Build Your Own Mediterranean Grain Bowl

A fantastic idea for weekday lunches, these Build Your Own Mediterranean Grain Bowls are packed full of hearty grains, flavorful veggies, crunchy seeds and tangy sauces. An entire plant based meal in one delicious bowl.

Simple Mediterranean Diet Meal Idea



Lately I’ve been challenging myself to come up with easy ideas for my work from home lunches each week. To work for me and my schedule, I try and have it meet the following criteria –

  • Simple to prep and pull together
  • Include lots of veggies
  • Try to incorporate nuts and seeds
  • Has different components that can mix and match to form something a little different each day, instead of having the exact same lunch everyday

I’m not sure why lunch gives me so much trouble. I guess it’s probably because lunchtime is never exactly the same during the week. However some of my favorite lunches include –

What is a Grain Bowl?

build your own mediterranean grain bowls

The idea of a “grain bowl” is that it’s typically a complete meal all layered into a single bowl. For example, they start with a grain base (rice, quinoa, barley, etc) and include a protein, veggies, a sauce, and misc other toppings.

As with most “trendy” foods, they can be simple or get pretty fancy and complicated…just depends on what you want.

I’m a big fan of grain bowls, especially for lunch, because they are a great way to increase the plants in your meals. They also are a great way to use leftovers.

Mediterranean Grain Bowl Ideas

The best part about these types of meals is that they are completely customizable. You can change them up simply by using different grains, whatever veggies are in season or simply what you have in your fridge.

Grains

I will admit that it took me a long time to get on board with different types of grains. Growing up we had white rice or pasta. Once in awhile we my mom got “exotic” and we had rice pilaf. Now I’m a fan of all different types of grains. Some favorites and ideas include –

  • Rice (brown, white, rice pilaf, wild rice, forbidden rice, sticky rice, Persian rice)
  • Quinoa
  • Couscous
  • Barley
  • Farro (this Fast Cooking Farro is one of my faves)
  • Buckwheat
  • Teff
  • Amaranth
  • Freekeh

Since grains can sometimes take time to cook, I recommend meal prepping a big batch to have on hand.

mediterranean grain bowl recipe

Vegetables

Grain bowls are a great way to increase your Plant Based Meals, so the more the merrier when it comes to veggies.

  • Aim for a wide array of colors and textures
  • A mix of fresh, roasted, sautéed, or blanched
  • Leftovers make great additions, especially roasted veggies
  • Use what’s in season to ensure freshness, support your local farmers and save money at the store

Some of my favorites include –

I recently made these Quick Pickled Onions from Cookie and Kate and they were phenomenal in these Mediterranean Grain Bowls. Highly recommend.

Protein Sources

There are so many options when it comes to sources of protein.

  • Grilled chicken, fish, shrimp, canned tuna
  • Keep it vegetarian with tofu or seitan
  • Beans and lentils

Nuts, Seeds, and Sauces

The world is your oyster when it comes to these grain bowls. We love adding some crunch with chopped nuts and seeds like –

Don’t forget the sauce! Aside from dressings like this Homemade Vinaigrette, we also love adding hummus, pesto, or even tzatziki.

Build Your Own Style Meals

build your own mediterranean grain bowls

These types of meals where you have a bunch of ingredients and can put them together to create your own “meal” is one of our favorites. Especially when it comes to feeding our family. Everyone gets to choose their toppings and make it their own.

Check out some of our other “Build Your Own” meal ideas –

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Tags: grain bowl Last modified: March 3, 2021