Are you looking for some easy and healthy lunch menu ideas? A complete meal in a bowl for lunch is always something I adore. This veggie bowl is packed with proteins, fibers, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Quinoa and chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans) give two different nutty flavors that come together adding interest and activity in the mouth. Adding some fresh dill sautéed cherry tomato and zucchini squash make this lunch absolutely elegant and irresistible.
Although there are many ingredients in this recipe, they are not hard to find in a one-stop shopping trip to the grocery store. It took approximately 45 minutes to prepare this recipe, but the good thing is that this recipe can be prepared ahead of time. When it is time to pack your lunch bag and go to work, you can just grab some quinoa veggie from the prepared lunch bowl and a bag of roasted chickpeas. I like to add those super crunchy roasted chickpeas right before serving. You can roast them and store in a zip-lock bag or airtight container to maintain their crunchiness. They are delicious in this veggie bowl recipe, yet a healthy and nutritious snack to enjoy by themselves.
Why I use dill. Our family likes the assertive fragrant smell and taste from dill very much. I always buy a big bunch and use them to make spring rolls. My mom used to make dill and ground pork filled dumplings and it’s one of my favorite dumpling fillings. In this recipe, I only used a small amount of dill as a spice to sauté with the cherry tomatoes. It enhanced the flavor of the tomatoes with its fresh and distinctive taste, not overwhelming but just perfect.
To add more vegetable and colors to the bowl, I used zucchini squash. If you like to keep the crunchiness of the raw squash, roast them in the pan for a short period of time (approximately 8 minutes), otherwise fully cook them until they are soft. Add to the other ingredients, and then serve warm. But if you want it as a cold salad, just remember to drizzle some lemon juice before serving.
Add this recipe to your lunch menu and you will be pleased how appealing, tasty, and healthy it is.
- ⅓ cup raw chickpeas
- 2 cups water
- 2 tbs canola oil
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 6 oz cherry tomatoes
- 2 tbs chopped fresh dill
- 1 large zucchini squash, halved (approximately 10 oz)
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp oregano
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- ¼ tsp thyme
- 5 anise seeds
- 1 tbs lemon juice
- Soak the raw chickpeas in 2 cups of water for at least 6 hours. Drain and rinse well. Lay the chickpeas on paper towel and pat dry with kitchen towel or paper towel.
- Preheat the oven to 400 °F. Transfer the chickpea into a baking dish. Add 1 tbs canola oil to the baking dish and mix with chickpeas until they are evenly coated with oil. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the chickpeas are golden brown. Let them cool in the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring them into a container.
- In a mini grinder, grind and mix the salt and all the spices. Sprinkle ¼ tsp of the spices and salt mixture over the roasted chickpeas. Set aside.
- While the chickpeas are roasting in the oven, cook quinoa by following package instructions. Approximately 15 minutes.
- Heat a sauté pan over high heat until it is hot. Lay the zucchini in the sauté pan with skin side up. Keep the stove at medium and cover the sauté pan with a lid. Cook for 8 minutes or check more often to make sure the zucchini fleshy side is brown. Let the zucchini cool slightly and then slice into half-moons.
- Use the same sauté pan over high heat until it is hot. Add 1 tsp canola oil and wait for 15 seconds before adding the cherry tomatoes. Stir continuously for 15 seconds and then add dill (save 1 tsp dill for garnishing). Sauté for another 15 seconds. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, zucchini squash, cherry tomatoes, and dill. Add the remaining canola oil, salt and spices mixture, and lemon juice. Toss gently.
- Add roasted chickpeas before serving and toss gently again. Garnish with fresh dill. Serve warm or cold.