Super fast and super delicious, this colourful Mediterranean-inspired bowl is substantial enough to have as an amazing plant-based lunch or dinner.
SERVES 4 AS MAIN-DISH - TOTAL TIME APPROX. 40 MINUTES
Use organic ingredients when possible
1 ½ cups quinoa
1 tsp sea salt or Himalayan salt, divided
1 tbsp fresh dill (or 1 tsp dried dill), finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh oregano (or 1 tsp dried oregano), finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 lemon, zested + 4 tbsp juice
½ cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
2/3 cup warm water
1 clove garlic, minced or finely grated
½ tsp black pepper
1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas
2 cups baby spinach (or other baby salad greens)
2 tomatoes, diced
½ seedless cucumber, diced
1 red or orange bell pepper, diced (or roasted. Click here for DIY roasted peppers recipe.)
4 radishes, finely diced
⅓ cup pitted Kalamata olives (or black olives), sliced
1 stalk celery, diced
4 green onions, thinly sliced
¼ cup pickled hot banana peppers, chopped (optional. Can add more or less to taste.)
2 tbsp gomasio (see recipe below)
Rinse quinoa and drain. Bring 2 ¼ cups of water to a boil in a pot over high heat. Add ½ tsp of salt and the quinoa, stir once, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook undisturbed for 15-18 minutes, turn off the heat, and leave covered for an additional 5 minutes. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and stir in the lemon zest, dill, oregano, and parsley. Set aside.
Put the tahini, warm water, lemon juice, garlic, ½ tsp sea salt, and black pepper in small bowl and whisk until well mixed. Set aside.
To build the bowls, divide the quinoa between four bowls. Drizzle each bowl with some of the tahini dressing, then top each bowl with the chickpeas and layer with the cut vegetables. Drizzle the vegetables with the remaining dressing and sprinkle with a bit of the gomasio.
Serve at room-temperature or chilled. Leftovers will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days (can place the dressing in a separate jar until serving to keep the vegetables from getting soggy).
GOMASIO (SESAME SALT)
This calcium-rich topping can be used as a condiment sprinkled over many different dishes, including rice, soups, stews, vegetables, and salads. Originating in Japanese cuisine, it provides a rich nutty-flavour. It’s best to make gomasio in small batches and place in a sealed jar in the refrigerator as sesame seeds may go rancid quicker once ground.
¼ cup raw white or black sesame seeds (or a combination)
1 tsp sea salt
Lightly toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan over medium heat. Once toasted, put the sesame seeds and salt in a coffee grinder or blender and process until most of the seeds are cracked open. Alternately, place the seeds and salt in a large mortar and pestle and manually grind until about half of the seeds are cracked and ground.
Gomasio will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.