Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Bowl

It’s February and guess what? Still eating well. That’s right, 2020. We are still going strong. Just a sheer image of health over here. Kidding, I had a cannoli for lunch.

I’m not worried though, because this quinoa bowl will get me back on track. All kidding aside, I have been eating this for the last two weeks because it is so, so good. And so, so versatile. You can substitute whatever veggies you love in place of the ones that I have included in this recipe.

The base of this bowl is quinoa. It’s an ancient supergrain I love eating because it’s packed with protein, and as a vegetarian, it’s a quick go-to. When I was in Peru, I found an astounding amount of dishes incorporated quinoa. Soups, especially. And if you follow me on Instagram (@nevernoteatingca), you may have read my “Avocado Toast” post and learned about the unfortunate food struggles I had while traveling, leading me to play it safe at restaurants and regularly order the quinoa soup. The Peruvians got me hooked.

To cook the quinoa, I always toast the grains in a bit of olive oil for a minute, then add chopped garlic and saute for a quick sec before adding the salt and water. I find the garlic bumps it up to a new level that I can no longer do without.

The other trick I use in this recipe that I do whenever I make any grain (because I’m OBSESSED), is to toss in a handful of raisins during the “5 minute stand time” and put the lid back on so that the raisins plump up with the steam. Use golden, sultana or even regular raisins…it don’t matter, boo. It lends a little sweet, juicy pop and why wouldn’t you want that?!

The veg – My favourite veggie in this bowl is the portobello mushrooms. After roasting in the oven, they take on a meaty texture and their earthy, umami flavour just take this dish over the top. I. Can’t. Even. I also roasted up some beets and zucchini which both lend a different textural component and are healthy AF. Use whatever vegetables you have left over in your fridge…we are adaptable here.

Toppings: Let’s start with the winning component of this dish – Hummus. You may have seen my Homemade Hummus Three Ways post, and I highly encourage you to follow it and make your own hummus, but, of course, you could go with store-bought. I pinky promise you it is NOT the same, though. The recipe is so easy, and it’s honestly velvety smooth, flavourful and the perfect topping to this bowl. I always just use the roasted garlic hummus for this bowl. Who needs a dressing?!

The other toppings I used include: Fresh avocado (duh!), hemp hearts (I use the ones found here), chickpeas, tiny sweet peppers, and baby spinach and kale (as you can see in the photo these are more ‘bottomings’). Top it with whatever you can’t live without.

Put it all in a bowl, drizzle with a teeny bit of olive oil, sprinkle with za’atar and call it lunch (or dinner)!

Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Bowl

Serving size: 2

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour and 15 minutes (mostly for the beets to roast)

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 beets
  • 2 large portobello mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 1 zucchini , sliced into coins
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sultana raisins (optional)
  • Homemade Hummus
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil

Extra toppings (all are optional, but you should probably include them):

  • 1/2 avocado, diced
  • 1/2 bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup chickpeas
  • 2 cups greens (I use baby spinach and kale)
  • hemp hearts
  • olive oil
  • za’atar

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Start with the beets – Place washed beets on a long piece of tin foil. Wrap the beets up like a present, making sure there are no holes in the package where the steam can escape. Place on a baking tray in the oven for an hour and 15 minutes, or until the beets are tender enough to slide a butter knife easily into the centre. Remove the beets and carefully open the tin foil package. Let the beets sit for one minute. Use a paper towel to hold a beet in one hand and another paper towel to peel away the skin of the beet in your other hand. The skins should remove easily when the beets are fully cooked. Rinse the beets and set aside.
  3. Place mushrooms and zucchini on a parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle with one tablespoon of olive oil, a few grinds of black pepper and a generous pinch of salt. Toss to evenly coat. Bake alongside the beets for 15 minutes, flip and bake for another 10-15 minutes, until tender and browned.
  4. In a medium saucepan, add 1 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the quinoa and let toast, stirring around occasionally for 1-2 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add water and a big pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to a simmer, cover and leave for 15 minutes without lifting the lid. When it is done, turn heat off, quickly lift the lid and add the raisins, put the lid back on and let the quinoa stand off of the heat for five minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving.
  5. In two serving bowls, lay down your greens and top with the quinoa and raisins. Add your diced beets, zucchini and mushroom slices to each. If using, also add avocado, peppers, chickpeas and hemp hearts. Top each bowl with a large dollop (or two) of hummus. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of za’atar spice.

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