This easy-to-put-together Spring Abundance Bowl is a vegetarian and gluten-free recipe made up of quinoa, French du Puy lentils, Chioggia beets, avocado, goat cheese and homemade Meyer lemon and shallot dressing.
Last Saturday, after ignoring the scale for over a month, I finally found the courage to weigh myself. The number on the scale was not a surprise and explained why my pants have been feeling a little tighter than usual. I knew I gained some weight but didn’t realize that it was that much. Admittedly, between the moving and staying (and eating) in a hotel, we haven’t been eating the healthiest food. Although I was grateful, I knew something needed to be done. Since my husband was on the same boat, he and I decided to cut down the sweets and eat homemade healthy meals at home until we get back down to our ideal weight. So this easy-to-make Spring Abundance Bowl is what we have been eating for the last few days.
Let’s talk about the concept of an “abundance bowl”. If you were into healthy and clean eating like I am, you would know that the Internet is full of similar recipes. People call them different names like glow bowls, rainbow veggie bowls, Buddha bowls, etc. The idea is to fill a large bowl with healthy grains, legumes, fresh greens, and whatever fresh vegetable is in season (or you have in your fridge). The colorful it is, the better. Though they are mostly vegan or vegetarian, some people (mostly fitness enthusiasts) also add animal protein like grilled chicken or turkey breast. Most people also finish it with simple homemade vinaigrette.
About This Spring Abundance Bowl Recipe:
For this recipe, I followed the same principle: Tri-color quinoa and French du Puy lentils mixed in with pea shoots, avocado slices and thinly sliced colorful beets, and drizzled it with shallot and Meyer Lemon vinaigrette. I called it the Spring Abundance Bowl as I was able to find Chioggia beets and Meyer lemons in our farmer’s market.
What are Chioggia Beets?
If you have never had Chioggia beets, I cannot recommend them enough. They are an Italian heirloom from the Venetian region that has red and white rings and turns pink when they are cooked. They taste sweeter almost candy-like similar to the way they look. In this recipe, I sliced them thinly and served raw as a garnish for my bowl. However, if you are not a fan of raw beets you can also steam them.
If you decide to do so, simply steam them over simmering water, covered, until they are fork tender but still firm when pierced with a knife, about 20-30 minutes depending on the size. Once they are cooled, you can slice them and use as garnish in this or any other recipe that you like.
The Meyer Lemon and Shallot Vinaigrette:
To me, there is nothing more spring-y than Meyer lemons. They are sweeter than regular lemons and pair up so well with onions. To finish my bowl, I made a quick vinaigrette by whisking together freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice with shallots, Dijon mustard, and olive oil. We both thought that it completed the bowl and gave it a nice tangy flavor.
If you can’t find Meyer lemons, you can substitute it with regular lemons. However, know that the vinaigrette will be less sweet.
After years of writing a food blog, I learned to be very careful with calling things “healthy”, “the best”, “quick”, etc. as those terms may mean different things to different people. However, for me, this Spring Abundance Bowl is one of those recipes that define healthy and clean eating as it uses the best of what the season offers without compromising any flavors. Not to mention, it is so easy to put together and a perfect recipe to try if you new to this concept.
Spring Abundance Bowl
For The Meyer Lemon and Shallot Dressing:
- 1 shallot peeled and minced
- Zest of 1 Meyer lemon or regular lemon
- 1 ½ tablespoon Meyer lemon juice freshly squeezed
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
For The Bowl:
- 1 cup quinoa rinsed well
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup French du Puy lentils picked over and rinsed
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 small bay leaf
- 4 ounces goat cheese crumbled
- 1 ripe avocado cut into small cubes
- 1 cup pea shoots or arugula or any other greens you can get
- 1 small yellow or Chioggia beet thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon hemp Seeds optional
- To make the dressing: Mix together all the ingredients in a jar (or bowl), cover with a lid, and let it sit in the fridge while you are working on getting the bowl ingredients ready.
- To make the quinoa: Place quinoa in a small saucepan (with a tight fitting lid) with 1 ¾ cup water and salt over medium-high heat. Bring it to a boil and turn down the heat to low. Put the lid on and cook until all the water is absorbed, 12-14 minutes.
- To cook the lentils: Place lentils in a small saucepan. Cover with two inches of water. Add in the garlic and bay leaf. Cook for 20-25 minutes over medium heat. Fish out the bay leaf and garlic, drain, and set aside.
- To assemble: Divide the warm quinoa and lentils amongst 4 bowls. Top each bowl with goat cheese, avocado, and pea shoots. Drizzle with the dressing. Garnish with a few slices of beets and sprinkle with hemp seeds, if using. Serve immediately.