Ok, so we’ve chatted on Instagram about how I’m pausing on gluten for now while I figure out some gut stuff. And by chatted, I mean I’ve whined. And the verdict is still out on whether I feel better (enough) to stick with it. But I’ll tell you the hardest thing for me was taking a break from my crunch wraps. Crunch wrap break= heartbreak. Still mourning. But sometimes it’s time to start a new relationship and with copycat Cava bowls, wow, I’ve met something special.
The thing is, I’m a creature of habit and love to find something AMAZING, and then repeat it every day. Because A: that simplifies life. And B: when food can taste SO GOOD, there’s nothing worse to me than wasting a meal on something meh. Also, while the calorie count of Cava bowls varies, they almost always contain fewer calories than what you would be eating otherwise, especially because they’re gluten-free. And Cava bowls are SO macro-friendly.
What are Cava bowls?
There’s a lot of room for creative interpretation, but they’re definitely Mediterranean inspired and full of lean proteins, fresh vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fat. For a base, you could use greens, grains, pita, or any combination of the three. Common proteins for Cava bowls are grilled chicken, falafel, and lamb meatballs. Typically, you’ll want some healthy roasted vegetables and delicious toppings like hummus and tzatziki.
But remember the creative part: you can fill a Cava bowl with all your favorite flavors. That’s what I did with this easy dairy-free Cava bowl. I’m here to show you how to make Cava bowls at home. Inspired by Cava of course, where Ross and I have our weekly lunch dates. Which, YES, shows you just how crazy I am since even when I go out, I’m eating pretty much the same thing. Ha! This is love.
So many foods go down a notch when you cut the gluten and dairy, but this Cava bowl is still LEVEL 10 delicious and satisfying, hence the repeats. With the help of some store-bought vegan tzatziki, it’s still creamy and amazing, and I don’t even miss the feta. But feel free to add some to yours!
How to Make an Easy Dairy-Free Cava Bowl
- Cooked brown rice (I buy microwavable bowls from Costco or frozen pouches from Trader Joe’s!)
- Baked or roasted sweet potato
- Cherry tomatoes, halved
- Cucumbers, diced small
- Avocado, diced
- Pickled onions
- Grilled chicken, chopped
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Fresh mint
- Optional- Hummus
This easy dairy-free Cava bowl is so quick to throw together, which makes it perfect for quick lunches or dinners on repeat. It’s a great way to use up odds and ends of produce and protein that you have on hand. To make my life easier, I will grill chicken and roast sweet potatoes on Sunday so I have them on hand and ready to throw into salads all week long. For an extra shortcut, we even keep microwavable brown rice on hand. I get mine from Costco or Trader Joe’s, but you can find it almost anywhere. When you have your main ingredients prepped and ready to go, this bowl takes a handful of minutes. You’re WELCOME.
The other key to making a Cava bowl that is extra delicious is to use high-quality ingredients. One ingredient that I never skimp on is Balsamic Vinegar. My favorites are the white balsamics from Baker and Olive. You can’t go wrong with any of their varieties, but I find myself using lemon, peach, or mango the most often on my salads. GAME CHANGER. And they’ll keep the calorie count of your Cava bowl low.
Tzatziki is currently a staple for me! I don’t even care if it doesn’t make sense. If you are watching your dairy consumption, the vegan tzatziki from Trader Joe’s is a GREAT dairy-free option. If you are fine with dairy, grab your favorite store brand or you can use the recipe found on this post to easily make your own. For extra flavor and creaminess, toss in some feta while you’re at it.
Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, simply toss them all together! Enjoy.
I like to add fresh mint and some lemon to my easy dairy-free Cava bowls. They add brightness to the meal and make it taste extra fresh. If you love hummus, toss some of that in your bowl, as well. I don’t have the macros for that listed on this recipe, so you’ll have to log that one yourself.
- Harvest Chopped Kale Salad
- Quick and Zesty Italian Chopped Salad
- Herb and Arugula Pasta Salad
- Easy Spiced Pork Poke Bowl
- Copycat Cava Mediterranean Grain Bowl
- Quick and Healthy Crispy Carnitas Quinoa Bowl
Easy Dairy-Free Cava Bowl
- 1 cup Arugula (50 g)
- 1/3 cup Cooked Brown Rice (50 g)
- ¼ cup Baked or Roasted Sweet Potato, Chopped (50 g)
- 1/4 cup Cherry Tomatoes, halved (50 g)
- ½ cup Cucumbers, diced small (75 g)
- 1/4 cup Avocado, diced (30 g)
- 1/4 cup Pickled Onions (20 g)
- 3/4 cup Grilled Chicken, chopped (120 g)
- 1 Tbsp Good Balsamic Vinegar* (15 g)
- 1 Tbsp Tzatziki** (15 g)
- Fresh Mint
- Fresh squeezed lemon to finish
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Hummus (log this one yourself!)
- Toss all ingredients together in bowl and enjoy!
*I love to use sweet vinegar like the Baker and Olive lemon, peach, or mango. You can’t go wrong! **The vegan tzatziki from Trader Joe’s is a GREAT dairy-free option. If dairy is no problem, use your favorite store-bought, or you can use this recipe to whip up your own. And toss in some feta while you’re at it! MFP: Lillie Eats and Tells Easy Dairy-Free Cava Bowl