A filling, but light, vegetarian quinoa Buddha bowl with a tangy lemon-tahini dressing!
We don’t always do the #MeatlessMonday vegetarian night each week, but I do try and make it a regular occurrence around here. We’re definitely meat eaters, but it’s nice to mix things up now and then.
I love using a quinoa recipe for these vegetarian meals because it’s packed with protein and great nutrition. Add in some chickpeas and you’ve got a very hearty bowl – makes my husband feel like he’s having a substantial dinner, not just rabbit food.
I’ve topped our Buddha bowls with some sauteed peppers, carrot strips and chopped spinach – in other words, things I almost always have in my fridge. This is a dinner that I could put together pretty much anytime, as I keep these ingredients stocked regularly. The sky is the limit, however, and you can customize this however you like and with whatever vegetables you have on hand. I’ve got a few specific ideas for variations below the recipe.
Plus, this is a nice and quick dinner. Sometimes I feel like vegetarian dinners are so much more time consuming and involved. Not the case here. While the quinoa is cooking, chop and saute your veggies, shake up your dressing and then throw it all together. It’s a 15-minute meal!
And you are going to love this creamy lemon-tahini dressing, which has a nice tangy note that pairs really well with the quinoa, chickpeas and vegetables. A good balance of flavors and textures running through these bowls.
(Also check out my brown rice Buddha bowl – it’s got chicken (optional), edamame, veggies and an awesome soy ginger dressing.)
Try this healthy, hearty quinoa recipe for your next vegetarian night. Enjoy!
For the Buddha bowl:
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 large red or yellow bell pepper or 4-6 mixed smaller sweet peppers, cut into thin strips
- 1 14 oz. can chick peas, rinsed and drained (or 1 bag crock pot chick peas)
- 3 medium carrots, peeled into thin strips
- 2 heaping cups spinach, roughly chopped
For the lemon-tahini dressing:
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons tahini (a sesame seed paste)
- 2 tablespoons water, divided
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
For the Buddha bowl:
- Cook the quinoa according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a medium sized pan over medium-high heat. Add the peppers and saute for 3-4 minutes, until softened.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the chick peas and carrots. This helps warm them through. Just before serving, stir in the spinach (you don’t want it to cook or wilt, just to combine with the other veggies).
For the dressing:
- Whisk together lemon juice, tahini, one tablespoon of the water, soy sauce, garlic, cayenne (if using) and salt and pepper. (Or add them all to a small jar or container and shake it up.)
- Add up to the additional tablespoon of water if needed for the right consistency. (This will depend on how thick or runny your tahini is.)
Assemble the bowls:
- Divide quinoa between four bowls. Top with sautéed peppers, chick peas, carrots and spinach.
- Drizzle dressing over everything and enjoy!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 373Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 615mgCarbohydrates: 61gFiber: 15gSugar: 14gProtein: 18g
* Saute some cremini mushrooms or snap peas (along with the peppers) to add to this quinoa recipe. You could also add in some steamed, sauteed or roasted broccoli or cauliflower to really ramp up the veggies here.
* You can add some cooked chicken or shrimp if you don’t want to go vegetarian.
* Try topping your Buddha bowl with chopped peanuts or cashews for a little extra crunch.