After over a week of indulgent eating in The Bahamas and Miami last week, I was ready to get back into my routine cooking groove back at home! As much I love trying new restaurants and foods, I feel best when I’m able to cook myself — this way, I know exactly what’s going in my body, and I just feel cleaner overall. As soon as we got back, I headed over to Trader Joe’s and scooped up my favorites to restock our fridge, and made sure to get all of the ingredients for these Mediterranean Rice Bowls that I like to make on the regular. This is such a quick dish, it’s perfect for meal prepping, and it’s inspired by one of my favorite bowls from The Simple Greek. Since I’m trying to eat mostly plant-based, I made mine with falafel and baked a chicken breast for Raj! I’m providing the list to make one rice bowl below — if you’re cooking for two (or more), feel free to adjust accordingly!
1 package of organic brown rice
1 handful of organic baby kale
1 persian cucumber
1 handful of cherry tomatoes
2 artichoke hearts
1 quarter red onion
half cup of chickpeas
3 fully cooked falafel (or 1 chicken breast)
feta cheese (to taste)
lemon juice and olive oil (to taste)
For Tahini Dressing:
1 tbs tahini
juice from half lemon
1 tbs chopped garlic
3 scallions roughly cut (green and white parts included)
Splash of water
(If making chicken breast): Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle chicken breast with olive oil and seasoning (my favorite is Trader Joe’s Provence seasoning), but you could use Italian or Greek seasoning as well. I like to buy the thin cut breasts from TJ’s and they cook in about 20-25 minutes.
(If making falafel from TJ’s): Place desired falafel on plate and a damp paper towel on top. Follow directions for heating in microwave (usually around 90 seconds on high).
Steam 1 package of organic brown rice in microwave (or feel free to make a batch on the stove top and use throughout the week). I’m able to make two bowls with 1 package.
Grab a handful of organic baby kale and put into a separate bowl. Drizzle a tiny bit of olive oil and lemon juice over and massage into the kale leaves with your hands to soften. Don’t over do it with the lemon/olive oil since we’ll be adding more dressing to the bowl at the end.
Slice cucumber, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and red onion.
To make the tahini dressing, I take all ingredients listed above and blend with a hand blender. This dressing is modified slightly from my friends over at Spinach 4 Breakfast (one of my favorite healthy food blogs). I love to make a big batch of this and use as a dressing and dip. The above quantity should give you enough for two bowls, but feel to free to double ingredients and store in the fridge for a few days. If it gets too thick, you can add water or lemon juice to thin down.
To assemble bowl, add rice to bottom of the bowl (I love these shallow bistro bowls for salads and rice bowls). Add baby kale, cucumber, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, red onion, pepperoncini and chicken/falafel in batches over the rice. Top with feta cheese (to taste) and drizzle the tahini dressing over the top. Raj loves to add a little tzatziki sauce on his for the chicken, and sometimes I’ll add a little hummus. We also love to serve with a little pita bread on the side.
For different toppings, I love kalamata olives (or black olives), hearts of palm, and/or avocado and will swap or sub in some items depending on what’s in my pantry! Would love to hear if you plan on trying this recipe — it’s one of my favorites for sure!
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