Roasted Root Veggie & Quinoa Vitality Bowl
I’ve said it before, but I really love one bowl meals. This Roasted Root Veggie & Quinoa Vitality Bowl is bursting with flavour from the sweetness of the roasted beets and parsnips to the tang of the Miso dressing and nutritional yeast with it’s slightly cheesy flavour. I’ve also added in another element of flavour with kelp and nutty sunflower seeds. Not only is this Vitality Bowl flavourful but it’s also chock full of nutrients.
Kelp, like all sea veggies, is a great source of minerals including potassium, sodium, magnesium, chromium, iron and calcium. The mineral it’s probably best well known for, is its high amount of iodine. As we know, iodine is important for thyroid health. Kelp is also a good source of vitamin B6 and riboflavin.
Quinoa is a pseudograin and I’ve discussed it’s benefits here. You’ve probably heard that quinoa is a complete protein because it contains all the essential amino acids that make up a protein. This is true, but it’s not as high in protein when compared to meat or even legumes. For 1 cup of prepared quinoa you’re getting about 8 grams of protein, which is better than any other grain out there. For myself, I’ve eaten vegan in the past and found out that I do better including animal products as my source of protein in my diet. Everyone is unique and some people can do well on a vegan diet. That’s why I encourage people to experiment with how they eat until they find what makes them feel best.
Beets contain nutrients that provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and detoxification support. They contain betaine, which helps protect cells, proteins and enzymes from environmental stress. Beets are a great source of folate, manganese, potassium and copper. They also contain magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin C, iron and vitamin B6.
Parsnips are a tasty root vegetable that is an excellent source of soluble and insoluble fiber. They’re a good source of vitamin C and some of the B-complex vitamins including: folic acid, vitamin B6, thiamine and pantothenic acid. They also contain vitamin K and A, iron, calcium, copper, potassium, manginess and phosphorus.
Kale, like all dark leafy greens, is a great source of calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, beta-carotene, vitamin B6 and vitamin C. It also contains various anti-oxidants like quercetin and kaempferol. Kale contains various glucosinolates, including indole-3-carbinol, which are known to support detoxification and help prevent cancer. Indole-3-carbinol is especially helpful in supporting the detoxification of excess estrogen in the liver.
Sunflower Seeds are an excellent of vitamin E, which is an antioxidant. They’re also a great source of copper, vitamin B1, manganese, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium, folate and vitamins B3 & B6. Sunflower seeds are used in seed cycling, which can be used to help regulate the menstrual cycle. I’m trying it out right now and will write a blog post about it in the future. Sunflower seeds are high in omega 6 fatty acids and their selenium content supports the liver in detoxing hormones. If you’re wanting to try seed cycling then you could add the sunflower seeds in ground form along with ground sesame seeds depending on what phase of you’re menstrual cycle you’re in.
Miso is a traditional Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting soybeans with salt and sometimes some rice or barley. Miso’s main benefits come from the fact that it contains probiotics so is great for digestive health. I don’t recommend consuming soy in larger amounts, regularly as it’s a strong phytoestrogen, meaning they can mildly mimic estrogen in the body. It’s also a goitrogen, which blocks thyroid function. Small amounts of organic, fermented soy is usually fine for most people.
Nutritional Yeast is an inactive form of yeast that’s popular in vegan and vegetarian diets. It has a cheesy flavour and is high in B complex vitamins. B12 is one nutrient that’s hard for vegans to obtain, so including some nutritional yeast in their diets is a great way to avoid vitamin B12 deficiency.
Turmeric, one of my favourite spices, contains curcumin, which is an antioxidant. It is anti-inflammatory and supports liver detoxification. Turmeric also contains manganese, iron, vitamin B6, copper and potassium.
This dish can be eaten alone as a vegan meal or you can add some animal protein, like fish or meat to it. If you struggle with digesting raw kale, then simply steam it and this dish will be belly friendly for you. You might notice that I rarely put serving sizes for my recipes. This is because how much you need to eat really depends on so many variables. For this recipe it also depends if you’re making it as a side or the main. The amount I eat could be very different from what you need and I don’t want to sway your intuition on how much you need.
- 3/4 c Quinoa, red (about 2c cooked)
- 4 parsnips, sliced
- 6 beets, chopped
- 1 head of kale (I used Lacianto aka Dinosaur kale)
- 6 tbsp sunflower seeds
- 1 stick of kelp
- 2 tbsp Miso
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 c + 1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 2 tbsp water
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place parsnips and beets on separate baking sheets so the parsnips don’t turn pink. Drizzle with some avocado oil and season with salt. Roast for 50-60 minutes, flipping and stirring halfway through.
- While the veggies are roasting prepare quinoa. Rinse in a mesh strainer to remove saponins, which leave a bitter flavour. Place in a rice cooker with 3 cups of water or follow directions to cook on stove top.
- Remove kale from stems and chop into small pieces. Place in a large bowl and massage 1 tsp of EVOO into kale to soften.
- Make Miso dressing by adding EVOO, lemon juice, miso, turmeric, pepper, nutritional yeast and water to a blender or mini food processor.
- To tenderize kelp, place in a small pot of water and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Once kelp is softened it will expand to about 3 times it’s original size. Remove from pot and rinse with cold water so you handle it. Dice into small pieces and add to kale.
- Once root veggies and Quinoa are finished cooking, add to kale and mix together. Pour dressing over top and mix in with sunflower seeds.