Meal Plan Day 1: Mean Green Grain Bowls

Meal Planning + Mean Green Grain Bowls

This week, we’re talking (er… I’m talking) about meal prep! Wh? Well first and foremost, it’s because our meal planning journal, The Love & Lemons Meal Record and Market List, is out today! If you missed my post last week, click here to read all about it. If you haven’t pre-ordered one, click here to get one now! (And P.S. it’ll make a great Mother’s Day gift!)

I know, meal preparedness is ALL the rage on the internet lately and maybe you don’t need new ideas or maybe you do – but here’s the thing: I do. Things have been super busy lately and although our work is all food related, you might be surprised to know that as a food blogger, things tend to be “feast or famine” around here. There’s way too much food in the fridge or there’s no food in the fridge, depending on what we’re working on.

I often talk about cooking components on Sundays when you may have extra time to make big batches of things. I like this approach, but this week I’m doing something a little bit different. Starting with one meal – these yummy, easy, Mean Green Grain bowls that we ate for dinner last night – I’m going to transform these components into a new dinner every night for 5 nights so that each new meal builds off of the one previous to it.

The best part about these bowls – the yummy sauce! It’s a riff on the kale pistachio pesto sauce that I made a few weeks ago, but this time I made it with pepitas. Even if you’re nut-free you can play along! Spring is on the horizon, even though it doesn’t feel that way, so I used this spring-but-not-quite-yet feeling as inspiration. I made a monochromatic mix of broccolini (to represent spring) with cauliflower and hearty roasted parsnips (because it still feels like winter).

With these components, I made 2 grain bowls and saved the leftovers for the next meal. Check back tomorrow and each day this week to see what I make next. At the end of the week, I’ll post a recap of each meal and a shopping list.

In the meantime, you can record your own meal plans here in our pretty (and pretty useful) new meal planning journal 🙂

The Love & Lemons Meal Record & Market List The Love & Lemons Meal Record & Market List

5.0 from 4 reviews
Meal Planning: Mean Green Grain Bowls
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4 bowls
Grain (makes extra):
  • 1 cup raw quinoa, rinsed
  • 1¾ cups water
Creamy Kale Pepita Pesto (makes extra):
  • ½ cup pepitas (or shelled raw pistachios)
  • 2 small garlic cloves
  • 1 packed cup chopped kale
  • 1 packed cup cilantro, more for garnish
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ teaspoon maple syrup or honey
Roasted Vegetables:
  • 2 parsnips, chopped into ½ inch pieces
  • florets from ½ cauliflower
  • ½ bunch broccolini
  • 1½ cups halved Brussels sprouts
  • 1 (14-ounce) can chickpeas, drained & rinse, use ¼ cup per bowl, save the extra
  • scoop of sauerkraut (I like Bubbies)
  • sprinkle of toasted pepitas
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Make the quinoa: Add the rinsed quinoa and water to a medium pot. Bring it to a boil, cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it sit, covered, for 10 more minutes. Fluff with a fork. This will yield about 3 cups, I used a heaping ½ cup per bowl.
  3. Make the sauce: Combine the pepitas, garlic, kale, cilantro lemon juice, sea salt, pepper, olive oil, water, and maple syrup or honey in a blender and blend until smooth.
  4. Roast the vegetables: Place the parsnips, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower on one large baking sheet. Place the broccolini on the second baking sheet. Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil and pinches of salt and pepper, toss to coat, then spread evenly onto the sheets. Roast the parsnips/Brussels sprouts/cauliflower 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. Roast the broccolini for 10 to 12 minute or until tender. When cool to the touch, chop up the broccolini stems.
  5. Assemble bowls with a scoop of quinoa, the roasted vegetables, about ¼ cup chickpeas, a scoop of sauerkraut, and top with pepitas. Drizzle with the sauce. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper, if desired, and serve. I assembled these components into 2 bowls (although the whole recipe will make 4) and saved the leftovers for tomorrow’s dinner - stay tuned!
  6. Store the extra sauce, quinoa, and remaining chickpeas in the fridge.


If you make this, let us see! Tag your photo with #loveandlemons on Instagram.


  1. Morgan Wood from on said:

    I’m so excited about making this, I want to toss my to-do list out the window and head to the kitchen right now!

    • Morgan from on said:

      ABSOLUTELY delicious! Grabbed the ingredients and made this for dinner tonight. Excellent flavor. The only changes I made were to use red sauerkraut and broccoli (vs broccoli). Nervous how hubby would feel about a meatless meal I dry-poached some organic chicken breasts and added that. Two thumbs up!!!

      • I’m so glad you liked it! Happy you found the recipe to be so flexible too 🙂

  2. Natalie on said:

    The Creamy Kale Pepita Pesto looks amazing!!!
    As an salad addict, I always try something new everyday.
    Yours looks delicious with the roasted vegetable as my favourite ingredients <3
    I'll try it soonn!!

  3. Josie on said:

    This is amazing! So easy and delicious. Thank you so much for this great meal plan – it is so good to learn how to put things like this together and very budget friendly (even in NZ where groceries can be killer!) Very grateful – thanks again!!!

  4. Sarah on said:

    Solid meal tonight! Looking forward to tasting the remaining installments!

  5. Claudia on said:

    This pesto is a delicious way to brighten up the roasted veg and grains (I used faro). It’s very easy to make.

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe (after making it):