With a spicy basil tahini drizzle and maybe some pita chips for scooping too. YUM

Greek Goddess Grain Bowl with “Fried” Zucchini, Toasted Seeds and Fried Halloumi | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

I don’t even really know where to begin.

Greek Goddess Grain Bowl with “Fried” Zucchini, Toasted Seeds and Fried Halloumi | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

There is just so much happening here. So much flavor, so many textures and just so much goodness all in one bowl!!

AND it is an almost completely vegan bowl too. Like what?!? Just lose the halloumi and this becomes vegan…but oh my gosh, I’d never, ever, ditch the halloumi if I were you. NEVER.

If you have never experienced halloumi cheese, now is the time. Like today. Go buy some, add it to a skillet, fry it on both sides and then just eat it. So flippin delicious. Definitely one of my new favorite cheeses.

Greek Goddess Grain Bowl with “Fried” Zucchini, Toasted Seeds and Fried Halloumi | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Please excuse my annoyingly chipper Monday morning chatter. It’s just that I am excited about this bowl. So exited that I have been texting people photos of it for the past week. People who could care less about a goddess bowl, people who have now probably blocked my messages, and people who I majorly made super hungry, and then majorly depressed, because this bowl was thousands of miles away from them.

UGH.

I am so very sorry, but again, this bowl excites me and clearly I am like an eight year old and cannot contain my excitement

Sometimes I get really exited about a recipe because of the photos, but with this bowl, my excitement has nothing to do with photos (which I think are pretty sub-par). It’s all about what’s going on in this bowl. It’s just got everything.

Greek Goddess Grain Bowl with “Fried” Zucchini, Toasted Seeds and Fried Halloumi | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Also, I just need to say that it is currently snowing outside my window and despite my chipperness about this bowl, I pretty much want to start bawling my eyes out. Or better yet, screaming at the universe. OH MY GOSH. STOP SNOWING.

It actually snowed all weekend. I think I need to move. Thank God for my little space heater. It pretty much saves my life…and my sanity.

Oh, and pineapples, yes, those help greatly too…I maybe just ordered a muscle tank with a giant hot pink pineapple on it purely just because the pineapple made me happy. And I actually despise hot pink, but I just couldn’t resist the pineapple.

Greek Goddess Grain Bowl with “Fried” Zucchini, Toasted Seeds and Fried Halloumi | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

In other news, I am escaping this bitter cold winter weather on Friday and headed to LA for work (my brother Malachi is also tagging along to look at schools, and my cousin Abby is coming up from San Diego, so hopefully there will be a little fun interspersed in this trip as well!). But you guys, I heard it was cold and raining in LA the other day?

OH NO. I mean, I know the rain is a good thing, but man, I hope it clears by Friday.

Greek Goddess Grain Bowl with “Fried” Zucchini, Toasted Seeds and Fried Halloumi | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Anywho, back on track here.

These Greek Goddess grain bowls, that are chock full of health and deliciousness, need to be explained a bit. I have had the idea to create a Goddess bowl like this since January, but I held off solely for the purpose of fresh heirloom cherry tomatoes. I know, I waited months to make this for tomatoes? Yeah, but I really just enjoy creating seasonal foods, so to me, it was worth the long wait.

SIDENOTE: it feels really wrong talking about tomatoes while it’s snowing outside. Like that’s just not right.

I am however, sad that I waited so long to try Halloumi cheese. Like I said, this is some seriously delicious cheese, like whoa!

Greek Goddess Grain Bowl with “Fried” Zucchini, Toasted Seeds and Fried Halloumi | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

OK SO. I will not try to sugar coat a thing. There are a lot of ingredients that go into this meal. DO NOT let this scare you away. I promise the prep work really is not that hard and all the ingredients are oh so good for our bodies. So say hello to this bowl and start thinking about sliding into that bikini this summer (please don’t tell me you are already wearing one!).

Just look past the words “fried” because really nothing is fried. The zucchini just gets a little crispy coating, and the Halloumi gets a quick sear in the skillet. It is still healthy. Plus, I even used nutritional yeast (which can be found at health food stores and on [Amazon | http://www.amazon.com/Bobs-Red-Mill-Large-Flake/dp/B000WLCHDA/ref=sr_1_3?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1431221180&sr=1-3&keywords=nutritional+yeast]) in the coating for the zucchini to make things extra nutrient dense and good for us. COOL!

And now let’s talk about all those seeds. Oh how I love those seeds!

Basically, I just grabbed all the seeds I had in my pantry, added them to a skillet with a little olive oil, toasted them to a sweet golden perfection and gave them a little sprinkling of salt – done. Super simple, but possibly my favorite component to these bowls. They have SO much flavor and great texture. Not to mention all the health benefits!

