Wholesome brown rice is topped with Greek-seasoned shrimp, bell peppers, and zucchini that is served with all the accompanying fixings to make the perfect Greek-inspired grain bowl: salty olives, tender roasted red pepper, tangy feta, and juice tomatoes.
It’s that time of the weekend: the limited amount of time my girls’ imagination is running wild, they’re playing together contentedly, and I get to squeeze in productive time while enjoying to the max listening in on their imaginative play. It tops my most favorite things. In fact, I’m wearing sunglasses (indoors) working upstairs in a bright little nook of space just so I can get in on the listening.
Yesterday was a swim meet for Shea in Battle Creek and soccer for Piper locally. We divided and conquered. Shea’s relay team took first by nearly 20 yard in a 100 yard relay – woop! She improved her 25 yard backstroke and swam her first 50 yard race. It sounds like both girls are committed to competitive swim this summer and so we’re on to figuring out how to make that happen with 2 full-time jobs.
I played hookie from church to nurse a sore throat and grind through my book for book club this week. I wish I could say it was captivating, but thus far The Diamond Eye by Kate Quinn is falling a little flat. Resting up to play Mark’s hockey team tonight – a 9:40pm start is slightly better than the 11pm start from last Sunday. #eyeroll
ROLL CALL FOR THIS RECIPE
- Grain bowls are ultimate fun food and despite first impressions, can be quite kid-friendly. The must haves: a grain, a lean protein, beautifully seasoned vegetables, an array of colors, and a fun sauce to pull it all together.
- Great for weeknights, most grain bowls can be largely prepped ahead of time making them quick to prepare and assemble.
- Greek-inspired, this grain bowl offers salty olives and feta, tender grains, and crisp-tender bell peppers and zucchini alongside the quick-cooking protein star of the show: shrimp.
KEY INGREDIENTS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Vegetables: This recipe uses a combination of cooked and fresh ingredients to increase the variety of colors and textures. Based on your personal preference, you can opt for a different combination of veggies or change up how they’re prepared – raw versus cooked.
- Grain: Brown rice in this recipe is a nice option because it’s a whole grain option that is also sold in a variety of quick-cooking ways: minute rice over the stove top of single serve cups or packages, etc. That said, you can swap in any number of other grains, if preferred: quinoa, farro, bulgur wheat, millet, wheat berries, couscous, or just plain’ol white rice.
- Protein: We love shrimp because of how quickly it cooks and how well it takes on different flavors. Seafood is also a beautiful canvas for Greek flavors. However, feel free to use chicken, pork, beef, tofu, or tempeh for a change. While fish may not hold up well in the preparation, other options will!
- Sauce: The lemon-garlic yogurt is a sauce that pairs beautifully here, but so would a tahini, yogurt-mint, or even a hummus or tahini option. The lemon highlights the Greek flavors beautifully!
- Brown rice is a mild, tender whole grain that is rich in magnesium and fiber, offering nearly 4 grams of fiber per serving. It also contains about 5 grams of protein per cooked cup. Brown rice is also rich in manganese – a mineral deficiency that is linked with metabolic syndrome and which helps with bone formation, wound healing, and glucose regulation. Additionally, brown rice contains phenols and flavonoids which help protect from oxidative stress.
- In addition to their beautiful colors and flavors, bell peppers offer loads of vitamin C while flavor-neutral zucchini is a vegetable that’s adaptable to most any type of recipe, dessert included! Zucchini also offers several antioxidants including lutein and zeaxanthin and providers generous vitamins C and A, potassium, folate, and fiber.
VARIATIONS AND TIPS
- Grains bowls are so adaptable. A few ingredient swaps and seasoning changes and I can see a Mexican-inspired bowl of goodness!
- I highly recommend prepping what you can ahead of time. For kids or guests, or even your choosy eaters, serve the components separately for a build-your-bowl option so that everyone can get more, less, or none of what they want!
- Gluten-Free: Choose a gluten-free rice for a gluten-free meal.
- Dairy-Free: Omit the cheese and swap in hummus to be free of dairy.
- Vegetarian: Tofu or tempeh, or even chickpeas, would go beautifully in place of shrimp or another meat option.
- Low-Carb: Eliminate the rice or include quinoa in its place for a lower carb option. Using less or none at all is an option, too.
- 1 cup dry brown rice
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 lb large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 small zucchini, sliced into half-moons
- 2 bell peppers, cut into 1.5-inch pieces
- 20 kalamata olives, pitted
- 2 oz feta, cubed or crumbled
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup jarred roasted red peppers, thinly sliced
- ½ cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lemon, zested and 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Prepare the rice according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk to combine olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, paprika, oregano, salt, and pepper.
- Place shrimp in a second, smaller bowl and drizzle with half the olive oil mixture; toss to coat. Add the pepper and zucchini to the large bowl with the remaining olive oil mixture; toss to coat. Set both bowls aside.
- Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Pour in the shrimp and cook for 4-5 minutes or until pink and nearly cooked through; remove to a plate and set aside.
- Return the skillet to the heat. Increase heat to high. Add the veggies and any olive oil-spice mixture. Cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until veggies are crisp-tender.
- Meanwhile, prepare the Lemon-Garlic Yogurt by mixing together all ingredients in a small bowl until well-combined. Add a bit of water to thin, if desired.
- Return shrimp to skillet, stir, and cook for 1 minute longer.
- Assemble bowls with cooked rice on the bottom, topped with the veggies, shrimp, olives, feta, tomatoes, and roasted red peppers, along with a dollop of yogurt sauce.
Recipe adapted from Dishing Out Health
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1/4 recipe
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 543Total Fat: 25.5gCholesterol: 147mgSodium: 989mgCarbohydrates: 51.5gFiber: 5.0gSugar: 5.3gProtein: 32.5g
Big fan of “bowls” for supper? You’re not alone! 😉
- BBQ Chicken Quinoa Bowls
- Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowls
- Spicy Thai Chicken and Brown Rice Bowls
- Thai Tofu-Veggie Bowls
- Bulgogi Beef Bowls
- Teriyaki Salmon Sushi Bowls
- Spicy Fish Taco Bowls with Mango Pico
- Thai Peanut Sweet Potato Broccoli Buddah Bowls
- Egg Roll-in-a-Bowl
Weekly Menu: February 5th – 9th
- Sunday: Feta and Blistered Tomato Pasta with salad
- Monday: Crispy Chicken Tikka Masal Bowls with Mint Sauce
- Tuesday: Spicy Thai Peanut Tofu
- Wednesday: leftovers / breakfast for dinner
- Thursday: out for Book Club