Celebrate a World of Flavors – Mediterranean Cuisine
Friday, April 1, 2022

“Celebrate a World of Flavors” is a chance to learn more about your own food culture and those around you. Learn how to eat a well-balanced meal with lots of flavors! Mediterranean dishes include the cuisines of the countries that border the Mediterranean Sea. Expand your diet by learning how to make an authentic Mediterranean dish and dine at a Blue Zones Project ApprovedTM Restaurant!

This Mediterranean-style bowl includes a traditional ingredient, lemon tahini herb sauce. This dish also contains quinoa, a whole grain full of fiber that is a source of plant-based protein.

Mediterranean Grain Bowl
Blue Zones Recipe


  • 4 cups kale
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, skinned and chopped into 1-inch cubes
  • Extra virgin olive oil spray
  • 1 ½ cup of cooked chickpeas, or one can organic chickpeas, drained
  • ½ teaspoon each turmeric, coriander and cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon each smoked paprika garlic powder and cayenne
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, well rinsed and drained
  • 1 ¾ cups water
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Sea salt to taste
  • A pinch of fresh-ground black pepper
  • ½ cup of Lemon Tahini Herb Sauce
  • 2-3 tablespoons sunflower seeds, for garnish
  • Dill, for garnish

Lemon Tahini Herb Sauce:
Blue Zones Recipe

  • ½ cup tahini
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Juice of 1 small lemon
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dill
  • Sea salt to taste


  1. Begin with de-stemming the kale. Cut or tear the leaves into small, bite-size pieces. Add the lemon juice and sea salt and using your hands, take a minute or so to massage them into the kale, and squeeze the kale around to soften them.
  2. Preheat oven to 375° F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Spread the sweet potato cubes on one-half of the baking sheet. Spray with the olive oil over the potatoes and toss until coated (omit for a fat-free version). Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt.
  4. Place the drained chickpeas in a bowl. Add all the spices and toss to combine. Transfer to the other half of the baking sheet and spread in one layer.
  5. Place the sweet potatoes and chickpeas in the preheated oven. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove and gently flip the sweet potatoes and roll the chickpeas (for even cooking). Place back in the oven for another 15 minutes. Roast until the chickpeas are golden and slightly crispy and the sweet potatoes are lightly browned and fork-tender.
  6. While the potatoes and chickpeas are roasting, cook the quinoa. Thoroughly rinse the quinoa with water in a fine-mesh sieve. Heat a saucepan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the rinsed quinoa and lightly dry-sauté it for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently; this brings out the quinoa’s nutty flavor. Then add the water, turmeric powder, black pepper and sea salt to the quinoa and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook for 18-20 minutes until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender and fluffy. Once cooked, remove from the heat and fluff the quinoa with a fork.
  7. Place the seasoned kale in a large shallow bowl. Add a scoop of quinoa and a generous serving of sweet potatoes, and then sprinkle chickpeas on top. Drizzle with Lemon Tahini Herb Sauce. Garnish with sunflower seeds and more dill.

Lemon Tahini Herb Sauce:

  1. Whisk all ingredients and serve. Keeps in the refrigerator for a week.

Blue Zones Project Approved Restaurants

For more details and the complete list of the Blue Zones Project Approved Restaurants, visit bchd.org/restaurants.

Quinoa | The Nutrition Source | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health