The Magic of Celery in a Quinoa Power Bowl

This quinoa power bowl is the kind of lunch I liked to pull together back in the days we would work in our studio in San Francisco’s Chinatown. It was something I would make regularly because it checks all the boxes — interesting, seasonal, filling, and nutritious. The base is simply mung beans and quinoa topped lots of good stuff. I’d argue, the magic *really* comes from 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.

The Key to an Easy Power Bowl

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. So, if you want something like this quinoa power bowl to come together quickly, the key is to make components ahead of time. Do a bit of meal prep. I tend to cook components for the week on the weekends, in big batches, and then keep an amount I think we might eat in the refrigerator.  Freeze the the rest after allowing it to cool completely. This way I always have cooked quinoa, barley, brown rice, mung beans, just a quick thaw away.

quinoa power bowl topped with tomatoes, yogurt, onions

Keep it Simple or Load it Up!

When it comes to power bowls, you can make things simple, or flared them out with as many toppings as you like (as pictured). This was a late summer version, but I imagine an autumn version with roasted delicata squash, or baked mushrooms, or herb jam would be great later in the year. Or do a homemade labneh in place of the yogurt.

quinoa power bowl topped with tomatoes, yogurt, onions

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