Build Your Own Veggie Bowl


Mixed greens, quinoa, chickpeas, tomatoes, tofu, tahini, avocado, nutritional yeast and lemon

Mixed greens, chickpeas, quinoa, leftover chicken, green beans, artichokes, avocado, hummus, nutritional yeast and oo

Here it is! The ultimate recipe for creating your very own veggie bowl - similar to a salad but full of healthy choices like quinoa, wild rice, watercress, tofu or chicken - the choice is yours! The bowl consists of choosing from a selection of whole grains, legumes, greens, veggies, protein and additional goodies, all designed to provide you with a bowl full of nutrients and health benefits.

This is a great recipe to keep on hand if you are experimenting with new foods and flavors and if you want to throw together a quick lunch to pack for work. You can cook a batch of one of the grains at the beginning of your week and re-use the grain multiple times with different veggies or canned beans so you’re not always eating the same thing.

To keep up with a healthy diet its a great idea to keep almost all of these foods on hand except for the fresh vegetables - those you can purchase as needed. In our house, we almost always have whole grains like quinoa, a variety of canned beans, nuts, seeds, and lemons and limes on hand. About once a week we shop for fresh produce, and we always try and switch it up. After a while you really get the hang of throwing together an incredible veggie bowl that looks and tastes restaurant-worthy!

This build-your-own recipe is for one serving (which comes out to 2 cups or more). It’s a pretty large serving, but it will keep you full in-between lunch and dinner, provide you with a ton of different nutrients and antioxidants, and will stabilize your blood sugar levels - all which will reduce cravings!

Build Your Own Veggie Bowl

  • Choose one whole grain (1/4 - 1/2 cup) 

    quinoa, barley, freekeh, bulgur, farro, millet, wild rice, buckwheat

  • Choose one legume (1/4 - 1/2 cup) 

    black beans, chickpeas, kidney, cannellini, black eyed peas, pinto, navy, or lentils (any kind).

    One tip - if you are going to choose canned beans or lentils, make sure to purchase ‘organic and no salt-added brands’!

  • Choose one leafy green (1 - 2 cups) 

    spinach, mixed lettuce, romaine, arugula, watercress, dandelion, kale, beet greens, collard greens

  • Choose two veggies (about 4 – 6 ounces, except as noted) 

    artichokes (packed in water in glass jars), asparagus, beans sprouts, bell peppers, brussels sprouts, chives (1/4 cup), onions (1/4 cup), carrots, cauliflower (raw or lightly steamed), beets (1/4 to ½ cup), broccoli, cabbage (red, Napa, green), celery, roasted eggplant, endive, fennel, green beans, hearts of palm (packed in water in glass jars), mushrooms, radicchio, radishes, snap beans, snow peas, summer squash, sprouts, tomatoes, zucchini

  • Choose one protein (4 to 6 ounces - about the size of a deck of cards for meat and the size of a checkbook for fish)

    Tofu, tempeh, hard-boiled eggs (2), cooked shrimp, seitan, grass-fed chicken (baked or roasted, skinless), salmon, veggie burger, leftover chicken or seafood from dinner

  • Optional: Choose one or two (1 tbsp) 

    avocado (1/4 cup), hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, dried fruit, tahini, hummus, nutritional yeast, olives (1/4 cup)

  • Optional starchy vegetables: Choose 1 (1/4 - 1/2 cup) 

    sweet potatoes, corn, green peas, pumpkin, plantains, yucca, acorn squash, butternut squash

  • Extras and dressings: 

    lemon, lime, herbs (fresh cilantro, parsley, mint, dill, oregano, basil), salsa, extra virgin olive oil (1/2 tbsp), apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar; if using a store-bought dressing, be sure to stick to the serving size and then add lemon or vinegar

    Hint - vitamin C rich foods (many of the veggies, lemon, lime, and salsa) help with the iron absorption from the grains and legumes, while healthy fat sources (avocado, nuts/seeds, or small amounts of olive oil) will help with the absorption of antioxidants found in the grains and veggies! Keep that in mind!

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