Mediterranean Vegan Bowl
This Mediterranean Vegan Bowl is full of colorful veggies and nutritious grains and legumes, a power lunch for even the hungriest carnivores.
I first read the term “vegan-curious” on the back of Angela Liddon’s new cookbook, The Oh She Glows Cookbook. Vegan-curious? Yes, that definitely describes me. I am not a vegan, but I do love food of all kinds, and I’m always interested in learning more. I ordered Angela’s cookbook on the recommendation of my friend Alisha (thanks, Lishy!) and have been drooling over the creative recipes and gorgeous food photography ever since. After trying Angela’s Big Vegan Bowl from her blog, I decided to strike out and create my own, a Mediterranean Vegan Bowl. It’s simple to make, delicious to eat, and bursting with nutrition in every bite.
I chose ingredients that fit the Mediterranean theme but also cover a variety of fun colors. I find it so much easier to eat healthful food when it’s pretty, don’t you? I started with a layer of arugula on the bottom (substitute the greens of your choice, or leave them out entirely), followed by sections of different vegetables, roasted chickpeas, tri-color quinoa, and rich Kalamata olives artfully arranged around the edge of the bowl. A dollop of hummus completes this masterpiece.
I love the idea of roasting chickpeas. It converts a canned, slimy bean into a crunchy treat. Adapting Angela’s method, I dried the rinsed chickpeas on towels and then tossed them with olive oil, garlic powder, dried basil, salt, and pepper. 30 minutes later, I had a sheet of fragrant, golden chickpeas perfect for snacking or, in my case, for adorning a salad.
I used Persian cucumbers which have thin skins and small seeds (they are also 5″ to 6″ in length with a diameter of a fifty-cent piece). If you are substituting a regular grocery store cucumber, you may want to peel it, cut it in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. English (hot house) cucumbers tend to have pretty thin skins as well, so you could also look for that variety.
Quinoa is a great choice for any meal because of the high protein content (among other things). I used a tri-color version from Trader Joe’s and microwaved it in minutes. So easy! For the hummus, feel free to use store-bought, or try my easy Homemade Hummus recipe.
A lunch this pretty should be shared, so this platter is big enough for 2. Isn’t vegan food amazing?
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Mediterranean Vegan Bowl
Yield: 2 servings
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1 can chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and dried, skins discarded
- ¼ tsp. garlic powder
- ¼ tsp. dried basil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ½ c. uncooked quinoa, rinsed
- 1 c. water
- 1 to 2 c. packed arugula
- 1 c. grape tomatoes, halved
- 2 Persian or other thin-skinned cucumbers, halved lengthwise and chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
- ½ c. pitted Kalamata olives
- ¼ c. homemade or purchased hummus
- Move an oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil or a silicone mat.
- In a small bowl, toss chickpeas with olive oil, garlic powder, basil, ¼ tsp. salt, and 1/8 tsp. pepper. Spread in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 30 minutes, stirring the chickpeas and rotating the baking sheet halfway through. Remove from the oven and cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, combine quinoa and water in a small microwave-safe bowl. Cover; microwave for 4 minutes on high. Remove from microwave, stir, and heat again for 2 minutes longer. Stir and let stand 1 minute in the microwave.
- To assemble the salad, layer the arugula in the bottom of a bowl or on a platter. Arrange the grape tomato halves, cucumbers, bell pepper, olives, chickpeas, and quinoa in sections around the bowl.
- Spoon the hummus in the middle of the bowl and serve.