It gives me great comfort to have meals planned in advance so that I’m not frantically trying to get a meal together and mostly, so that I’m not relying on processed (ugh) foods.
Even better, when preparation for one meal makes for easy preparation of a second meal, I get pretty excited!
This all started when I spied an enormous organic butternut squash last week. I decided to roast it with whole garlic, onion and coconut oil. This was the main ingredient for a homemade (read – whatever I had in the fridge) Buddha Bowl. Starting with a base of quinoa, I then layered spinach, the roasted veggies, grated carrot, hemp seeds and quick nutritional yeast based dressing. Yum!
Because the squash was so generous, we had about 2 cups leftover, in addition to leftover quinoa. This quickly became a slow cooker soup that we enjoyed the next day. I felt so smug.
So, here you go:
Kind Buddha Bowl
1 1/4 cups of tricolor quinoa
1 1/4 cups stock for cooking quinoa
1 generous butternut squash – peeled and chopped
several cloves of garlic
1 good sized onion
generous spoonful of coconut oil
few pinches of salt
grated carrot or spiralized beet
2 cups of spinach
4 T hemp seeds.
1/4 cup good olive oil
2 T nutritional yeast
1 T raw honey
Garlic – 1 – 2 cloves minced
1 T tamari
Cook your quinoa – see below for instructions.
Roast squash, garlic and onion with coconut oil and salt at 425 degrees F for 30 – 40 minutes. Part way through, check and gently stir/toss – you want the squash to be tender and start to caramelize.
Assembly: In bowl, place about 1/2 cup of quinoa. Add spinach, roasted vegetables, shredded carrot (or beet) and 2 T of hemp seeds. Whisk dressing ingredients. Drizzle with dressing.
Slow cooker roasted butternut squash soup
2 cups of leftover roasted butternut squash and onions
4 cups stock
1 cup cooked quinoa
Creamy cultured coconut for topping
Place veggies, stock and quinoa in slow cooker. Set on low for 4 hours or all day. When ready to eat, use an immersion blender and blend until smooth. For lovely garnish, and nice taste, add a dollop (or get fancy like Robb) of cultured coconut to soup.
Best way to cook quinoa
Ever find quinoa a bit mushy or a bit bitter? I’ve had this experience a few times, and have found this technique to be great. It is a bit more labour intensive, but the results are totally worth it.
Quinoa will be bitter if not sufficiently rinsed. I have also found that it can be mushy because most instructions suggest using too much water or broth. Rather than a quinoa to water ratio of 1:2, I find much better results with a 1:1 ratio.
So, for the above recipe, soak the 1 1/4 cups of quinoa in water and let sit for about 20 minutes. Drain and rinse really well. Then, “dry roast” in a heavy saucepan – this will “dry up” the quinoa and lend it both a nice texture and taste. Then add your 1 1/4 cups stock. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to medium low for about 15 – 20 minutes or until stock is fully absorbed.