This post should really be titled “my internal conflict about the concept of a recipe continues with this grain bowl.” I feel like the whole point of a grain bowl is to make a delicious and healthy meal out of whatever you have on hand. It’s definitely a meal prepper’s dream meal. There are plenty of people who cook and freeze big batches of lots of healthy grains and always have some on hand, and if you’re into grain bowls that’s a great way to go. Or, if you weren’t able to think ahead and need to get dinner on the table fast, you can buy lots of healthy grains frozen and ready to microwave in under five minutes (shout out to Trader Joe’s). That makes it crazy easy to quickly cook up whatever proteins and veggies you have on hand and throw together to make this trendy meal. So seriously, you don’t need a recipe.
For those of you who love recipes, don’t worry, it’s included at the end; but here’s the thing, please take it as a suggestion as opposed to an end all be all of how this grain bowl should be made. In fact, if you’re looking for further inspiration, Food 52 published an amazing guide to building your perfect grain bowl without a recipe and you should absolutely check it out!
Alright let’s talk about this grain bowl. I actually didn’t meal prep any of this and it still came together so quickly and easily. I got in my car after work and per usual, Google maps knows me too well and gave me the traffic time to get to Trader Joe’s. Naturally, they knew where I was headed. I went in there knowing only that I wanted to make a grain bowl and that I wanted either a Mexican or Mediterranean vibe. I strolled through the grains aisle and was so stoked to see the Harvest Grains Blend that ended up being the base and inspiration for this dish. I mean, Israeli couscous, orzo, baby chickpeas, AND red quinoa all in one bag AND cooked in ten minutes? Sold.
That base gave me a Mediterranean feel so I grabbed some tahini, lemon, and feta. At that point it was just picking out a protein and a couple veggies so I went with my favorites. I headed home and had dinner on the table in under an hour with tons of healthy ingredients and I had lunch for the next two days. I think I sense an obsession with grain bowls coming on, anyone else?
This super easy grain bowl is a meal prepper's dream loaded up with healthy grains, lean protein, and tons of veggies.
- 2 cups of your favorite grains or mix of grains cooked according to package instructions
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts butterflied
- 1 cup brussels sprouts halved
- 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin olive oil divided
- 1 tsp garlic powder divided
- 1 tsp dried cumin
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 1/2 cup water
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 4 cloves garlic roughly chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup micro greens or your favorite salad mix
- 2 oz feta crumbled
- 1/4 cup kalamata olives halved
- Lemon wedges for serving
Preheat the oven to 400º F and line two large sheet pans with parchment paper.
On one sheet pan, toss the brussels sprouts with 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, salt, and pepper. On the second sheet pan, coat the chicken breasts with cumin, salt, pepper, and the remaining olive oil and garlic powder. Place both sheet pans in the oven and cook for 10 minutes.
In a food processor or blender, combine the tahini, water, lemon, garlic, salt, and pepper. Blend until combined. Thin with additional water if desired.
When the chicken and brussels sprouts are cooked, remove from the oven and let cool. Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces.
Assemble the bowls. Start with your grain base and top with chicken, brussels sprouts, micro greens, olives, and feta. Drizzle with tahini dressing and garnish with a lemon wedge.