Roasted Veggie & Quinoa Bowl with a Citrus Tahini Dressing
This recipe name is a mouthful and might sound intimidating, especially if you are new to plant-based eating or things like quinoa & tahini. Before writing it off, at least read through the recipe and maybe even give it a try. I think you will be pleasantly surprised. FYI - tahini is really just like peanut butter made from sesame seeds and quinoa has a more subtle flavor and mixes well in dishes like this (as long as you rinse the quinoa thoroughly before preparing.)
I've recently become obsessed with this recipe. It brings together an almost perfect combination of flavors and textures (if I do say so myself) that always leaves me satisfied. I will admit that I likely would not have enjoyed it when I first went plant-based since I had such a limited palate. But, at that point, I'd never really even tried broccoli so your taste buds are likely more sophisticated than mine were. The nice thing with this recipe is that you can swap out many of the veggies for others if you don't like what I have listed. For example, you could use spinach instead of kale or arugula. Another swap is brussels sprouts for broccoli. Don't feel like you have to stick exactly to this recipe (or any recipe for that matter). Swapping things in & out of recipes has helped me make things that I've found boring or unappealing into staple recipes in my cooking rotation.
Pro tip: Keep a variety of nuts & seeds on hand in your kitchen. I love creating a salad or bowl and throwing sunflower seeds, pepitas, or sliced almonds into the dish to give it an extra crunch. Bonus - you get extra nutritional value when adding these in without altering the flavor of the dish.
Fun fact: Quinoa has all nine essential amino acids and is a complete protein on it's own.
Roasted Veggie & Quinoa Bowl with Citrus Tahini Dressing
Prep Time - 10-15 minutes (depending if you buy pre-chopped veggies or chop veggies “in bulk” for the week)
Cook Time - 25 minutes
Total Time - 35-40 minutes
Servings - 4
.5 cup dry quinoa (thoroughly rinsed) or 1 cup cooked quinoa (if you batch cooked the quinoa for weekly food prep)
2 medium-sized sweet potatoes (washed and chopped into 1 inch pieces)
Baby kale or baby arugula (rinsed)
1 red or yellow bell pepper (washed and diced)
16 cherry tomatoes (washed and cut into halves)
20 brussels sprouts (washed and cut into halves)
2 tbsp sunflower seeds (the ones without the shells)
2 tbsp tahini
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp chili powder
Preheat the oven to 425F
In a bowl, put in the sweet potato chunks and a drizzle of olive oil. Add in the cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Mix until the sweet potato pieces are coated in the spices.
Place the sweet potato pieces on a baking sheet and place in the oven. Cook the sweet potato for 20-25 minutes.
After putting the sweet potatoes in the oven, prepare the quinoa per the instructions on the package. (It takes about 15 minutes to cook the quinoa.) Once prepared, remove from heat and set aside until it’s time to assemble the bowls.
Once the quinoa is simmering, wash and half the brussels sprouts. Add the brussels sprouts to a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt & pepper. Stir until the brussels sprouts are coated.
Place the brussels sprouts on a baking tray with the cut-side down. Put them in the oven when the sweet potatoes have only 5 minutes left. Roast the brussels sprouts for 5 minutes (and no more than 7 minutes).
While the sweet potatoes & brussels sprouts are roasting, make the dressing. Juice the two limes in a small bowl and add the tahini. Whisk together.
Once roasted, remove the sweet potatoes & brussels sprouts from the oven and assemble the bowls. My personal preference is to set out four bowls and add two handfuls of kale or arugula into each bowl. Then I add 1/4cup of cooked quinoa to each bowl. Next I divvy up the sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, bell peppers, and tomatoes. I add the dressing to each bowl and stir to coat all of the ingredients in each bowl in the dressing. Finally, I add a 1/2tbsp of sunflower seeds to each bowl for an extra crunch.
I am a big fan of making a simple citrus tahini dressing as it is so easy & quick to make while also not adding a bunch of crap that you find in store-bought dressings. If you find that the dressing is too tart, you can add 1tsp of maple syrup. And if you just completely hate this dressing, try the recipe, but add a dressing you like. The best advice I can give with cooking is not to get stuck on ensuring you have every ingredient and follow the recipe to the letter. If you don't like something in the recipe, play around to see if you can swap it for something else rather than writing the recipe off as yucky.
Enjoy! And let us know what you think.
Want to learn more about plant-based nutrition?
Check out our episode with Jennifer Maynard: Episode 49: Eating for a Longer, Healthier Life