At The Studio: Mung Quinoa Power Bowl
A Mung Quinoa Power Bowl for lunch at the Quitokeeto studio. The base is simply mung beans and quinoa, and the magic comes from the deeply sautéed and spiced celery. It welcomes as many, or few, toppings as you like - roasted cherry tomatoes, salted dill yogurt, quick pickled red onions, chopped olives.
I know a lot of you like to see what I pull together for a quick lunch when I'm working at the Quitokeeto studio. I spent a good amount of time there last week, and this lunch was a winner, something I'd definitely make again, and one that checks a lot of boxes - interesting, seasonal, filling, and nutritious. I tend to keep a range of cooked beans and grains on hand, and that is one little trick that makes something like this easy to pull together. I cook them on the weekends, in big batches, and then keep an amount I think we might eat in the refrigerator. I freeze the the rest (after allowing it to cool completely). This way I always have cooked quinoa, barley, brown rice, mung beans, and the like just a quick thaw away. Enter this lunch bowl. You can make it simple, or flared it out with as many toppings as you like (as pictured). The base is simply mung beans and quinoa topped lots of flavors and textures, but I'd argue, the magic comes from the deeply sautéed and spiced celery. The celery brings an incredible amount of flavor and depth to the rest of the dish, and welcomes all sorts of other toppings - roasted cherry tomatoes, salted dill yogurt, quick pickled red onions, chopped olives...or you can keep it more simple than that. Either way it's filling and nourishing, just right for tackling busy afternoons. This is a late summer recipe, but I imagine an autumn version with roasted delicata squash and kale or herb jam would be great a few weeks from now.
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This looks amazing! As an amateur food-freezer, I am curious to know why it is important to allow beans/grains to cool completely before freezing, as you noted?
Just made this for dinner, since I had a head of celery in the fridge. It was delicious! I swapped out the mung beans for a tin of brown lentils and left out the quinoa, plus used parsley instead of dill. It only took a splash of water to deglaze the pan and I popped the lid on at the end to let things steam through a bit. What a great way to use celery!
Wow, this looks really good, it's like a taste bomb, hehe. I hope I'll like the combo. @Shira - I freeze beans all the time and yes, the consistency changes a bit, but it's not a big deal. I would advise you to defrost them on a room temperature - don't use hot water or anything like this, it will make the beans mushy.
I'd love to try this. I have never used mung beans before. Do you recommend a particular brand? Thanks so much. Lovely!
HS: Hi Linda - I typically just seek out organic mung beans in the bulk section.
After so many years of considering celery a throwaway vegetable, I'm just starting to eat things that are changing my mind. I'm going to have to try this and continue my celery education.
This looks beautiful and delicious. Can you tell us more about freezing grains and beans? I think that is really great advice for helping to bring a more balanced nutritious diet during the week. I'm wondering, does the consistency of the foods change when defrosted? Do you freeze beans in their cooking liquid?
HS: Hi Shira, I typically drain off most of their cooking liquid if I am going to freeze them.
I made almost the same thing for dinner last night. Started with the mung beans and quinoa and added Indian spices and coconut milk - delicious! You're such an inspiration!
Sometimes impromptu meals are the best meals! I love throwing things together that I have in my fridge and watching it transform into something delicious.
Love it! Where in the supermarket can I find mung beans?
Yum!! This seems like the perfect fall lunch! I've been meh on quinoa for the past year but have suddenly found myself craving it again recently. Definitely want to try this!
This is the sort of lunch bowl I most enjoy too and most frequently make from various leftovers and weekend batch cooking. But I especially love your topping combination of dill yogurt, quick pickles and green olives. Heaven in a bowl, definitely remembering this combo! Excited for my Quitokeeto order, too!! ;-)
Off to see the full recipe after I leave a comment. Love the roasted cherry tomatoes and the celery in here. I'm always shocked when people say they hate celery!!!! How is that even possible? You nailed it, it just bring a depth of flavor with fewer calories. I love the nutrient dense grains as well, I'm trying to be better about eating those, especially for lunches and have even learn to spring (or is it sprung.....yikes!) my own mung beans. Awesome recipe!
Ooh, this is awesome! I love how you gave humble little ol' celery a chance to star in this dish. Will definitely be trying the technique. Thanks for sharing :D
This looks delicious. I love quick grain bowls, you can throw in whatever you like and it's such a filling and healthy meal. I love the roasted tomatoes and pickled onion combination.
That looks sooo good! I'm of the firm beliefe that everything looks and tastes better when eaten from a bowl, especially if it's as delectable as this! Mung beans are a new love of mine, and quinoa is a long standing one, so this looks amazing! X
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