Farmer’s Market Breakfast Grain Bowl
This breakfast bowl is perfect for those days where you need that extra fuel to get you through the morning. It’s loaded with quinoa, roasted carrots and cauliflower seasoned with za’atar, soft boiled eggs, halloumi cheese and avocado – all the protein you need. The grilled lemon adds a subtle, smoky flavor and zest to the bowl while the za’atar spice mix of oregano, sumac, cumin, and sesame seeds adds tanginess to the slightly caramelized roasted vegetables. I enjoy eating healthy meals such as this as long as they aren’t lacking in flavor, and this meal certainly isn’t.
The soft-boiled egg is cooked for exactly six minutes so that the whites of the egg are firm but the yolk is warm and runny. The end of the egg is poked with a thumbtack to prevent the egg from cracking when dropped in the water and to eliminate an air bubble from forming. While they are slightly harder to peel than hard-boiled eggs, be patient and peel slowly so the whites separate from the shell without breaking the egg.
1 cup tri-color quinoa
1 pound cauliflower florets
1 pound petit carrots
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon za’atar seasoning blend
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 medium lemons, halved
4 large eggs
7 ounces halloumi cheese, sliced crossways ½ -inch thin
2 medium avocados, halved, peeled, pitted and thinly sliced
¼ cup micro-cilantro (or 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro)
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
Preheat oven to 400ºF.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the quinoa and 2 cups of water to a boil then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until all the water has been absorbed, about 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
Toss the cauliflower and carrots with the olive oil and spread in a single layer on an aluminum-foil-lined baking sheet. Season with salt, pepper, za’atar and crushed red pepper. Add the lemon cut side down to the roasting pan. Roast vegetables until tender and slightly charred, about 30 minutes.
Bring a medium saucepot of water to a rapid boil over medium-high heat then reduce heat to medium-low so the water is at a bare simmer. Pierce the fat end of each egg with a thumbtack to make a small hole. Lower the eggs into the water and cook for 6 minutes. Drain the water and carefully peel the eggs under cold running water. Transfer the peeled eggs to a bowl until ready to use.
In a medium non-stick sauté pan over medium heat, add the halloumi and cook until golden brown and slightly melted on both sides, about 3 minutes each side. Remove and cut into cubes.
To serve: divide the quinoa among 4 bowls and top with roasted vegetables, a halved soft-boiled egg, halloumi cheese, avocado slices, micro-cilantro and sesame seeds. Serve immediately with the grilled lemon squeezed over the top.