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Spicy Harvest Quinoa Bowl

Photograph by Morena Escardo

Here's a big secret for you: the best way to stay healthy and strong throughout the fall and to prevent colds and flus later on in the winter, is to eat what's in season right now. Fall is the time when we build the foundation of our health for colder months, and all those harvest apples, pears, cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower, and root vegetables you see in the market have the precise nutrition we need to support us.

Enter this fun, versatile, and hearty Buddha bowl, which is similar to a burrito bowl with a few tweaks. And if you make it in advance, it's great for moms to take for a lunch on the go, or to the office.

RELATED: Warm Sweet Potato, Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

The reason why I love Buddha bowls so much is that they are so flexible, and it's easy to adapt them with Latin American cuisines and ingredients. In this case I've used quinoa, but you can use any whole grain or legume as a base. You can add as many harvest ingredients to the bowl as you want, and you can definitely use your leftover roasted veggies and salads! Change the dressing each time to make it new and exciting, and have fun by adding healthy fats like avocado, olives, nuts, and seeds.

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RECIPE: Spicy Quinoa Buddha Bowl

Yields 2 portions

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 medium sweet potato, cut in half
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 cups Brussels sprouts
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 medium avocado, cut in half, peeled, and sliced

For the dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon tamari sauce
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon or more aji amarillo paste (optional, for a spicy kick)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Rub the sweet potatoes with coconut oil covering their entire surface. Put them in a small baking pan, inner part facing up.
  2. In another small baking pan, mix the Brussels sprouts with the chopped garlic and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and mix well again.
  3. Bake the sweet potato for an hour. Bake the Brussels sprouts next to it, but take them out of the oven in about half an hour, or when they can be easily pierced with a fork and feel soft inside. Give them a good stir after 15 minutes of baking so they roast uniformly and don't burn on one side.
  4. While the veggies are in the oven, make the quinoa by putting it in a small pan with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat, and then cover the pan and bring the heat to low. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until all the water has evaporated.
  5. While the quinoa is cooking, you can make the cabbage slaw by mixing the shredded cabbage with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, oregano, apple cider vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate.
  6. When the quinoa and veggies are ready, make the dressing by mixing all the ingredients in a cup.

To serve: Add a large scoop of quinoa in the center of a bowl, and surround it with half a baked sweet potato, some roasted Brussels sprouts, half the cabbage slaw, and half a sliced avocado. Pour half of the dressing on top of the quinoa, and serve.

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RELATED: How to Bake the Perfect Sweet Potato

Photograph by Morena Escardo

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RELATED: Quinoa Fried Rice

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