Plant-Based Mediterranean Bowl

Every once in a while I get on a kick where I only want to eat one thing, fortunately for me that one thing is a super simple, whole food, Plant-Based Mediterranean Bowl!

Plant-Based Mediterranean Bowl

The temperatures in Arizona area finally on the rise. I’m slowly putting my soups aside and embracing fresh, raw veggies! If you are still frozen I’m sorry! Maybe you can enjoy this bowl in front of the fire and think about warmer days ahead!

The great thing about Mediterranean Bowls is that you can easily adapt it based on what you have and what you like.

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Gluten-Free Mediterranean Bowl

Most of the Mediterranean Bowls I’ve seen use quinoa but some use rice or no grain (or pseudo-grain) at all. Quinoa is great because it’s gluten-free, easy to cook, and I always have some in my pantry.

While the quinoa cooked, I got the veggies ready. Romaine lettuce is my favorite but you can choose your favorite greens. I love red and yellow bell peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, and red onion. Chickpeas were the perfect addition because I also made hummus! My Cilantro Jalapeno Hummus was perfect in this but I may try my Red Pepper Dip next time.

I set out all the veggies, chickpeas and quinoa and my son made his own bowl. His was pretty much the same except he added apples and cuties and left out the hummus and peppers.

After cutting up all the veggies, I have enough for lunches all week plus some snacks! I’ve been able to make a quick salad with the veggies too. It’s so much easier to eat healthy meals when they are prepped and ready to go!

There are endless combinations you can choose for your bowl if this one isn’t exactly your thing.

  • Sweet Peppers
  • Artichokes
  • Avocado
  • Pickled Onions
  • Carrots
  • Sprouts
  • Micro Greens
  • Roasted Veggies
  • Fresh Herbs
  • Spinach

The list is endless! Please leave a comment and let me know what you want to eat in your bowl!

Plant-Based Mediterranean Bowl

Oil-Free Mediterranean Bowl

Most Mediterranean Bowls are topped with oil or and oil and vinegar type dressing. The hummus does a great job replacing the need for oil and the extra squeeze of lemon gives it an extra boost of acidity. You do not need the oil!

My boys love balsamic vinegar, if you are a fan, you could try it in this bowl. I didn’t think it would mix well with the hummus so I left it out this time.

When I made this bowl I bought olives to go with it. Our grocery store has an olive bar that I’d been wanting to try. My kids and husband love olives so I thought this would make the bowl a little more fun for them.

I, however, do not like olives. I’ve never found an olive I didn’t want to spit out! HA! While I put a few olives in my bowl I didn’t actually eat them. I loved my bowl so much I couldn’t risk it. More for my family.

Plant-Based Mediterranean Bowl

Plant-Based Mediterranean Bowl

This Plant-Based Mediterranean Bowl is gluten-free, nut-free, and perfect for the veggie lovers in your house. This meal is easy to make ahead during meal prep and take for lunch or enjoy it at the end of a long day. These measurements make 4+ bowls.


  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 head romaine lettuce (or your favorite lettuce).
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1-2 bell peppers (I used 1 red and 1 yellow)
  • 1/4 cup sliced red onion
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes (or equivalent fresh diced tomatoes)
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 lemon
  • Kalamata olives to
  • 1 cup hummus


  1. Bring 2 cups water to boil, then add the quinoa and cover with a lid. Turn pot down to simmer. Cook for 10 minutes or until quinoa is done and water is absorbed. Fluff quinoa and set aside.
  2. While quinoa is cooking, prepare the veggies. If you haven’t already, wash and dry them. I prefer to peel the cucumbers, dice the red onion, tear or slice the lettuce, and dice the bell pepper. I like to leave my bell peppers in pretty big chunks but its just a personal preference. I’ll leave the tomatoes whole if I’m saving the bowl for later and cut the tomatoes in half if I’m having it now.
  3. Create an assembly line with all the veggies. Drain and rinse your chickpeas.
  4. If you are making hummus from scratch, make it now.
  5. Assemble your bowls.
    1. Make a bed of lettuce with 1 cup romaine.
    2. Scoop in 1/4-1/2 cup cooked quinoa.
    3. Arrange fresh veggies on both sides of the quinoa.
    4. Add a dollop of hummus. Since it’s oil-free, I used about 1/4 cup.
    5. Spoon in about 1/3 cup of chickpeas.
    6. Garnish with lemon wedge and olives.


This Mediterranean Bowl is perfect for a weekend meal prep that can be enjoyed all week. It tastes just as good coming out of a lunch bag as it does when it’s freshly made, you can’t say that about most lunches!

Do you eat Mediterranean Bowls? What are your favorite ingredients?

Simple Veggie Sandwich

One of the things I miss from my pre-plant-based days is a really good deli sandwich.

There is no reason I can’t have a great sandwich. Meat and cheese don’t make the meal. Good bread, fresh veggies and condiments make the meal.

Veggie SandwichSimple Veggie Sandwich

There isn’t a set recipe, use the ingredients you love and have on hand. This is more of a template than a recipe anyway.


  • Good bread, you can also use wraps, naan, or lettuce wraps.
  • Condiments, I use spicy mustard and hummus. Guacamole is another good choice.
  • Greens, I used lettuce and chopped romaine. Use what you like.
  • Veggies, I used cucumbers, tomatoes and bell peppers. Artichokes, pickles and onions are good too.


Build your sandwich in any way you desire. You may want to wrap it in parchment paper if you are on the go.

Veggie sandwiches tend to be pretty messy. I usually only eat these at home so I don’t make a huge mess.

Other great lunch meal include Veggie Wraps, Black Bean Mango Salad, Chick Pea Salad and Not So Tuna Salad.

