Quinoa Bowls…Pass it On


When I find something great, I can’t wait to pass it on!
We have a new favorite meal at our house that I have been wanting to share with you for several weeks.  These early dark dinner hours have made it really hard to capture the meal in photos in order to post it.  So, this weekend I made it for Saturday lunch so that I could get photos with natural light.

This meal, Quinoa Bowls, was generously made for our family by my friend Maureen, while Dave was out of the country several weeks ago. It was so delicious, we all devoured it.  She had gotten the idea from Lane, when they and their husbands had eaten together a while back.  So, thank you Lane and thank you Maureen for passing it along!

after meal Jenga
after meal fire in a real fire place

I wondered  if it just tasted so good because I didn’t make it and it was so special to have someone cook for me and my kids, or if it was the loving company.  My mom has always said, “It’s the company that seasons the meal.” I believe this is true.

That being said, I have since made it for my family several times and they love it.  So I think it’s a great meal regardless of whether it’s with special company or just everyday family members.

It’s really more of a “concept” than a recipe, as you can adapt it anyway you like to make it as simple or elaborate as you want!

There are some WARM ELEMENTS and some COLD ELEMENTS.
The point is that you make the warm ingredients and prepare/chop the cold toppings and then set it out to pile in bowls and devour.  It’s build your own bowl.

For the Warm- 
Quinoa- start with this.  If you have a rice cooker, you can use it to make your quinoa, if not, just make it on a pot on the stovetop.  Just make it according to the package.  Portion-wise: I would suggest 1 cup dry for every 4 portions.  For my family of 5, who usually returns for seconds, I usually make 2 cups dry.

Black Beans– I usually open cans of black beans, rinse and drain beans.  Add a little water and season with kosher salt, cumin, garlic powder, and Cholula (or Tabasco) to taste.  Place on medium heat and stir until warm, turn heat down to low and stir occasionally. 

Kale– This is the last step of the process.  Sauté a couple of cloves of fresh garlic in a Tbsp. of olive oil in a skillet.  After a couple of minutes add roughly chopped/torn raw kale.  Stir around occasionally until kale is wilted, and soft but not mushy.  It shrinks drastically.




If you have carnivores that can’t handle a meatless meal, or if you just want to add another element- We have warmed chicken sausage (sliced and browned on the skillet) to add to our bowls.  If you want to go meatless, you can forgo this! 

For the Cold
Green Onion– thinly slice

Cilantro– wash and pluck leaves off


Limes– dice (to squeeze on top of the bowls)


Tomatoes– dice

Then just line it all up, put out a stack of deep bowls and spoons and let people pile their own creation.

The other night when we had this for dinner, we were discussing what ingredient was the “most essential” and we really couldn’t decide (or agree).  We’ll let you be the judge- but something about the flavor combination is just right.

(Sprinkle some salt and pepper on top- and Hot Sauce if that’s your style.)

I love meals where you can make a bar and people can fix it like they wish, and I really love a meal that is comforting and nourishing and beautiful!

Here is the line up at my house:

The Asher
The Julie


The Lainey


The Dave


The Lucy

Speaking of passing it on, and speaking of comforting, nourishing and beautiful…

Several weeks ago, I saw via Instagram that our very talented artist and designer friends, Jay and Kristi Smith, had designed and produced a spiritual/therapeutic coloring book!  I was so excited to hear about it and wanted to get a few for Christmas gifts.  I emailed Kristi to ask her the best way to purchase a few and she ended up coming by the house to bring some for me to buy.  She said she had heard about the CD, Amazing Love,  that Dave had produced for our church’s 5th Anniversary and wanted to buy one.  So, they came and we made the transaction. It’s beautiful and I can’t wait to get my pens and pencils in it!   It is beautiful, spiritually encouraging and therapeutic!

(If you need any last minute Christmas gifts- both this album and this coloring book are lovely!)

Click here to view their blog and read about the story behind the Coloring Book.

Wishing you health, beauty and comfort this season.

5 thoughts on “Quinoa Bowls…Pass it On

  1. Lea G says:

    I made a quinoa bowl tonight in hopes of copying something similar to a chain here called Maki Fresh while using some sale produce. Used quinoa, diced & roasted sweet potato, lightly sautéed sugar snap peas, & some teriyaki chicken from the crock pot. Divine.


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