coconut quinoa power bowls

coconut quinoa power bowls |

Want to know the most draining activity known to man?

Couch shopping.

It’s worse than doing your taxes. It’s worse than raking leaves. And it’s way worse than spending a day at Home Depot picking out a PVC connector piece (whatever that is).

And then you come home empty handed.

I think we went to 7 stores that day.

Our living room needs seating, and honestly, I didn’t think picking out a couch was going to be so difficult. But everything is made so cheap nowadays! I actually sat on a sectional and heard it crack.

coconut quinoa power bowls |

Anyway, like I said, we came home empty handed.

And to refuel our miserable selves we went to Panera Bread for lunch. I haven’t been there in ages.

Figuring I’d settle on a muffin or something, I was surprised to see a lentil and quinoa broth bowl on their menu. It sounded so interesting! It was delicious too. One of my biggest gripes with these types of chain cafes is the lack of menu creativity. It’s usually all the same stuff: grilled chicken salads, broccoli cheddar soup, panini etc. It was nice to see something different for a change. The broth was warm, filling and and I loved the fact that I was eating something healthy at an otherwise predictable lunch spot.

So, this is my at home version. Because I want to eat broth bowls everyday.

It’s similar to the original with lentils, quinoa, and miso- but the coconut, ginger and lemon are my own additions.

Incidentally, I just received 5 gorgeous flats of organic micro greens from Good Water Farms here on Long Island. I’m blown away by their vibrancy. And I couldn’t resist topping these nutritious bowls with a mix of greens- red shiso and purple radish.

Beauties, aren’t they?

red shiso |theclevercarrot.compurple radish micro greens |

To make this, start by cooking your quinoa and lentils together in one pot. I used the tiny French lentils.

I used to cook my quinoa and lentils separately but there’s no need for that- somehow it works. Also, I should mention that this was precooked earlier in the week. I let it sit out at room temperature while I made the rest of this dish.

Next up is the broth. Gently sauté a smashed garlic clove with thick ginger slices (you will pull these out later). Add some chili flakes if you like it spicy. Throw in a couple dollops of creamy white miso paste and coconut milk. Simmer for about 20 minutes for the flavors to infuse.

When you’re ready to eat, add your quinoa mixture to the broth- as much or as little as you’d like. Give it a good squirt of fresh lemon (or lime) juice to brighten the flavors. Top with tomatoes and a generous handful of micro greens.

You will feel instantly nourished.

coconut quinoa power bowls |

 Kitchen Notes:

  • The amount of quinoa and lentils yield more than you will need for this recipe. I did that on purpose, so that you’d have extra to add to your soups and salads during the week. 
  • Miso paste is strong. I’ve given you a range, in tablespoons, so that you can control the proportions.

coconut quinoa power bowls
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
For the grains
  • ½ cup quinoa
  • ½ cup lentils (I used French lentils)
  • 2 cups water
  • pinch of salt
For the bowls
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced into rounds
  • pinch of chili flakes
  • 1x 14 oz can of coconut milk or coconut cream
  • ½ cup water
  • 1-4 tbsp white miso paste
  • 1 lemon or lime
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • generous handful of assorted micro greens
  1. In a small pot, bring the water to a boil. Add a pinch of salt. Pour in the lentils and quinoa and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for about 20-25 minutes. Set aside until ready to use.
  2. To make the broth, warm the olive oil over low heat in a mid-sized soup pot. Add the garlic, ginger and chili flakes and sauté for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the coconut milk, water, and miso paste to the pot. Start with 1 tablespoon of miso paste and increase as needed to suit your taste. Whisk well to dissolve. Simmer the broth for about 20 minutes or so. If you prefer a thinner consistency, add a little more water. Strain your broth and return the soup to the pot. Add the juice of ½ a lemon (or lime) plus more to taste.
  4. To serve, scoop a good portion of the grain mixture into shallow bowls and pour the broth over the top. Add cherry tomatoes and sprinkle with micro greens.



  1. says

    This looks so nourishing and beautiful! And I love radish microgreens – they have such a nice spice to them. I’m so happy that some of the chain cafes are adding healthier options to their menus and I would never have guessed that something like this would come from Panera!

    Good luck with couch shopping. We went through that last year and it was awful – poor quality and selection at so many of the furniture stores. Finally we ordered one through West Elm that we have been really happy with! Fingers crossed for you!

    • Emilie says

      Thank you Christine! Aren’t they good? So peppery. My next experiment is going to be radish greens with grass fed butter on sourdough.