Black Bean Mango Salad

It’s summer time and that means salads.

When you adopt a plant-based diet the BIG salad is kind of a rite of passage. We aren’t talking the dinky side salads you typically found in your Standard American Diet (SAD) days. We aren’t even talking about the giant meat, cheese and oil salads you may have ordered when you were “eating healthy.”

No, I’m talking about fiber filled, colorful, BIG, flavorful and healthy salads.

Black Bean Mango Salad Vegan Gluten-Free Plant-Based

Unlike most of the recipes you’ll find here this recipe is for a single serving. Sure my kids would love most of the things in this salad but if your kids are like my kids they don’t want it all mixed together. Today, I’m telling the kids to get back. This one is all mine.

Even though this is for a single serving I prefer to build two (or three or four) at a time to eat later in the week. The only real difference is you’ll want to store the diced mango separately because it can get a little slimy.

Let me take just a moment to mention that the measurements below can be adapted to your taste. I actually added a little more of everything for the salad I ate at home. This size was perfect for work. I don’t know about you but it takes me a long time to eat BIG salads. My lunch salads need to be a little average size.

Black Bean Mango Salad Vegan Gluten-Free

Black Bean Mango Salad


  • 2-3 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1/2 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup organic corn
  • 1/4 cup diced tomato (remove seeds)
  • 1/4 cup diced onion (I prefer sweet onion or red onions)
  • 1/4 of a large mango (or half a small mango) diced.
  • diced jalapenos to taste
  • juice from half a lime
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (optional)
  • 1/2 avocado (optional)


  1. Place lettuce in a large bowl then top with beans, corn, tomatoes, onion and mango*.
  2. If using jalapenos and cilantro add now. Give the salad a good stir.
  3. Squeeze fresh lime juice over the salad and stir one more time.

*Notes: If you are packing an extra salad for another day leave the mango, lime juice and avocado separate I didn’t use avocado above but I stored my mango and lime in a container. See the photo below.

Sweet and Tangy Pasta Salad is Potluck Heaven

Are you a pasta salad kind of gal (or guy)? The boys in my house love this Sweet & Tangy Pasta Salad! It’s incredibly easy and a perfect dish to share at potlucks or cookouts.

We use gluten-free pasta because of my son’s wheat allergy. This recipe can be altered based on your available ingredients. I’ve add chickpeas to make it more of a “main dish” but we usually use it as a side dish.

Sweet and Tangy Gluten-Free Pasta Salad is picnic perfect

Sweet & Tangy Pasta Salad


  • 1 8 oz package pasta (we use gluten-free spirals)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in halves
  • 1/2 cup diced cucumber
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 recipe Sweet & Tangy Salad Dressing


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, set a time so you don’t over cook. You want an al dente pasta.
  2. While pasta is cooking prepare all of the veggies and salad dressing.
  3. When pasta is done drain it well and run it under cool water, drain again.
  4. Mix all veggies and salad dressing into the pasta.
  5. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


This pasta is best chilled but can tolerate being at room temperature for a little while. It would also be a good addition to a lunch box with an ice pack.

Sweet and Tangy Pasta Salad is perfect for potlucks! Its allergy-friendly and really easy to make.

This was perfect with our Vegan Barbecue Sandwiches. I definitely recommend taking this to a potluck, it will be a hit and it’s very allergy-friendly. You can also try my Potato Salad and Portobello Burgers.

Lemon-Pepper Roasted Chickpeas

A special thanks to Sunkist for sponsoring today’s discussion.

Do you keep a salt shaker on your table? We used to keep salt on the table until I realized my family would add salt to their food before even tasting it. Salt is a dangerous habit in America. A few years ago we cut out oil and decreased our salt consumption. We still use small amounts of salt but not near as much as before.

A few things helped us reduce our salt intake…

  1. We added other flavors and seasonings like Sunkist Lemons instead of salt.
  2. We allowed time for our palate to adjust.
  3. We bought low-sodium substitutes of some of our favorite products.

We missed salt the most in crunchy snacks. The following recipe uses Lemon instead of salt. The salt is not missed at all.

Decrease Salt by seasoning with Sunkist Lemon's

Lemon-Pepper Roasted Chickpeas


  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (or 1 can)
  • 1 Sunkist Lemon (juice and zest, about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper (optional)


  1. Drain and rinse chickpeas and gently towel dry them.
  2. In a medium bowl mix remaining ingredients and stir well.
  3. Add chickpeas and allow them to marinate while oven preheats to 400 degrees.
  4. Stir regularly.
  5. Pour chickpeas into a baking pan (with sides, not a cookie sheet) covered with parchment paper.
  6. Bake for about 1 hour.

I recommend you bake for 25 minutes then stir well. Bake for an additional 25 minutes and stir again. Then bake for 10 minutes, stir chickpeas then bake for 5 minutes between stirs until chickpeas are golden brown and crisp. DO NOT BURN.


These Lemon-Pepper Chickpeas are a fun snack or a great addition on a salad. No one will guess it’s salt-free.

Decrease Salt by seasoning with lemon juice

For more inspiration on using lemon instead of salt take a look at this Sunkist S’alternative info graphic.

Flavoring with Lemon instead of saltSunkist lemons are grown in California and Arizona and available all year round. In addition to helping boost flavor and reduce sodium intake, lemons can be used in a number of ways – from household cleaning to healthy living. I always keep a bowl of lemons on my counter. I use them for cleaning, in drinks and especially in food.
season with lemon

Please take a minute and visit Sunkist to discover recipes and more information about sodium and sodium alternatives.

Which tips are your favorite?