Written by Kelly Jones, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN from eatreallivewell.com and NAC registered dietitian

As a new Mom, I understand the “I don’t have time” excuse more than ever. Still, if I don’t make time, I’ll be left deprived of energy both physically and mentally, so I prioritize having nourishing staple meal ingredients ready to go, just like I always have. Then those ingredients can be transformed into a satisfying meal at anytime. Everyone needs fast, easy, delicious meals, so this is just the first of new power bowlI’ll be regularly posting.

Bowl-style food may be popular right now at quick serve restaurants (Sweetgreen and honeygrow for example), but its also practical at home and extremely versatile, so you’ll never get bored. While this particular lunch or dinner for one could require a tiny bit of meal prep, the reality is that with ready-to-eat grain options now in grocery stores, you could get by with no prep at all, too!

easy vegan buddha bowl

Meal prep never has to be complicated. It shouldn’t be the pairing of chicken + sweet potato + broccoli for every single meal all week and it doesn’t have to be getting ingredients ready for complicated recipes each week night, either. Whether you’re prepping your ingredients or just stocking them in your pantry, all you need for a successful, delicious and balanced bowl is:

  • A cooked starch, such as quinoa, potatoes, farro, corn, etc.
  • Cooked (or just canned) legumes or another precooked protein source
  • Vegetables (cooked or raw)
  • Your favorite dressing, sauce or condiment, such as this lemon garlic tahini dressing, sriracha, guacamole, etc.

easy vegan lunch recipehigh protein vegan salad

I’ve posted about meal prep in the past, but I’m excited to now show you what that prep can turn into each week for real life meals that need to feed you quickly. Plenty of these meals have already been shared with my audience on instagram, but I realize it’s not as intuitive for everyone to build them as it is for me. Here’s the guidance you need!

Lemon Garlic Tahini Power Bowl

garlic lemon tahini dressing


  • 1-2 tbsp Tahini
  • Juice of 1/3 lemon
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • Dash of salt and paprika
  • 2 Cups of favorite salad mix
  • 1/3 cup black beans
  • 1/3 cup chickpeas
  • Heaping 1/2 cup quinoa
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon hemp seeds


  • Heat a small pan over medium and spray with cooking spray.
  • Add quinoa and beans, stir, reduce heat to low and cover.
  • Mix all other ingredients except greens in a small dish before pouring over the quinoa mixture. Use just 1 tablespoon of tahini if you prefer a less creamy dressing.
  • Stir until well incorporated, then pour entire mixture over greens in a bowl.
  • Enjoy

At the NAC, we know that to be successful in reaching your health goals, your nutrition plays an important role. For that reason, we have Registered Dietitians on our staff to better serve you. Our Registered Dietitians provide you with complimentary nutrition classes and seminars as well as fee-based personalized nutrition coaching to support your fitness in any stage of your life.  Nutrition services may be covered by your insurance and are eligible for HSA coverage.

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