Greek Goddess Grain Bowl with “Fried” Zucchini, Toasted Seeds and Fried Halloumi | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Would you look at me?

Health benefits? Almost vegan? Craziness.

Greek Goddess Grain Bowl with “Fried” Zucchini, Toasted Seeds and Fried Halloumi | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

I did go ahead and add a few hard-boiled eggs to our bowls, but to be completely honest, these are amazing even without the eggs. This bowl is really about the seeds, the zucchini, the Halloumi and the basil tahini drizzle (which by the way should be added to everything).

So you see??? This bowl is everything that is good, and good for you. Literally.

Greek Goddess Grain Bowl with “Fried” Zucchini, Toasted Seeds and Fried Halloumi | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest
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The Recipe

Greek Goddess Grain Bowl with Fried Zucchini, Toasted Seeds and Fried Halloumi.

*It is important to use grains that have similar cooking times. I found the mix of quinoa, couscous, bulgar and quick cooking wild rice to work really well.*If you have time, roasted garlic adds so much flavor to the tahini drizzle. It is not a must, but if you can, do it! To roast the garlic, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Chop off the top portion of the garlic head to reveal cloves. Peel any excess paper/skin off from the bulb of garlic. Place the cloves onto a piece of tin foil and pour about a teaspoon of olive oil on top. Cover with the foil. Place in the oven and roast for 45 minutes, or until the garlic is golden brown and soft. Remove from the oven and allow to cool five minutes. Squeeze the garlic out of the paper skin into a bowl and mash well with a fork.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 0 MAKES 4 BOWLS

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups mixed raw grains (I used quinoa couscous, bulgar and quick cooking wild rice)*
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint + oregano chopped
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper sliced
  • 1 cup roasted artichoke hearts drained
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 avocado sliced
  • 1/2 cup mixed olives
  • Hard boiled eggs fresh basil, dill and balsamic vinegar, for serving, optional

Tahini Goddess Drizzle

  • 1/4 cup tahini sesame paste
  • 2 cloves garlic * use roasted garlic if you have it!!
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast or grated parmesan
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 jalapeno seeded
  • 1 tablespoon honey depending on your taste (omit if vegan)

Toasted Seeds

Fried Zucchini + Halloumi

  • 2 inch zucchinis sliced into 1/4- rounds
  • 1/3 cup canned coconut milk or 1 egg + 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs use gluten free if needed
  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast or finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt + pepper
  • 8 ounces Halloumi Cheese sliced (omit if vegan)

Instructions

  1. Bring 3 cups water to a boil, add your grains. Cover and simmer over low heat for 20-30 minutes or until the water has evaporated. Stir in the fresh mint and oregano. Keep warm until serving.

Tahini Goddess Drizzle

  1. In a blender or food processor, combine the tahini, garlic, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, olive oil, a pinch of salt + pepper, the basil, jalapeno and 1 tablespoon honey. Blend until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust salt + pepper to your liking. Store in a glass jar in the fridge until ready to serve or up to 1 week.

Toasted Seeds

  1. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add enough olive oil to just cover the bottom. Add the pine nuts, sun flower seeds, flax seeds and sesame seeds. Cook, stirring often until toasted and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Watch closely as it is really important that you do not burn these! Once toasted remove from the heat and slide the seeds out into a bowl. Season with a little salt.

Fried Zucchini + Halloumi

  1. Wipe off the same skillet you just used to toast the seeds and place it back on the stove. Add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the skillet.
  2. Add the coconut milk to a bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the Panko, flour, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper. Heat the large skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. Dip each zucchini slice into the coconut milk to coat, then dredge through the breadcrumbs, pressing gently to adhere. Place in the skillet and cook until golden. This took me about 3 to 4 minutes per side. When finished, remove the slices and let drain on a paper towel.
  3. Bring that same skillet back to medium heat and add a little more oil if needed. If the skillet is looking pretty dirty, wipe it clean before adding more oil.
  4. Once hot, add the Halloumi slices and cook for 1-2 minutes per side or until lightly golden. Remove and drain on paper towels.

To Assemble the Bowls

  1. Divide the cooked grains among 4 bowls. Arrange the roasted red pepper, artichokes, tomatoes, avocado and olives along the side of the bowls. Add the toasted seeds, fried zucchini and halloumi. Drizzle with the tahini sauce and garnish with fresh basil + dill and if preferred, hard boiled eggs. Serve with pita chips.
Greek Goddess Grain Bowl with “Fried” Zucchini, Toasted Seeds and Fried Halloumi | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Bonus points if you eat this with fresh pita or pita chips. Yes. Do that.