I’ve developed a mild obsession for grain bowls.  Not only do they look pretty and bountiful, they can be quite healthy and nourishing for your body, too!  What’s not to love about that?  We have this recipe on rotation almost monthly in our home because we love it so much.  The parsley & mint dressing is so refreshing and adds just enough brightness to compliment the deeper earthiness of the spiced chickpeas.  I love switching up the grains in this dish from quinoa to farro, barley or even brown rice.  I will also switch between using toasted sunflower seeds or pine nuts and either watercress, spinach or arugula for variety. Truthfully, it’s whatever is in the pantry or fridge.  That’s the beauty of this recipe.  If you are missing something from the ingredients, there is a lot of latitude to improvise and it still will come out on top!  Are you catching my love for grain bowls yet?

[ingredients title=”What you’ll need”]

For the chickpeas:

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 15.5 – ounce can chickpeas, drained, rinsed and patted dry
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

For the dressing:

  • 1 ½ cups parsley leaves
  • ¾ cup mint leaves
  • 1 ¾ cups extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

For the assembled grain bowl:

  • 3 cups cooked quinoa, farro, barley or brown rice
  • 4 cups shredded cooked chicken from a 2 lb rotisserie chicken
  • 2 cups English cucumber, sliced thin
  • 1 ½ cups radishes, sliced thin
  • 2 avocados, halved, pitted and sliced
  • 4 cups watercress, baby arugula or spinach
  • 1 cup sliced red onion
  • 4 teaspoons of toasted sunflower seeds or pine-nuts


[directions title=”Prep + Cook”]

  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions.
  2. Place sunflower seeds on a small jelly roll pan and preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Bake for about 8-10 minutes until slightly golden.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Cook chickpeas, cumin, and cayenne, shaking to coat, until heated through. 
  4. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, shaking occasionally, until chickpeas are golden brown and crisp, about 10 minutes.  Transfer to paper towels and season with salt.  Set aside to cool.
  5. For the dressing, pulse parsley and mint in a food processor until finely chopped.  Add oil, lemon juice, honey, and salt and pulse to combine.
  6. For the bowl, slice the cucumber, avocados, & red onion.  Shred/slice the chicken.
  7. To assemble the bowls, toss quinoa with ½ cup dressing in a large bowl.  Divide among serving bowls.  Toss chicken with 1/3 cup dressing in the same large bowl.  Arrange the chicken, cucumbers, avocados, and watercress over quinoa. 
  8. Top with chickpeas, red onions and sunflower seeds. Serve remaining dressing on the side for drizzling & ENJOY!


Serves 4

Share your creations with us by tagging #mixmytable

Author:  Jennifer Kuhar