I live in New England, which means that we get a very cold, harsh winter for a good 3-4 months of the year. It makes us stronger :)
Because of the cold season, the vegetables that we are able to grow year round here are limited, and are for the most part meant to be served warm, and cooked...which just so happens to align perfectly with what our bodies naturally crave during this kind of weather. It's not a coincidence, it's nature, and nature is so frickin cool!
Here's the thing, like many people I used to totally ignore my body's natural cravings for warm, comforting foods in the winter time, and instead would feed it with what I thought I was supposed to eat, aka the "healthy foods" I ate in the summer. For me this looked like lots of big raw salads, and lots of cold smoothies, which honestly really didn't make me feel very satisfied and certainly didn't help my digestion in the dead of winter.
However, once I started tuning into my body and what it naturally was craving and telling me, I became aware that my body craved different foods, in different forms, during different times of the year. That is the truly natural and instinctual way to eat, and when we start tuning into those natural instincts it is amazing how much better we feel!
That is why it is so important to start connecting with your own body and pay attention to what it wants, and how it feels best...and how these things change throughout the year.
During the summer your digestive system may be fired up, you may be craving raw fruits and veggies more often because they are hydrating, cooling, and IN SEASON. Your body knows that summer is the perfect time of year for watermelon, while winter is best for butternut squash, your body is so smart...now all we have to do is start listening to it.
As a society it has become normal to fight our bodies own natural intuition. With a new diet plan or excessive workout program being marketed to you what seems like every other day, it is no wonder that the noise in the background of our lives has begun to cloud our own internal intuition.
Add that to the fact that in most developed parts of the world we now can get pretty much whatever food we want, whenever we want, exactly ripe and ready to eat at the exact time we want it. Think about that for a second. While they may sound amazing, it also is absolutely ridiculous, and is an expectation that in many ways has lead to our disconnection from our food and where it comes from. And once we disconnect from our food, we disconnect from our bodies...it's that simple.
All of this is why I am so so passionate about sharing seasonal, nutrient dense, out of this world amazing recipes with you that are going to help you reconnect with your food, and in the process reconnect with your body.
Which is how this recipe came to be, when I knew that my body was craving vegetables, but the thought of a raw, cold salad wasn't even remotely appetizing. The answer? This unbelievably delicious and easy to prepare Warm Quinoa and Seasonal Veggie Buddha Bowl.
Filled with healthy proteins, carbs, fats, and fiber it is a perfectly balanced, seasonal meal that will warm you up, and make you feel so nourished, and satiated from the inside out.
warm Quinoa and Season Veggie Buddha Bowl
makes 3-4 servings
total prep time 30 minutes, total cook time 1 hour
- 1 - Sweet Potato
- 1 - Delicata Squash
- 3 TB - Homemade Hummus
- 1/4 Cup - Butternut Squash
- 1 Head of Kale
- 1 cup Quinoa
- 1/2 Cup Roasted Squash Seeds
- 1 Pint - Grape Tomatoes (I love to buy from Long Wind Farms, which grows year round here in New England in greenhouses)
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- Coconut Oil/Spray
- 3-4 tablespoons Olive Oil
- Preheat oven to 400 degree F
- Wash all veggies (including the outside of the squash) to get ready to prep.
- Slice your butternut squash in half and remove the seeds. You can peel it now, or scoop it out of the rind after roasting.
- Next place your butternut squash on a greased baking pan, spray lightly with coconut oil, and sprinkle with sea salt. Place in the oven for ~45 minutes
- While your butternut squash is roasting, prep the remaining vegetables by slicing your sweet potato into wedges, and cutting your delicata squash in half, removing the seeds.
- Next, cut the delicata into 1/2 inch thick rounds and place on a greased baking sheet along with the sweet potato wedges. Spray with coconut oil, and sprinkle with sea salt.
- Place the sweet potatoes and delicata squash in the oven for ~30 minutes, flipping at ~15 minutes once the bottom side begins to brown.
- While your root vegetables are cooking, remove the kale leaves from their stems (save the stems for vegetable stocks in the freezer to reduce food waste) and begin to massage 2-3 tablespoons of avocado oil into the kale.
- Place the kale in a large sauté pan, sprinkle with sea salt, and cook over medium heat until kale becomes soft and turns a dark green.
- Next, clean your saved squash seeds and place them in a greased pan sprayed with coconut oil, and sprinkled with sea salt.
- Place the seeds in the oven (shaking/stirring every 5 minutes) for roasting. Once they are crispy and slightly browned they can be removed (~15 minutes).
- Next, cook your quinoa by bringing two cups of water to boil, adding the quinoa, and reducing the heat to simmer. Once water has completely dissolved your quinoa should be ready to remove from the heat after roughly 15-20 minutes.
- Lastly, make your hummus but placing all ingredients in a high-speed food processor and blending on high for 2-3 minutes until smooth.
- Once your butternut squash is cooked (after roughly 45 minutes), remove from the oven and allow to cool. Once cooled slice into cubes and cut away from the rind.
- Divide your ingredients into bowls and serve immediately, or save ingredients for easy meal prep later in the week.
- Sprinkle with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.