By the time I returned from my first year of college, word had spread, that I was a foodie. I post about food, write about food, and can talk for days about food. Naturally, everyone starts to think that the only possible thing I must want to do during my summer vacation is be in the kitchen. Yes?

No. The kitchen is great, but after living on my own for quite some time now, I'm really just aching for someone else to make the food and serve it up. 

Yet after a stroke of inspiration from some leftovers in the fridge, I summoned courage and decided to put dinner together for those I love. These build-your-own quinoa bowls look elite, are simple and customizable, and easy to prep for the chef.

Let's do this.

The goal: quinoa grain bowls

The ingredients: your choice

For my bowls, I started with cooked quinoa.

cereal, wheat, corn, salt, porridge, millet, rice, quinoa
McKenna Cassidy

#SpoonTip Rinse the quinoa before cooking to get rid of the soapy layer that can sometimes make quinoa taste bitter

Then I set out ingredients like fresh arugula, roasted peppers and brussels sprouts, hummus, feta, and sliced tomato. 

tomato, vegetable, salad
McKenna Cassidy
McKenna Cassidy

Go ahead and toast pine nuts, grab some fresh sprouts from the farmer's market, or add some fresh grilled chicken or salmon for other protein! Set out the salt and pepper, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar so everyone can choose their own seasonings.

salad, chicken, tomato, balsamic
McKenna Cassidy
vegetable, salad, meat, tomato, chicken, pepper
McKenna Cassidy

The world's your oyster with add-ons here. Whether you want to stick with this mediterranean-esque grain bowl or go an asian route with sesame seeds, edamame, and Trader Joe's Mandarin Orange Chicken, any options are sure to please. 

If dinner's on you tonight, help yourself out and make these simple and satisfying quinoa bowls. Check the fridge, cook some quinoa, set out the toppings, and let everyone put the dish together themselves while you bask in the accolades of having created a fine and delicious meal.