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July Recipe: Summer Veggie Quinoa Bowl

July Recipe: Summer Veggie Quinoa Bowl

Beat the Heat with Flavor: Summer Veggie Quinoa Bowl

The summer sun is shining, and the last thing you want to do is spend hours in a hot kitchen. But that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice healthy eating! This vibrant and delicious Summer Veggie Quinoa Bowl, created by our very own Licensed Dietician & Certified Nutrition Specialist Renee Slonaker, MS, LDN, CNS, is the perfect solution.

Packed with fresh, seasonal ingredients and bursting with flavor, this bowl is a nutritional powerhouse. It’s also incredibly easy to make, requiring just three simple steps: cook the quinoa, chop the veggies, and combine everything in a bowl!

Let’s dive deeper into the deliciousness (and health benefits) of this recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Nutritional Powerhouse:

This seemingly simple recipe packs a powerful punch when it comes to nutrition. Here’s a breakdown of some key ingredients and their benefits according to the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference [1]:

  • Quinoa: This ancient grain is considered a complete protein source, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids your body needs. It’s also a good source of fiber, iron, and magnesium.
  • Romaine Lettuce: This leafy green is low in calories and provides essential vitamins A, C, and K.
  • Veggie Powerhouse: The trio of cucumber, tomato, and yellow bell pepper adds a refreshing crunch and vibrant color to the bowl. Cucumbers are high in water content and provide essential electrolytes, while tomatoes are rich in vitamins A and C, and yellow bell peppers are a great source of vitamin C and antioxidants.
  • Chickpeas: These legumes are a fantastic source of plant-based protein and fiber, keeping you feeling fuller for longer. They also contribute iron, folate, and phosphorus to your diet.
  • Feta Cheese: A sprinkle of feta adds a creamy and tangy flavor to the bowl, providing a small amount of calcium and protein.
  • Fresh Herbs: Parsley and basil add a burst of freshness and essential vitamins and minerals to the dish.
  • Lemon-Olive Oil Dressing: This light and tangy dressing keeps the whole dish flavorful and healthy. Olive oil provides healthy fats, while lemon juice adds vitamin C and a refreshing touch.

Easy as 1-2-3!

As promised, this recipe truly is a breeze to prepare. It is also super customizable by using the veggies you already have growing in your garden or at your local farmer’s market! Here’s how to make it:

  1. Cook the quinoa: Rinse the quinoa according to package instructions and cook in water or broth for 15-20 minutes, or until fluffy.
  2. Chop the veggies: While the quinoa cooks, dice the cucumber, tomato, and yellow bell pepper. Chop the romaine lettuce and fresh herbs.
  3. Combine and garnish: In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, chopped romaine lettuce, vegetables, chickpeas, feta cheese, and fresh herbs. Drizzle with the lemon-olive oil dressing, season with salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy!

Tips:

  • Make a big batch of quinoa at the beginning of the week and store it in the refrigerator for quick and easy meal prep.
  • Feel free to customize the vegetables to your liking. Other options include shredded carrots, zucchini, or chopped broccoli.
  • Add a protein boost with grilled chicken, shrimp, or tofu.
  • For a vegan option, omit the feta cheese and use a vegan-friendly dressing.

This Summer Veggie Quinoa Bowl is a delicious and nutritious way to embrace the flavors of summer. With its simplicity and versatility, it’s sure to become a regular on your healthy meal rotation.

Enjoy, and stay cool!

 

 

Source:

[1] USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: https://agdatacommons.nal.usda.gov/articles/dataset/USDA_National_Nutrient_Database_for_Standard_Reference_Legacy_Release/24661818

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