Mediterranean Quinoa Bowls with Tahini Dressing

Bowls. Bowls. Bowls. Everywhere you look there are bowls of food artistically arranged with an endless variety of ingredients. Acai bowls, poke bowls, and smoothie bowls are the hot dining trend of 2017 as plates are traded in for the round vessels. Mediterranean Quinoa Bowls with Tahini Dressing are one take on the eating style that is taking diners by storm.

The preparation of the Greek salad inspired meal-in-a-bowl focuses more on assembly than cooking. The base of each single serving is the nutritional powerhouse that is quinoa. A nutty tasting seed that is often mistaken as a grain, quinoa is a complete protein that contains all nine essential amino acids. Loaded with fiber, iron, lysine, magnesium, riboflavin, and manganese makes the superfood an ideal addition to a healthy diet.

Cooking a batch of quinoa is as easy as preparing a pot of rice. Put equal amounts of quinoa and water (or stock for extra flavor) in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover the pot and set a timer for 15 minutes. The mild flavored quinoa is ready when all the water or stock has been absorbed and it is light and fluffy in texture.

Mediterranean Quinoa Bowls with Tahini Dressing feature many ingredients that are included in a traditional Greek salad. Olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, and feta cheese are joined by artichoke hearts, and a homemade dressing made with tahini. Made from ground sesame seeds, tahini is similar to nut butters like peanut butter or almond butter. It is slightly thinner in texture and has a roasted, nutty taste.

Don’t be surprised when the dressing thickens to peanut butter consistency before whisking in the hot water. After the water is fully incorporated, it will thin to dressing that will drizzle effortlessly over the picturesque meal in a bowl.

Let Mediterranean Quinoa Bowls with Tahini Dressing spark your culinary creativity. Add grilled chicken, tofu or shrimp for extra protein.  Swap out the quinoa and try farro or barley. Creamy chunks of avocado, shredded kale or crisp slices of green pepper are possible vegetable embellishments. The creation of a meal in a bowl is only limited by your imagination.

Mediterranean Quinoa Bowls with Tahini Dressing
Author: 
Recipe type: entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • For the 1 cup quinoa bowls ~
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock or water
  • 2 cups baby spinach, packed
  • 1 (14-ounce) can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1 (9.5-ounce) jar Kalamata olives, drained
  • 1 cup feta cheese, cubed
  • 1 English cucumber, medium diced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup parsley, finely chopped
  • For tahini dressing ~
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • Juice of 1 lemon, about 2 tablespoons
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 tablespoons hot water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a small pot, place the quinoa and the stock or water. Place over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cover the pan. Cook for 15 minutes or until the stock or water is absorbed and the quinoa is light and fluffy. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. To assemble the quinoa bowls, place about 1 cup in each of 4 shallow bowls. Divide the spinach, artichoke hearts, olives, feta cheese, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, red onion, and parsley evenly among each of the 4 bowls.
  3. To make the dressing, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, honey, and oregano. Add the hot water 1 tablespoon at a time. Continue whisking until the water is incorporated into the dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Drizzle the dressing over the quinoa bowls. Serve.
Notes
Recipe by Amy Casey ~ 2016

© 2016 amycaseycooks
www.amycaseycooks.com

 

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