Mediterranean Grain Bowl

Buddha Bowl

I am so loving the flexible, tasty, nutritious meal concept that is a grain bowl. I can think of so many yummy permutations: Mexican (cilantro-topped kidney beans and brown rice), Southern (grits and collard greens, with bacon and black-eyed peas), Indian, Thai, Korean. I’ll stop. But the one I’ve been stirring up this summer is Mediterranean-inspired. If I do say so myself, it’s definitely a keeper. So feel free to follow along with what I’ve laid out below. Or riff. That’s the best part about stirring up a grain bowl —  nothing is hard and fast.


  • 1 cup uncooked forbidden rice (a super flavorful black rice)
  • 2 cups broth (use homemade if you’ve got it)
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 2 medium zucchini or summer squash or 1 butternut squash, peeled, scooped and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin, divided
  • 1 tsp. ground paprika
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 2 cups spinach or mixed greens, chopped into ribbons
  • 1 roasted red pepper, cut intro strips or diced
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. pan-roasted sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup diced parsley
  • 1/4 cup Honey Mustard Vinaigrette


  1. Place rice, broth, coconut oil and salt into a saucepan. Bring to a hard boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Simmer, covered, for 40-60 minutes until rice is tender.
  2. Drain and dry chickpeas. In a medium mixing bowl, combine chickpeas with oil and salt. Place on baking tray, covered with Parchment paper. Bake in 400°F oven for 10 minutes. Stir to ensure even roasting. Then cook for 10 minutes more. Remove when chickpeas are crispy and slightly browned. Sprinkle with 1 tsp. cumin and 1 tsp. paprika.
  3. Prepare zucchini, summer or butternut squash. In a large mixing bowl combine squash with coconut oil, salt, 1 tsp. cumin and 1 tsp. ginger. Place pieces on baking tray, covered with Parchment paper. Spread evenly, with no squash pieces touching each other for the best roast. Bake for 30-45 minutes in 400°F oven, stirring once halfway through. Remove when squash is soft and nicely browned.
  4. Find medium, high-sided bowl, enough to hold two meal-sized portions. Spoon rice into one third of the bowl. Spoon chickpeas into one third of the bowl. Spoon spinach/greens into one third of the bowl.
  5. Top with 1 cup squash, diced roasted pepper and avocado slices.
  6. Sprinkle sesame seeds and parsley on top of that. Drizzle dressing over everything. Dig in.