One of my favorite dietitian bloggers is McKel from Nutrition Stripped. A dish that she often talks about is the “nourish bowl” which is a combination of super foods combined in a bowl with a carbohydrate, healthy fat, and protein. The intention is to make a nutritious meal that can be served in a single bowl. I love this concept and find myself doing it often! (Check out this Italian tempeh kale stir fry for example.)
The inspiration for this meal in a bowl (ie. “simply wholesome” bowl) came when I tried chimichurri sauce for the first time at this new empanada place down the street from us. After dipping my empanadas in that deliciousness, I knew I had to try making it for myself at home! Chimichurri reminds me of pesto with a Mexican flare. Basil is replaced with fresh parsley and cilantro and a healthy dose of vinegar adds a bit of tang. I think I may just start putting it on almost everything! Since chimichurri goes well with Mexican foods, the rest of the food in this bowl reflected those flavors.
As you can see, this bowl is chock full of healthy roasted vegetables, red quinoa, black beans, and queso fresco. If you don’t feel like heating the house up with the oven, simply grill the vegetables. Make this bowl vegan by leaving off the queso fresco at the end.
This bowl is a complete meal on its own that is loaded with healthy nutrients.
- Black beans are an important food for vegetarians and vegans because they are a good source of nutrients normally concentrated in animal based foods like protein, calcium, vitamin B6, magnesium, and iron. A serving of beans also provides up to 20% of the recommended daily intake for fiber which has been strongly correlated to lowered risk of colon cancer.
- Herbs like parsley and cilantro used in the chimichurri are high in antioxidants and Vitamins A and K.
- Olive oil is mainly monounsaturated fat which may be healthier for your heart and provides other important fat soluble vitamins like Vitamin E and K.
- Quinoa, like black beans, is high in protein, vitamin B6, magnesium and iron. These little seeds are also packed full of fiber and antioxidants.
- For the Nourish Bowl:
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 zucchinis
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 ear corn
- 1 sweet potato
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Pinch of Salt and Pepper
- 1 (15-oz) can black beans, rinsed well
- 2 ounces queso fresco
- For the Chimichurri:
- 1 cup fresh parsley
- ½ cup olive oil
- ⅓ cup rice wine vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
- 3 cloves garlic
- ½ cup cilantro
- ¾ teaspoon ground red pepper (adjust to your spice preference)
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- Dash of salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Chop vegetables into evenly sized pieces (about ¼"). Toss in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Pour onto a cookie sheet and spread into a single layer. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until tender.
- While the veggies are roasting, heat quinoa and broth in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and then cover. Continue to simmer for 20-25 minutes or until broth has been absorbed.
- For the chimichurri - combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until it resembles a pesto.
- To assemble your nourish bowls, layer quinoa, black beans, veggies, cheese, and chimichurri together.
- The bowl is great served warm just after cooking or toss everything, portion, and chill in individual containers for work. So yummy!