The quinoa-bowl, rice-bowl meal concept is hot right now, and for good reason(s). For one, any of us can toss together a simple mixture of quinoa, veggies, a protein, and top it off with a light dressing, nuts, or avocado. Therein lies the magic: a pretty complete meal, no hassle, very little prep-work, and it tastes delicious!
Especially in Rochester, NY there are at least a few restaurants offering this type of meal regularly. I can think of at least The Red Fern and CoreLife Eatery off the top of my head. But this type of meal can also be made at home with very little on-the-spot effort...just a little bit of thinking and planning ahead.
I've found lately that I am regularly recommending this meal idea to clients - not only as a means of eating healthier - but also as an opportunity to teach others how to put together healthy meals quickly and with a little bit of preparation for a week in advance.
Here I'll lay out a few simple steps to help you take on this concept of "grain bowl" in the convenience of your own home! ;)
Step 1: Cook the Grain(s) and/or Beans/Lentils
This is a sure-fire way to have plenty of healthy, nutrient-dense, complex-carbohydrate foods on hand in your refrigerator throughout the week.
At the start of your week (or whenever, if ever, you have a major meal-prep day), cook up 1-2 cups (dry) of your grain du jour. To cook the grain, rinse under warm water, then place in pot with twice the amount of (filtered) water. Place on stove top, add one heaping tablespoon of coconut oil or butter, one teaspoon of sea salt, bring to a boil and then let simmer until all water is absorbed and grain is tender. Cooking should take about 20-30 minutes, depending on the grain.
You can cook lentils the same way. And alternatively, you could cook any of these in vegetable or meat broth instead of water.
If you want to cook beans, you'll have to soak the