I love making veggie quinoa bowls for easy lunches throughout the week. The key is making a large amount all at once, so that you're only having to prep and chop vegetables one time at the beginning of the week, and then you already have plenty ready to go during the week. That has also been a great (and delicious) way for me to get more vegetables into our family's diet. And, we haven't always loved quinoa, so read on for some tips to make it easier on the digestive system and take it from blah to delicious!
The first thing to do is prep and chop your vegetables. If you're looking to expand your veggie repertoire (like I was!), just buy whatever vegetables are in season. (Note the crazy looking green vegetable in the picture above - romanesco. I had no idea what it was, but I bought it knowing that if nothing else, I could roast it and throw it in a quinoa bowl.) Sweet potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, onions, etc. are all great options. Set aside time to chop all the vegetables at one time.
Then, you have two options: 1) Throw them all in a container in the fridge, and just pull out the amount needed and cook throughout the week. You're still saving tons of time by prepping them all at once. Or, 2) Chop and roast them all at the same time, and then just reheat (or eat cold) the vegetables throughout the week. Either way, you're only having to prep them once. Makes this busy mama's life WAY easier, and then I'm far less likely to just skip the vegetables altogether. To roast, simply toss all the vegetables in olive oil or avocado oil. Avocado oil is recommended since you will be roasting at a high temp and it has a very high smoke point. I like this brand. Spread the vegetables out on a roasting pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper, and any seasonings you like. I'm a big fan of paprika myself. Roast for about 30 minutes.
Then, onto the quinoa. Although not technically a grain, and definitely less problematic than grains that aren't prepared properly, quinoa CAN cause some digestive issues to sensitive individuals...even though it does have great nutritional properties. For that reason, it is a good idea to soak your quinoa overnight in order to neutralize the antinutrients. Truth be told, however, I typically do not. Our family does not seem to have an issue with it, AND I cook my quinoa in gelatinous chicken broth which neutralizes some of the phytates and provides additional minerals to compensate for those that are still bound. Plus, it makes it far more flavorful.
When I make quinoa, I first saute some carrots and onions in grassfed butter. Then, I add the quinoa and chicken broth and cook it on low until all the broth is absorbed. After that, I add plenty of additional butter (because, of course I do!), and lots of seasoning. You need to get plenty of good fat in there to help you absorb all those nutrients. Plain ole quinoa cooked in water just doesn't taste good in my opinion.
For the bowl, simply throw whatever leafy greens you want on the bottom, add some quinoa and veggies on top, and a little dressing if you want. I like to use homemade dressings, or this brand. I drizzled my bowl here with their honey mustard. Yum! It is extremely difficult to find dressings that use healthy oils and clean ingredients, so there aren't many that I can recommend.
Throw that bowl together (or layer ingredients in jars so it's ready to take on the go) and enjoy throughout the week!