This Quinoa and Kale Bowl from Vegan Meal Prep by JL Fields is a simple yet flavorful meal that’s easy to make and can be served either hot or cold. It’s great for lunch on the go, and it also makes a delicious, light dinner. It’s vegan, gluten-free, and oil-free.
My health coaching clients often tell me that they don’t have much time or energy to cook dinner once they get home from work in the evenings. I get it – so many of us have super busy schedules. I always suggest meal prepping by cutting vegetables and storing them in containers when they get home from the grocery store, cooking up a batch or two of beans and grains on the weekends, and preparing whatever they can in advance.
JL Fields knows a thing or two about meal prep, and she’s sharing her secrets in her newest book Vegan Meal Prep. As you may have guessed from the title, this book is all about preparing foods in advance, so you don’t have to spend a ton of time in the kitchen once your hectic work week starts.
Vegan Meal Prep is divided into two parts: Vegan Made Easy and Recipes. In Vegan Made Easy, JL shares the benefits of meal prepping and meal prep principles. She lists her go-to ingredients as well as her favorite storage containers. She also includes her formula for filling mason jars and reheating tips.
There are seven meal preps in the book:
- Grain Goodness – dishes featuring whole grains
- Beat the Heat – summertime no-cooking meals
- Go Green – dishes featuring leafy green veggies
- For the Love of Legumes – dishes featuring beans
- To the East – Asian-inspired dishes
- Fiesta Time – Mexican-inspired meals
- Beautiful Bowls – bowl meals
- Back to Basics – healthier vegan versions of classic favorites
In each meal prep, JL guides you from start to finish, efficiently making the most of your time. Each meal prep has a shopping list, an equipment list, a weekly menu, and step-by-step prep instructions.
Part two of the book contains the recipes. They include:
- Lunches and Dinners
- Grains and Beans
- Sauces, Dressings and Dips
- Snacks and Sweets
There are 70 recipes in Vegan Meal Prep, and they’ll take through breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Snacks, sweets, and sauces are included, too. Recipes include Tofu-Spinach Scramble, Quinoa and Kale Bowl, Miso Spaghetti Squash, Pesto Pearled Barley, Kale Chips, and more!
Each recipe includes storage and reheating instructions. If a recipe can be made in a pressure cooker or air fryer, JL has included instructions for them, as well.
The first recipe I made from Vegan Meal Prep was the Quinoa and Kale Bowl. I picked this one first mainly because I had all of the ingredients on hand already. I also wanted a simple and healthy meal after a week of holiday indulgences.
This recipe is super easy to make. In fact, it only takes about five minutes of preparation time to put together. You can prep another dish or just kick back and relax while it cooks. It can be jarred and frozen, as well as thrown into your lunch bag for lunch at the office. It’s also a terrific light meal for dinner. It can be served cold as a salad or reheated and served warm.
To make this Quinoa and Kale Bowl, you simply cook the quinoa and add the kale once it’s cooked. Let it sit for a few minutes, and then stir in chopped tomatoes, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. And your meal (or prepped dish) is ready!
Quinoa and Kale Bowl
- 1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed
- 2 cups water
- 6 ounces kale, stemmed and chopped
- 1 small tomato, chopped
- 3 teaspoons lemon juice or 2 teaspoons unseasoned rice vinegar
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon salt, optional
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In a medium pot, combine the quinoa and water. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the water is absorbed.
Remove from the heat, add the kale to the pot (don’t stir) and set aside for about 5 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes, lemon juice, salt (if using), and pepper and gently combine.
Into each of 4 single serving storage containers, scoop 1 cup of the quinoa. Let cool before sealing the lids.
Storage: Refrigerate for up to 5 days. Serve cold or reheat in the microwave for 1½ to 2 minutes. To freeze, place the containers in the freezer for up to 3 months. To thaw, refrigerate overnight. Serve cold or, reheat in a microwave for 2 to 3 minutes.
Tip: To create a heartier meal, store in a wide-mouth pint jar, and layer ingredients as follows: 2 tablespoons almond slivers, ½ to 1 cup cooked quinoa and kale, and 1 cup arugula or spinach. Eat cold as a salad or reheat for 2 to 3 minutes.
Excerpt from Vegan Meal Prep: Ready-to-Go Meals and Snacks for Healthy Plant-Based Eating, published by Rockridge Press. Copyright © 2018 by JL Fields.
I have a copy of Vegan Meal Prep for one lucky winner. Follow the instructions below to enter. US residents only, please. Contest ends at midnight on January 8th. Good luck!