      And yes, can you believe Panera has broth bowls? The next time you’re in there, definitely try it. They have a soba noodle creation too.

      Thanks for the couch tips! My friends have mentioned West Elm as well, but before I knew about that we ended up getting one from Macy’s. We love it! Firm, yet soft and it’s a great size. Thanks again! xo

  2. Ruby88 says

    Wow what a stunner. Luv the fact that you can cook the lentils and quinoa together. And the microgreens ? so vibrant, not to mention packed full of nutrients. Nice touch. Another farm near you?

    • Emilie says

      Ruby, it’s the best trick! Who needs two pots to clean? Plus, the lentils come out perfectly tender and not mushy. Always a good thing.

      The farm is about 1 hour away on the eastern end of Long Island. I wish it was closer! Their micros are fantastic.

  3. says

    I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to disagree with you here. Because furniture shopping takes much higher honors on my want to do list than couch shopping. And plus, it leads to leisurely lunches with gorgeous inspiration like your bowl that can then be eaten on said couch:) (tip: order online from West Elm or Room and Board!) I’m jealous of your greens, it will be a while yet before we see them up close and personal here in the mountain states.

    • Emilie says

      Ha! You are so right. You know, thanks for the tip about West Elm. One of my friends had mentioned that as well. We ended up getting a sectional from Macy’s believe it or not. It just came yesterday! We’re loving it so far, including the boys who have managed to jump all over it like monkeys. They think it’s theirs, of course ;)

  4. says

    Wow, Emilie! Love your inspired version. This will go on my must make list. I could bathe in coconut milk. I couldn’t agree more about cooking quinoa and lentils together… magic. Those micro greens are simply divine and beautiful. I hope to get my hands on some soon!

    Home Depot… not sure whats worse than standing in the plumbing department but perhaps the lightbulb department…. or no, the nuts and bolts isle?! OMG! Have you been there lately? Don’t gooooo!!

    Couch shopping, I get it. I agree with Heidi.. go directly to Room and Board, forget about trying to find anything else worthwhile. I’ve not shopped West Elm, but their stuff online is beautiful. Rob and I got so tired of looking for quality bedroom furniture, he ended up building all of ours (although he is a woodworker, he had not built an entire bedroom suite). Room and Board was not open at that time.

    • Emilie says

      Hi Traci, thank you! I think you will really like this one. It’s full of good energy. I too could bathe in coconut milk!

      You are SO lucky to have someone build custom furniture. How fantastic is that? Does he make cutting boards too? ;) ;)

    • Emilie says

      Jennifer, I have to say, topping these bowls with micro greens gives you an incredible amount of energy. This recipe is worth it for that alone! I’ve heard they’re easy to grow if you can’t get your hands on them.

  5. Claire says

    Your recipes are always so easy to replicate, I just wish I could get my photos to look as beautiful as yours -ha ha. Thanks for this post! I love quinoa. So yummy!!

    • Emilie says

      Pam, miso is absolutely incredible. There are a couple different types to choose from including red, barley and white miso as I’ve used here. That one is my favorite. It’s mild and almost buttery. I make a vinaigrette with white miso it too (put it on everything!). Here’s the recipe: Japanese Sunshine Salad

  6. says

    I love this, a unique spin off the “broth bowl” – I too, have been intrigued by the broth bowls at Panera (I see them advertised on a billboard…) but have yet to indulge (they look meaty-)

  7. says

    When I read the title of your post, I was so sure this was going to be a breakfast bowl on the sweet side (I guess the coconut made me think sweet), but what a nice surprise to see your delicious looking and sounding savory bowl! I love all the ingredients you used and they sound perfect together. Also, your micro greens are too gorgeous for words, this is what excites me, beautiful veggies, I can’t leave the farmer’s market without being completely overloaded since almost everything screams to me “take me home, cook me, eat me, transform me into a salad!”.

    I do agree with you about couch shopping, it is torturous. You will be sitting on it everyday for years, you need to get it right! Good luck, hoping you find something just right.

    • Emilie says

      You know, now that you mentioned a breakfast bowl I bet this could be tweaked to be just that! I love coconut milk any way, sweet or savory. And I’m just like you- I come home home with way too much from the farmers market. I can’t help it!

  8. says

    Oh gosh – I do NOT envy your couch shopping expedition! This sounds like the perfect dish to relax you at the end of an inevitably stressful day. Those greens on top are just so gorgeous and vibrant too!

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