IMG_9725.JPGBack in my early days at naturopathic college, I was introduced to a little gem of a restaurant, called ‘Juice for Life’ (now, Fresh). They made the most divine cold-pressed juice and smoothies that I had even known, and introduced me to the divine combination of quinoa/brown rice, with loads of veggies, plant based protein, delicious sauce and accents like herbs, lemon, nuts and seeds – behold, the ‘Fresh bowl’.

What was soon to become my favourite was their ‘Green Goddess’ bowl – brown rice topped with steamed broccoli and greens, grilled tempeh, toasted sunflower seeds and pickled ginger, bathed in tahini dressing and a their ginger/soy sauce.

Fast forward 18 years – Ottawa now has Pure Kitchen – a delicious restaurant, equally committed to vegetable prominent meals and game-changing quinoa/rice bowls. My bowl of choice comprising steamed broccoli and greens, falafel balls, sauerkraut and roasted sweet potato, on a bed of quinoa – and brought together by their ever smooth tahini dressing.

Building a quinoa/brown rice bowl can be as easy or elaborate as you’d like;

Step 1: Grab your favourite bowl – medium or large, with a wide mouth.

Step 2: Scoop in quinoa or brown rice (these can be prepared ahead of time and portioned in the freezer for greater ease)

Step 3: Add your favourite veggies – steamed, roasted, raw – or a combination thereof.

Step 4: Add 1-2 protein sources – this can be plant-based protein, such as roasted chick peas or hummus, legumes, tempeh, falafel, adzuki bean stew or black beans – or other protein, such as organic chicken, wild salmon or free run eggs.

Step 5: Garnish with superfood toppings as desired – fresh squeezed lemon, sprouts and microgreens, toasted nuts and seeds, raw hemp hearts, spouted seeds (I love Go Raw), sauerkraut or kimchi.

Step 6: Add 1-2 tasty sauces of choice. Do not skip this step! A great sauce will elevate your bowl to divine!

The sky is the limit in terms of your combinations! But here are a few samples;

*brown rice or quinoa + hummus, cucumber, avocado, parsley, lemon/lime, extra virgin olive oil, himalayan pink salt, grape tomatoes and your choice of protein (ie. roasted chick peas or free range chicken).

*brown rice or quinoa + avocado, shredded carrots, shredded beets and arugula, with toasted or sprouted seeds, tahini dressing and your choice of protein (ie. black beans or free range eggs).

*brown rice or quinoa + avocado, steamed greens and broccoli, sauerkraut, roasted root vegetables, microgreens, tahini dressing and your choice of protein (ie. grilled tempeh or wild salmon).

There are lots of tahini dressings our there, but when I made this one for my best friend, she said that it literally changed her life;-). From Kimberly Snyder’s Beauty Detox;

Oil-Free Garlic, Raw Apple Cider Vinegar, Tahini and Almond Butter Dressing
Yield: About 1 1/2 cups

Here’s a dressing to get your raw apple cider vinegar on. It’s creamy from the beneficial sesame seeds (what tahini is made from) and almond butter—so absolutely no need for oil.

Put all the ingredients, except for the tahini and almond butter, in a blender and blend until smooth. Add the tahini and almond butter, and blend again until the dressing is thoroughly combined.

2 cloves garlic
1 Tbs. tamari
3 Tbs. raw apple cider vinegar
¼ tsp. high-quality sea salt
½ cup water
2 Tbs. nutritional yeast
1⁄3 cup tahini (preferably raw)
2 Tbs. almond butter (preferably raw or unroasted)


Delicious, satisfying and heaping with nutrient density – hopefully these bowls will be life-changers for you – or at the very least, lunch/dinner changers.