Make a healthy and attractive meal with Quinoa, vegetables and hummus

You will love this healthy quinoa meal idea. It’s suitable for 3-4 people and is a riot of colour, taste and texture.

Quinoa Meal Idea
This power packed bowl will delight one and all.
Jump to Recipe

Whenever you are wondering how to mix things up and serve something that is different from the standard meals, this one would be a great idea.

Since the meal is had in a bowl, I also call it a quinoa bowl meal. Prepping for this does not take too much time if you plan it.

Having confidently claimed that you are going to love this quinoa bowl recipe, let me also assure you that the whole plan is structured to get you the maximum out of a meal. It is not only attractive, it is a very healthy meal and the quinoa, vegetables and the hummus or pesto is a great combination meal.

The fact that quinoa itself is choc-a bloc with everything you need in a grain is the reason why it is gaining popularity. Read more about benefits, dos and don’ts of quinoa here!

The millets we commonly used to use are also equally good and I do use a lot of those. For instance in this idli recipe that you can see in this video, I have used a mixture of all kinds of healthy millets. It is safe enough for toddlers also. You can follow my Instagram feed for daily updates and a closer connect. I’d love that!

Coming back to this quinoa recipe… I like to mix things up and a good idea for a meal is always worth sharing, what say? So here goes!

A drizzle of tomato chilli sauce
Add your favourite sauces to the quinoa bowl

This Quinoa Meal is made of several parts.

As with any complete meal, you need foods from different groups, with as many colours as possible. You may enjoy this article about how just 3 changes in your eating pattern can help you choose healthier options.

Well this quinoa meal idea follows many of the principles mentioned in the article. It has 3 main components:

  • Quinoa
  • Vegetables (with or without chicken)
  • Basil Hummus or Basil Pesto
  • Nachos (optional)
  • Tomato Chilli Sauce (you can choose whatever is available in your pantry)


The easiest way to cook quinoa is to use the rice cooker. It is one of the first appliances you should get hold of, if you do not have one already! I use it all the time to steam and cook in and no wonder it is included in my list of recommended appliances.

All you do is to get your hands on some good quality quinoa, preferably organic. Add it to the bowl in the rice cooker. Now add twice the amount of water in it. A dash of salt, a wee dollop of ghee are optional ingredients. Just switch it on and relax while it cooks it to fluffy perfection!

And if you do not have the rice cooker, just mix quinoa with water (1:2 ratio) and heat it up in a saucepan. Add salt and ghee if using. It will soon cook and all the water will get absorbed. Stay around when the last bit is getting done, you really do not want to burn the quinoa!


All vegetables go well in this dosh, but I recommend carrots, beans, mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli, baby corn and sweet corn niblets. Besides this, we add cabbage. Garlic and onions give it a characteristic taste and bind the flavours together.

The sauces can be interchanged with whatever you have on hand. If in doubt, just get in touch with me on my Instagram link and I’ll help you out.

Vegetables for the quinoa meal idea
The riot of colours in this vegetable topping is flavoured with chicken nuggets.

CHICKEN is an optional addition to this quinoa meal idea

Definitely up to you, but adding chicken nuggets is a fun thing to do… It makes it easy for you to satisfy the vegetable hater to try the vegetables, as it gives it a good deal of flavour.

You can surely substitute it for small bits o chicken breast or even leave it out.


I recommend this for the sheer taste a drizzle of this brings into the dish. However, it can also be substituted for basil pesto.

To make the hummus:

  • 1 cup boiled chick peas (fresh or from tin)
  • 2 cups cleaned basil leaves
  • 4-6 pods of garlic, peeled
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (or more, if you wish)
  • Salt to taste (or 1/2 tsp)
  • 1/2 tsp pepper powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder

Grind to make a smooth paste. Adjust the seasoning and lime. Drizzle with some more olive oil. Make it slightly watery so you can drizzle on the quinoa. And it’s ready!

NACHOS (or any crisp addition)

I love to add this touch when we have guests, though I do not bother when we do not have any. It adds a crunch and certainly looks pretty in the bowl!

To Serve this Quinoa Meal Idea

Each component of this Quinoa Meal is unique and can be personalised according to taste. When you serve, it will be better to prefer bowls over plates. This will help eating this conveniently.

Another thing to remember is that you can also layer in the flavours and parts of this quinoa meal. And this will add a new twist to the meal.

What changes would you make to this quinoa meal idea?

Do let me know in the comments!

Quinoa Meal Idea

Recipe by Sheetal RabindranCourse: MainDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time



This quinoa meal is complete, healthy and tasty. Comes together quickly, especially if you set up the cooking in a coordinated manner (see notes)


  • 2 cups Quinoa

  • Chicken Nuggets or boneless breast 500 g, cut into smaller pieces (optional)

  • 3 cups chopped vegetables (mushrooms, carrots, beans, cauliflower florets, baby corn, sweet corn niblets, kept separate)

  • 10 Garlic pods, crushed or sliced

  • 2 onions, sliced

  • 1 cup sliced cabbage

  • 2 tbsp stir fry sauce or hoisin sauce or oyster sauce

  • 1 tbsp vinegar

  • 1 tbsp honey

  • 1 tbsp tomato chilli sauce

  • 1 tbsp soya sauce

  • 1 tsp (or to taste) salt

  • 4 tbsp oil

  • 5-6 tbsp basil hummus (see notes) or basil pesto

  • To serve… Nachos/ Chips/ Tomato Chilli Sauce/ Tahini/ Sweet Chilli/ Any available condiment


  • Cook the quinoa with 4 cups of water in the rice cooker. Alternatively, cook on low heat in a pan on the stove, till all the liquid has been absorbed and the grains are soft and cooked.
  • Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp oil in a large, thick bottomed pan. Stir fry the chicken if using. Add the mushrooms after 3 minutes. Fry till it chicken is golden brown. It will take approximately 6 minutes more.
  • Add the carrots and beans. Cook for a further 3 minutes. Sprinkle water if needed, but let the mixture remain dry. Finally add cauliflower, baby corn and sweet corn. Take care that none of the vegetables are over cooked. They should be done, but they should retain their bite and not become mushy. Remove.
  • In same pan, add 1 1/2 tbsp oil. Add garlic and fry. In a minute, add the onions. Let it fry with occasional stirring till golden brown. It will take around 6-7 minutes. Finally add the cabbage, stir for a minute. Add this to the vegetable mixture.
  • Finally, in same pan, heat the remaining 1/2 tbsp oil. Mix all the sauces and salt. Add to the pan and cook for a few seconds.
  • Toss the vegetable mixture back into the pan and mix well. Check the seasoning.
  • Put the quinoa, the (chicken and) vegetables and the hummus in separate bowls. Keep the chosen crispy eats and sauces handy.
  • To enjoy, layer a bowl with quinoa, vegetables and drizzle the hummus or your chosen sauces on top. Crush and add come crisps for extra texture and fun!


  • To save time, use the rice cooker and two pans. While the quinoa is getting done, use one pan to do step 2 and 3. In the next pan do step 4 and then 5. Use the biggest pan to do step 6. While the pans are frying the vegetables, quickly make the basil hummus or the basil pesto.

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