If eating salad feels like a chore, then hold the fork: We completely upgraded your ordinary bowl of lettuce and chopped vegetables into a bowl with warm, crisp vegetables, beans, and grain of your choosing, such as quinoa farro, barley, or brown rice. Today's recipe of the day is a chickpea, avocado, quinoa grain bowl with a creamy tahini dressing, intended to encourage your healthy eating habits in the Spring. This hearty bowl contains all the same nutrients in a salad but also has a delicious taste of creamy and nutty quinoa, boosting satiety and helping you stay fuller longer to avoid binge eating or late-night snacking.

Some people call these grain bowls 'Buddha bowls,' referring to the fact that these dishes feature balanced portions of different cold foods, usually containing whole grains, plant-based protein, and vegetables. These bowls are also typically vegetarian or vegan, again referencing the fact that some branches of Buddhism adhere to meatless diets.

Choose Healthy Foods As We Head into The New Season

Spring is right around the corner and many of us want to feel and look our best when a new door opens. To do so, excellence starts with what you put in your body so your gut is clean and not lacking the nutrients it needs to make smarter, healthier decisions. One important vitamin to maintain healthy cell function and growth is B9, also known as folate, the manmade version--according to a study. We can naturally load up on B9 by eating healthy foods like kale, red cabbage, and chickpeas, three key ingredients in this recipe.

This Grain Bowl is Loaded with Healthy Superfoods

Another key ingredient in this bowl is avocado, a healthy fat that adds a comforting texture to this recipe. The oval-shaped fruit contains 20 different vitamins and minerals, more than a multi-vitamin, and is extremely high in potassium which helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels. In fact, avocados have more potassium than a banana as 1 cup of avocado has 708 milligrams of potassium whereas one cup of bananas has 537 milligrams of potassium. (The daily recommended amount for adults is 3,500 milligrams.) Avocados are also high in fiber which supports digestion and weight loss, making you feel fuller longer. One study suggests that avocados can make you feel full for up to 6 hours after consumption, so eating the fruit during lunch is a smart way to avoid running to the pantry for a cookie or any unwanted guilty pleasure.

This recipe also calls for apple cider vinegar, a strong acidic tasting liquid made from fermented apples that create an umami flavor mixed with tahini and other savory flavors. Not only does ACV help bring out the flavors in this bowl, but also provides health benefits including, according to this study helping your body burn fat and keep blood sugar steady.

Aside from all the health benefits from these superfoods, the taste of this bowl is extremely satisfying. You'll love the creamy crunch of chickpeas covered in an umami-flavored tahini dressing combined with the crisp kale and a touch of nutty quinoa. When you eat all these flavors in one bowl, eating healthy becomes a happy routine.

Recipe Developer: Britt Berlin, @the_bananadiaries

Prep: 2 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes

Quinoa Chickpea Grain Bowl

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup dry quinoa
  • ½ cup chickpeas
  • ½ cup shredded red cabbage
  • 2 cups kale
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • ½ avocado, sliced
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • ½ tsp water
  • ¼ tsp garlic
  • ¼ tsp sea salt

Instructions

  1. Bring the water to a boil, and add in the dry quinoa. Cook the quinoa for 15 minutes on low heat.
  2. Reduce the heat, and cover. Turn the heat off, and allow the quinoa to steam in the pot for 15 minutes.
  3. When the quinoa is cooked, you can build the bowl! Add the kale to a large bowl. Top with olive oil and apple cider vinegar, and massage the kale for 5 minutes to soften.
  4. Add in the chickpeas, red cabbage, and avocado.
  5. Prepare the tahini dressing. Use a small whisk to whisk the tahini, water, garlic, and sea salt in a bowl. Drizzle on top of the salad and enjoy!