Last updated on March 21st, 2020 at 11:44 am
If you need some new healthy lunch ideas that aren’t chicken with salad – you can start with this spicy Mediterranean lunch bow recipe! It’s…how do they say it? Ummm, Perfect? Yes, that’s the word. It’s also vegan, gluten-free, takes 20 minutes and I’m sharing an easy meal prep option in case you want to make this Mediterranean diet recipe ahead. You’ll also learn some things about chickpeas nobody told you about.
Cooking Rut And Depressed Tastebuts
I don’t wanna jinx it, but I feel like I’m getting back on track with cooking things I actually really enjoy. Haven’t talked about this much, but on and off I’ve been going through periods where I was trying so hard to avoid a certain ingredient in order to make something “healthy” that I really felt my cooking skills evaporated.
I wasn’t inspired and my tastebuds were very disappointed in me. They went through kind of depression, but are back again now. (just wrote tastebuts and I thought you should know it, because that was probably my subconscious mind…which I know about from Youtube.
Youtube is a real rabbit hole, let me tell you.
First of all, you go there and there are plenty of videos of rabbits…Coincidence? Don’t think so. Those furry suckers have been secretly controlling the world for centuries and building holes everywhere so you can fall and waste a lot of time walking in the dirt. Now they control Youtube and just suck you in with their fluffy paws.
Second, you watch one video on personal development or productivity and all of a sudden you’re sucked in listening to people talking about the Law of attraction, how they clean their homes, what they do in the morning and how the subconscious mind controls your life. And then you find yourself cleaning your home with vinegar and cutting out pictures from magazines you bought 5 years ago to make an ugly vision board that you now have to stare at until it comes true. Or you get bored of it.
Seriously, never done that.
Spicy Mediterranean Lunch Bowl
So this bowl. It’s pretty amazing and I love everything about it…It happens to be gluten-free and vegan, but if you want to add in, well, whatever you want – things like tzatziki or grilled chicken, feel free to do it, but I really loved it like this.
And also, I’m trying to reduce my chicken consumption lately. You know what I realized. If I eat 1 chicken a week, by the end of the year I would have eaten 52 chickens. 52…And that’s way more than my grandparents used to eat. True, they didn’t have the best health or live into their 90ies…But they also had very hard lives, much harder than sitting in an office for 8 hours a day sipping coffee, getting dehydrated like a raisin with dirty hair. #livingthedream Can’t believe I just called my messy living room “office”.
Preparing The Chickpeas
As much, as I would like to think of myself as an undercover genius, really undercover, like you have to look hard, I have to admit – anyone can make this lunch bowl. Like anyone.
The things you’ll need to work on most are called chickpeas. Chickpeas, as we know, are delicious, round, perfect and make you fart in your sleep. They’re also really good friends with garlic and with chili peppers. Specifically, the chili peppers that have been dried and crushed by life like most of us.
So when you prepare those chickpeas, make them feel comfortable. Chickpeas are very intuitive and can sense when someone wants to eat them. So do yourself a favor, surround them with their best friends, so they get distracted…you do not want to eat frightened chickpeas. Those are bad for your mental and physical health and for that subconscious mind.
How To Make This Spicy Mediterranean Lunch Bowl
So what you do is: you put the chickpeas in the pan, you add some olive oil, so they can slide and have fun…Then you add the garlic, those depressed chili flakes, some dried mint and tomato paste. They all have fun, it’s a party and the chickpeas come out spicy, red and carefree.
Then comes the actual scary part of preparing this lunch bowl. The chopping. At this point, tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado and some other unimportant vegetables are crapping their pants. But what can you do?
You forget about your own fear of chopping a nail and looking like a nailless freak for the rest of the week. Then you start chopping the vegetables one at a time while listening to the music from Psycho, so you can get it over with faster and kinda feel like you’re in a movie. That will make your day interesting. Good interesting? Probably not.
Who am I to give advice on music anyway? Hitchcock music, yummy by Justin Bieber, Baby shart (typo and I’m not gonna correct it!)…today’s music all sounds the same, right?
And then comes the hummus, which I learned from Adam Sandler you should always use to brush your teeth and wash your hair, so don’t skip those steps while you’re cooking. Remember, good hygiene is just as important as eating healthy. So don’t be stingy with that hummus.
Now you put everything into a bowl, put the hummus on top and you’re happy and you know it and clap your hands and your taste buds forgive you just like that.
- 1 1/2 cup chickpeas, canned, rinsed and drained
- 1 tbsp mint, dried
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 tsp tomato paste
- 4 tsp olive oil
- 1 cup olives
- 1 cup of tomatoes
- 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
- 2 scallions, thinly chopped
- bunch parsley, thinly chopped
- 1/2 lemon, juice of
- 1 1/2 cups cabbage
- 1 avocado
- salt and pepper to taste
- Prepare the chickpeas: Heat a tsp of olive oil in a non-stick pan at medium heat. Add the chickpeas, the mint, crushed red pepper, 2 garlic cloves and tomato paste. Keep stirring for 3-4 minutes until all the chickpeas are coated with the herbs and spices. Then turn the heat off. Add salt and pepper if desired.
- Cabbage: Add the cabbage with 1 garlic clove, 1 tsp olive oil, lemon juice and a pinch of salt to a large salad bowl. Mix everything well together.
- Tomato cucumber salad: chop the tomatoes, cucumbers, scallions and parsley. Add a tsp of olive oil and salt. Mix together.
- Arrange: In a bowl or on a plate, start with 1/4 of the cabbage as the base. Top with 1/4 of the chickpeas, 1/4 of the tomato cucumber salad, add 1/4 cup of olives, 1/4 of a large avocado and finish with 1-2 tbsp hummus in the middle.
Meal Prep Option: If you do want to make this bowl ahead for the next few days, make sure to store all of the parts separate. You can chop up the cabbage, the cucumber and scallions, but make sure to use whole cherry tomatoes and not to add the dressing (it will make the salad spoil much faster!).
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 355Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 400mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 14gSugar: 8gProtein: 12g
I hope you enjoy making and eating this Mediterranean lunch bowl, it really is delicious.
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