A Warm and Hearty Vegan Lunch

When lunch time rolls around, I just can’t get excited about a cold sandwich.  I’m a lot more likely to heat up leftovers from dinner the night before.  But on those sad occasions where there just aren’t any leftovers in the refrigerator, I might whip up something like the above meal.   A whole grain on the bottom of the bowl, savory legumes on top of that, and veggies to top the whole thing off.  It’s such a simple formula for a lunch that is healthful, tasty, and sticks to your ribs.

This particular combination boasts whole wheat cous cous on the bottom, cooked in vegetable broth.  (Trader Joe’s is the only place where I’ve ever been able to find whole wheat cous cous, so I pick up a couple of boxes every time I go in).  For the beans, I simply sauteed some chopped onion and garlic, then added cooked red beans, salt, and a little bit of liquid and allowed it to simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, while everything else was cooking.  This method of cooking beans results in soft and creamy beans that are starting to break apart.  The zucchini on top is simply chopped and sauteed with some garlic and extra virgin olive oil.  Absolutely delicious!

I’m not posting this as a recipe because the possibilities are endless.  I snapped this photo awhile back when zucchini was still in season.  Now that it is winter I would be more likely to top the dish with some sauteed greens like kale, collards, or chard.  As for the whole grains and the beans, experiment to your heart’s content!  Brown or red lentils would be great, as would pinto beans, black beans, or anything else you have on hand.  For the grain, you can use brown rice, quinoa, millet, or cous cous.  I love cous cous because it cooks up so quickly!

Of course, you don’t have to reserve a quick and easy meal like this for lunch.  It would be great for dinnertime too, or even breakfast!  Why not?

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