Let’s Do Lunch: Roasted Veggie Quinoa Bowls with Peanut Sauce
It’s that time of year again where the majority of people are trying to reset their eating habits after weeks of big holiday meals, cookies, and other seasonal confections. Sometimes it’s easy to do because our bodies instinctively crave the things we need – protein, veggies, etc. However, sometimes it can be a bit of a challenge when the healthy options that come to mind are unappealing. Boring salads, baked chicken breast? No thanks. We can do better than that.
This is the time to arm yourself with nourishing foods that are also crave-worthy. Having foods like this around make it much easier to make smart decisions. Quinoa and roasted veggies tossed with a flavorful peanut sauce – this fits the bill. It makes a fairly large batch so it is perfect to have on hand for lunches or quick dinners throughout the week. It is good warm, at room temperature or chilled. Here’s to fresh starts and healthy choices. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!
Yield: about 6-8 servings
1 medium eggplant (about 12 oz.), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1 small onion, chopped
2 bell peppers, seeded and chopped
6 oz. snow peas
Salt and pepper
1 cup uncooked quinoa
For the peanut sauce:
3 tbsp. olive oil
3 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. creamy peanut butter
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 tsp. freshly grated ginger
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a medium bowl, combine the cubed eggplant and the salt; toss well to combine. Transfer to a colander in the sink and let sit 30 minutes to draw water out of the eggplant. Transfer to a plate lined with clean kitchen towels (or paper towels) and press out as much excess water as you can.
Preheat the oven t0 400˚ F. Line a baking sheet with foil. On the baking sheet, combine the drained eggplant, onion, bell peppers and snow peas. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring once or twice during baking. Remove from the oven and let cool.
While the vegetables are roasting, rinse the quinoa well and drain in a fine mesh sieve. Cook according to package directions. When the quinoa is cooked and has cooled slightly, combine in a large mixing bowl with the vegetables.
To make the peanut sauce, combine the olive oil, soy sauce, and peanut butter in a bowl or measuring cup. Whisk to blend until smooth. Add in the garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes and whisk once more until smooth. Add the peanut sauce to the bowl with the quinoa and veggies. Gently fold together until everything is evenly combined. Serve at room temperature or chilled.