Our Mediterranean rice bowl is easy to put together, healthy and filling. The perfect on-the-go lunch!
Taking inspiration from the ‘buddha bowl’ concept, this Mediterranean bowl recipe combines fluffy brown rice with olives, feta, rocket, cucumber and tomatoes, all drizzled with a sweet tangy tahini sauce and served alongside rich creamy hummus.
Served cold, this is one of the best rice salads for summer for any health conscious individual. Plus, it’s also a great lunch option if you are trying to lose weight!
Need a meal in minutes? Try a Mediterranean rice bowl!
We know that lots of our readers are busy people, so we’ve made sure this is a super easy dish to whip up – it can be ready in just 15 minutes.
However, that doesn’t mean we have compromised on overall healthiness!
One serving of our Mediterranean rice bowl contains 525 calories, 16g protein, 9g fibre, a quarter of your daily calcium requirements and almost a quarter of your daily iron intake (for a 2000 calorie/day diet).
Wholegrain on the brain
The base of any ‘buddha bowl’ is usually a grain. It is very common to use rice, which is what we used in our smoked tofu and hummus buddha bowl, and what we have also chosen for our Mediterranean grain bowl.
But what are grains exactly? Grains are the edible seeds of certain types of grasses. They are a vital source of carbohydrates in diets all over the world.
You have probably come across the term ‘wholegrain’ before, particularly when talking about healthy eating. Ever wondered what it means? Like, is there a half-grain out there then?
Let us explain! When you buy any grain, it will either be ‘refined’ or ‘wholegrain’. You are probably used to eating refined grains, like white rice.
These grains have been ‘milled’, a process which removes their ‘bran’, a protective outer layer, and ‘germ’, the core of the grain, where lots of nutrients are stored.
Milling grains improves their shelf life, but gets rid of some of the important nutrients stored in the bran and germ.
‘Wholegrain’ means that the grain has not been milled, so they still have their bran and germ when you eat them. Wholegrain foods have much greater nutritional value than refined foods, as all their fibre, iron and b-vitamins remain intact.
That’s why in our Mediterranean rice salad, we use brown rice, which is wholegrain.
Rice-ing to the occasion: brown rice and weight loss
So we know that brown rice is overall healthier, but is a veggie rice bowl a good thing to eat if you are trying to lose weight?
The answer is yes!
When we think about foods that are weight loss friendly, one of the most important things is fibre content. This is because fibre is what makes you feel full, so choosing fibre rich foods can help you to consume fewer calories overall.
Because brown rice is a wholegrain, it has a far higher fibre content than white rice, which has been stripped of its fibrous bran. 1 cup of brown rice contains 3.5g fibre, whereas 1 cup of white rice only contains 1.42g.
A study of 74,000 women showed that women with the highest intake of fibre had a 49% lower risk of serious weight gain than those who had the lowest fibre intake. In this same study the women whose diets contained most wholegrains consistently weighed less than those who consumed less wholegrains.
So super healthy rice bowls made with lovely brown wholegrain rice are the perfect lunch to eat as part of a weight loss diet.
If you want to learn more stuff like this about weight loss for a vegetarian diet, have a look at our free weight loss meal plan!
If you want to try other ways to eat brown rice, try our easy broccoli stir fry with brown rice!
Big batch of rice bowls
This Mediterranean rice bowl is the perfect lunch to prep in advance and eat throughout the week.
- If you cook up a big batch of brown rice and make a jar of tahini sauce, then all you need to do is make sure you’re stocked up on hummus, feta and veggies! Just a little bit of preparation means you can put a yummy Mediterranean bowl together in 5 minutes and take it to work with you for lunch.
- You could also experiment with different combinations– for example, why not try roasted chickpeas instead of hummus? Or serve it with a slice of lemon, for some extra zest? You could even add some falafels, always a great addition to a hummus bowl.
- This is a vegetarian rice bowl recipe, but if you want it to be vegan, just remove the feta and use agave instead of honey in the sauce.
- One top tip we would give is to make sure to mix the tahini sauce thoroughly, especially if you have made it in advance. The components have a tendency to separate and if not mixed properly, the sauce can taste a bit bitter. You want to make sure you get all the flavours working together in a nutty, sweet, citrussy combo.
Now, go forth and enjoy the simple but mighty Mediterranean rice bowl!
Mediterranean Rice Bowl
This Mediterranean rice bowl is perfect for meal prep. Full of wholegrains & veggies, it’s simple, healthy and delicious.
- 1 ½ cups brown rice (cooked)
- ½ cup hummus (can be store bought)
- 14 black or green olives (pitted)
- 2 oz feta cheese (crumbled, can be low fat)
- 1 handful arugula (rocket)
- 1 small persian cucumber (sliced)
- 6-8 cherry tomatoes
To make the tahini sauce, mix in a small bowl the tahini, lemon juice, water, honey, onion powder and salt.
Plate the grain bowl with the brown rice as a base (doesn’t have to be warm) and top with hummus, olives, crumbled feta cheese, arugula, sliced cucumbers and cherry tomatoes. Enjoy with a lot of tahini sauce.