Last week I introduced you to Postadas, one of my new favorite quick, go-to meals to have on hand for busy times. This week I thought I would introduce you to my second favorite easy, semi make-ahead meal, my roasted vegetables quinoa bowls.
“Bowls” have become widely popular in cooking media (magazines, blogs, and cooking shows). They must be running out of creative ideas because these “bowls” are nothing more than fairly typical salads thrown together in slightly larger bowls. Ok. Perhaps I’m not being totally fair. These new bowls often have the addition of whole grains or fried eggs in them which is a fairly new idea for the humble green salad. But new or not, what this movement is doing is getting folks excited about vegetables again, and showing how vegetables, greens and whole grains can be put together in a million different combinations. In my view, that makes the hype very worthwhile.
Since my family is cutting out a lot of meat during the week and we receive a lot of root vegetables from our winter CSA share, roasted root vegetable quinoa bowls have become a great winter meal option for us. These bowls are basically a combination of healthy raw greens, roasted mixed root vegetables, sprouted mixed quinoa, a bit of cheese, some nuts, and a homemade dressing. The quinoa adds complete protein, which is supplemented by additional protein in the vegetables, cheese, and nuts I opt to add. I vary the dressing recipe so we don’t get bored.
The beauty of this dish is that as long as I have washed and dried raw greens, a bowl of roasted root vegetables, some pre-cooked quinoa, a bit of cheese and some dressing, I have a dish that takes 5 minutes to put together. My husband especially loves this because he is often on a different schedule than I am and likes that he can put a healthy dish together quickly on his own with prepared ingredients sitting in the fridge.
In this particular recipe I use an avocado miso dressing. The avocado adds a creamy richness, which is a nice treat and a change from standard vinaigrettes. Further, it adds lots of healthy, monounsaturated fats. I like to put miso in my dressing because raw miso offers probiotics which are important for gut health. Plus I love the umami taste miso gives to dressings. If you prefer, you can try this dish with your own favorite dressing. Virtually any vinaigrette or dressing will taste great with a roasted root vegetable combination.
For those who really need their animal protein, try topping these bowls with a fried egg, or add some cooked shredded chicken or ground turkey. The possibilities with bowls like this are truly endless.
So I invite you to try this version of the quinoa bowl below, or make up your own unique combination, but do try it. It will make your life much easier, not to mention make you ever so “cool” in the food world!
- - 1 cup uncooked quinoa, preferably sprouted
- - 6-8 cups mixed leafy greens, cleaned and dried
- - 8 cups peeled (if required) mixed root vegetables, cut into ⅓" dice (beets, parsnips, turnips, rutabaga, sweet potato, kohlrabi)
- - 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- - kosher salt to taste
- - 2-3 ounces goat cheese, optional
- - ⅓ cup chopped raw walnuts
- - Avocado miso dressing
- - 1 avocado, pitted and flesh removed
- - 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- - 3 teaspoons organic white miso
- - 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- - ¼ teaspoon salt
- - ½ cup water, plus more as needed for pourable consistency
- - pepper to taste
- Rinse quinoa in a sieve and allow to drain. Bring 1¾ cups water and ¼ teaspoon salt to boil in a small saucepan. Stir in rinsed quinoa. Cover, reduce heat to a low simmer, and cook for 13 minutes. Remove lid. Water should be completely absorbed. If not, return lid and cook for 1-2 minutes more. Remove lid and allow steam to release and quinoa to cool. Cooled quinoa can be place in the fridge for later use.
- Preheat oven to 400℉. Spray or brush a large rimmed baking sheet with oil. Place root vegetables in a large bowl and toss with 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt to taste and toss well. Spread vegetables evenly across the prepared baking sheet. Cover tightly with foil. Bake for 25 minutes without stirring. Remove foil and using a spatula, turn veggies over. Return pan, uncovered, to oven and bake an additional 20-30 minutes or until vegetables are well roasted, tender, and caramelized in spots. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
- For Dressing:
- You can use either a blender or immersion blender for this dressing. Place all ingredients in blender or appropriate container for immersion blender and blend until smooth. Add more water if mixture is too thick (you want a thick, but pourable consistency). Taste for salt and pepper level and adjust as necessary. Also add more vinegar if you prefer more tang. Dressing will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days.
- To assemble quinoa bowl:
- Place lettuce and some dressing in a large single serving bowl. Toss to coat leaves evenly. Top with about ½ cup quinoa, ⅔ cup vegetables, crumbled goat cheese and walnuts. Drizzle a little more dressing over the top and serve.