Whether it’s a mug of hot chocolate sipped in front of a roaring fire or a gluten-free, cinnamon-spiced muffin enjoyed early in the morning, everyone has a cold weather food comfort they look forward to come winter. For plant-based foodies, a cozy bowlful of roasted vegetables might just be the dish they most anticipate. This Buddha bowl is slow roasted, giving the veggies extra smoky flavor. Top it with any sauce you fancy, but we recommend a flavorful kale and sunflower seed pesto.
1 cup dry quinoa
1 eggplant, halved
1 bell pepper, halved
1 sweet potato, medium diced
1 medium yellow onion, quartered
1/2 pint grape tomatoes, halved
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
2 cups water
Balsamic vinaigrette, optional
- Prepare pesto. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place sunflower seeds on baking sheet and bake for 30-35 or until slightly browned.
- In a food processor or high-speed blender, combine pesto ingredients, including roasted sunflower seeds. Pulse until desired consistency, adjusting the water level as necessary. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate.
- Prepare the vegetables. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Line one or two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Place eggplant, pepper, sweet potato, onion and tomatoes cut side down on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 45-55 minutes until browned and tender. When done, slice eggplant diagonally and slice onion and pepper into thin strips.
- In a medium-sized pot over medium heat, combine quinoa and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cover. Steam for 20 minutes or until quinoa is tender.
- Divide quinoa equally between two bowls. Top with roasted veggies, a dollop of pesto and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, if desired.
- Pesto can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 5 days. Keep frozen in an ice cube tray for up to two months.
- For a quicker pesto, opt for pre-roasted sunflower seeds.
- Hemp and pumpkin seeds can be used instead of sunflower seeds.
- Want to try something other than pesto? This bowl also goes well with salsa, hot sauce, vegan cheese sauce (try my nut- and soy-free vegan butternut squash cheese, too) or cashew cream.