.S. journalism and a B.A. in english literature from Boston University.
Rainbow Grain Bowls
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Grain bowls are the answer to any lunch rut, if you ask us—and YouTuber Dzung Lewis agrees, which is why this über-adaptable recipe pops up in The Honeysuckle Cookbook, her newly published debut cookbook.

"Grain bowls are more of an ingredient-rich compilation than an actual recipe," she writes. "For me, they tend to be a mix of whatever looks good in my fridge, and I encourage you to get inspiration from what's already on hand."

But if you need a little more direction (because sometimes it's weirdly actually nice to just follow step-by-step instructions), this colorful combination is a perfect place to start.

"It gets really fun when the bowls are colorful and have playful textures," writes Lewis, "My rainbow bowl (or shall we say "rain-bowl"?) highlights every bold color and makes for a filling lunch or dinner." Not only that, but it's also a great option for meal prepping and making ahead—she recommends packing portions in Mason jars to keep for the week.

Rainbow Grain Bowls

Serves 4

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Ingredients

For the tahini sauce:

  • ¼ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup warm water, plus more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin

For the grain bowls:

  • 5 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 heaping cups cauliflower florets (from ½ small head), cut into bite-size pieces
  • 3 carrots, cut into 2-inch lengths and quartered
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 4 cups chopped kale (any kind)
  • 2 cups packed mixed greens
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 large avocado, quartered and sliced lengthwise
  • ½ cup pickled red onions
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ½ cup toasted pumpkin seeds
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Method

  1. To make the tahini sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together the tahini, warm water, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, honey, garlic powder, and cumin until smooth. If you want the sauce to be thicker, leave it as is (it will thicken as it stands); otherwise, whisk in additional warm water, up to ¼ cup, until the sauce is the consistency you like. (The sauce can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 1 week.)
  2. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and put it in the oven to preheat. Let the baking sheet heat in the oven for 10 minutes after the oven comes to temperature.
  3. To prepare the grain bowls: In a large bowl, stir together 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, the garlic powder, and turmeric. Add the cauliflower and carrots and toss until the vegetables are completely coated, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer the vegetables to the preheated baking sheet and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until the cauliflower is golden brown and the carrots are soft, turning and shaking the pan about halfway through.
  4. In a heavy-bottomed pot with a lid, heat 2 teaspoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the quinoa and let it toast for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour in 1 cup water and bring the mixture to a boil. Once the liquid has absorbed, reduce the heat to the lowest setting, and cover the pot. Let the quinoa cook until the liquid has been completely absorbed, another 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Set aside.
  5. In a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the kale, season with salt, and cook, stirring, until the kale is wilted, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  6. To assemble the grain bowls, divide the mixed greens among four bowls. Then, dividing evenly, spoon the quinoa over the salad. Arrange the kale, tomatoes, avocado, pickled onions, feta, and pumpkin seeds on top of the quinoa. Add the roasted carrots and cauliflower. Drizzle with the tahini sauce and enjoy!

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