I think “grain bowls” – for lack of a better word, and including all the “Buddha bowls” and “Goddess bowls” etc., are a hallmark of 21st century American eating. I’m just not sure our parents ate this way – I know that other cultures have them, but for whatever reason they don’t seem to have become part of American cooking until the last decade or so. But they feel as important now as casseroles would have been a generation ago. What do you guys think, am I crazy?
Well, I’m glad they are here! I love the way you can mix and match them, just throw together a cup of cooked grains, some protein, your favorite veggies and allllll the pickled, herb and seed toppings in your house. It almost always works out well. And let’s not forget, grain bowls are the OG #notsaddesklunch. I love them, and could probably eat them every day of the week without even noticing.
But sometimes, I like to flip the script a little, and have the veggies play the biggest role. I think the first time I ever was inspired to do that was when I first ate a fattoush salad — it’s salad with no lettuce, and torn up pitas as part of the mix, but the bulk of the salad is cucumbers, radishes, tomatoes and huge amounts of herbs. And it is complete genius.
While clearly not a fattoush, I had that composition on my mind when I was making this quinoa salad. I mean… quinoa alone is pretty plain. How to make it more fun to eat? Make it NOT the main attraction! It’s a great textural compliment here, adding a crunch to the mix.
- 1 can solid white albacore tuna, drained and flaked apart with a fork
- 1 cup cooked quinoa, cooled
- 1 cup chopped cucumber
- 1 cup cherry tomato halves
- 3-4 radishes, thinly sliced
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 2 cups baby arugula
- 1 Tbsp. best quality olive oil
- 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- 2 tsp. chopped herbs, any mix of basil, mint or parsley would be great!
- salt and pepper
- Toss all ingredients together and enjoy!