This Wholesome Veggie Grain Bowl is a simple base recipe to prep you for a week of packed lunches – with a base of greens and grains, and an assortment of tasty toppings.
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by NOW Foods as part of an ongoing partnership. I was compensated for my time, and all opinions are my own.
Welcome to my new favorite grain party – a mix of millet, amaranth, and quinoa. I know you all are familiar with quinoa by now, and both millet and amaranth are other types of gluten-free whole grains with slightly sweet and nutty flavors.
Textures can get boring to our palette, which is why I loved this grain mix – the smallest amaranth grains provide texture against the soft millet, while quinoa holds its texture next to them both.
I use this simple grain mix as the base for these Wholesome Veggie Grain Bowls, incorporating some dark leafy greens, crisp sweet carrots, protein-packed chickpeas and egg, and crunchy sunflower seeds next to creamy avocado.
While I kept the seasonings simple, it’s a delicious combination of flavors and textures. You could kick it up another notch/change it up with a few of your favorite dressings – whether it be Peanut Sauce, Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette, or a basic Lemon Tahini. I just went for sriracha before I mixed everything together.
Since these grains have similar cooking times and liquid ratios, it’s easy to mix them together for a thicker grain base than your normal quinoa or brown rice.
NOW Foods has an allergen-friendly line of products, Living Now, that I used for this recipe, including their organic millet, organic amaranth, and organic quinoa. So that you can see their texture differences, the photo below shows their grain size – millet (top), amaranth (middle), and quinoa (bottom).
- ½ cup dry millet
- ½ cup dry amaranth
- ½ cup dry quinoa
- 3 cups water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- ½ teaspoon salt, divided
- 6 eggs
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas
- ½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 bunch kale or chard (or ½ of each)
- 2 large carrots
- 2 large avocados
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- In a pot, combine dry millet, amaranth, and quinoa, water, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and ¼ teaspoon of the salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then cover it and lower the heat to low so it barely simmers. Cook the mixture for 20 minutes without removing the lid and then turn off the heat.
- In the meantime, begin boiling water to make hard boiled eggs. I like to add my eggs to the cold water, cover the pot and turn off the heat once its boiling, and then set a timer for 9-10 minutes.
- Drain and rinse the can of chickpeas, and toss them with the additional 1 tablespoon olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Set aside to marinate.
- Thinly slice kale and/or swiss chard into ribbons after removing the stems, and add them to a bowl with the extra ¼ teaspoon salt. Use your hands to massage the greens to soften them up.
- Slice the carrot into matchsticks and slice the avocado.
- Prepare grain bowls by layering cooked grain mix and massaged greens, and topping each with a hard boiled egg, marinated chickpeas, carrot sticks, avocado slices, and sunflower seeds. Alternatively, toss together greens, chickpeas, carrots, avocado, and sunflower seeds and serve as a salad bowl with the grains and egg on top.
I enjoyed this meal for a whole week of packed lunches, and considering I’m someone who really dislikes repeating meals more than 2-3 times, this says a lot about the versatility of this recipe.
Change up the toppings, make a simple dressing, and you can have a whole different flavor profile with the same grain + green base. I’d love to see your grain bowl creations!
Tell me: What’s your go-to packed lunch?