Skip The Salad For One Of These Easy Lunch Bowls

Photo: Courtesy of Lauren Conrad.
All of us here at Team LC know just as well as the next working girl how important it is to have a healthy yet filling lunch to bring into the office. Preparing the same old salad for months might seem like a healthy routine, but we can guarantee you won’t be excited to open that brown paper bag after a while.
On the other hand, indulging in catered work lunches on a weekly basis is delicious, but pastas and pizzas will definitely start to take a toll on your waistline. The solution? Homemade earth bowls. The term earth bowl was new to us before chef Marlene Bernstein of Savour This Kitchen told us about these fresh takes on a traditional salad. Needless to say, we were sold.
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Both of these earth bowl recipes are satisfying and easy to make ahead and bring into the office. They’re also great options for whipping up a healthy and light dinner. It’s time to give your standard salad a makeover, ladies…
2Photo: Courtesy of Lauren Conrad.
Harvest Quinoa Earth Bowl
Ingredients
1 1/2 cups – 2 cups cooked quinoa
1/4 cup carrots, julienned
1/4 cup tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
1/4 cup broccoli, blanched and sliced
1/4 cup kidney beans
1/8 cup sliced red onion
For the dressing
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup tahini
1/8 cup lemon juice
1/2 tsp fresh thyme
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 garlic clove, grated
salt and pepper
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Instructions
1. For the quinoa: In a pot over medium heat bring 1 cup of quinoa and 2 cups of seasoned vegetable stock to a boil (Remember that however your liquid tastes is how your grain will taste). Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook covered until all water is absorbed. (approximately 12-15 minutes). When done, remove from heat and keep covered.
2. To blanch your broccoli: Bring two cups of salted water to a boil. Prepare an ice bath to cool the broccoli after cooking. Cut broccoli into 1-inch pieces and then drop into boiling water. Cook for approximately 2 minutes until bright green and tender but still firm. Remove from boiling water and drop into ice bath to stop the cooking process. Drain and then cut broccoli into thin pieces lengthwise.
3. Assembly: Place your quinoa on the bottom of your bowl. Layer your carrots, tomatoes, broccoli, kidney beans, and sliced red onions on top of the quinoa.
4. Making the harvest dressing: Add all dressing ingredients in a blender and pulse. Then, drizzle bowl with dressing.
3Photo: Courtesy of Lauren Conrad.
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Seared Ahi Tuna Earth Bowl
Ingredients
4 oz seared ahi tuna, sliced
1 1/2 – 2 cups of quinoa
1/8 cup peanuts
1/4 cup carrots, julienned
1/4 cup shelled edamame
1/8 cup red onion, sliced thin
1/4 of an avocado, sliced
1/2 tsp fresh thyme, fine chop
chives (for garnish)
For the dressing
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp honey
1/4 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp sesame seeds
1/2 garlic clove, grated
salt and pepper
Instructions
1. For the quinoa: In a pot over medium heat bring 1 cup of quinoa and 2 cups of seasoned vegetable stock to a boil (Remember that however your liquid tastes is how your grain will taste). Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook covered until all water is absorbed. (approximately 12-15 minutes). When done, remove from heat and keep covered.
2. Sear your ahi tuna: Coat your sauté pan with olive oil and bring to high heat. Season your fresh, sushi-grade ahi tuna with salt, pepper and 1/2 tsp of fresh fine chopped thyme. Lay ahi tuna in the pan for about 1 minute per side, forming a nice crust on both sides, but not cooking the ahi tuna entirely through. You want the sear to be as even as possible. Once cooked, remove the ahi tuna from pan and allow to rest. Slice into 1/4 in thick strips to fan out over bowl.
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3. Assembly: Place your quinoa on the bottom of your bowl. Layer your peanuts, carrots, edamame, red onion, avocado, ahi tuna and chives on top of the quinoa.
4. To make the dressing, add all dressing ingredients in a blender and pulse. Then, drizzle your bowl with dressing.
Tip: You can easily make these dishes ahead of time. Pack it for work or have one ready for dinner by simply keeping the dressing separate to avoid making the ingredients soggy. Just add the dressing right before you eat!
If you love fish or sushi, the ahi tuna bowl above is for you. And, if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, try the harvest quinoa bowl! They’re both delicious and a great way to get lots of veggies and nutrients into your diet.
What will you add to your earth bowl?
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Let us know how you will customize yours in the comments below.
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