I am a huge fan of Buddha bowl styles of meals. They usually consist of a variety of bright colored vegetables on top of rice or quinoa. They’re loaded with nutrients, vegan protein options, and are usually great to make ahead for a week’s worth of lunches. This week, I was craving something with a little less raw, rainbow food and something more warm and hearty. I immediately desired my vegan roasted vegetable quinoa bowl!
Over the weekend, I moved from Medellin to Bogota, Colombia and I am having a difficult time adjusting to the climate change. I have been traveling the world almost a year now, chasing summer weather, and my wardrobe consists of shorts and tank tops. It is NOT summer weather here in Bogota. It’s currently in 12°C/54°F and this AZ gal is not loving it. Plus, it is raining constantly! If you have tips on gloomy weather, please share below.
This is why I was craving a meal this week that was a bit more hearty and hot, less cold and crispy. Besides, my toes are already cold and crispy.
Okay, this is the second time I have attempted to purchase sweet potato in a foreign country and failed. Last time, I was making one of my batches of vegan chili when I picked up purple potatoes that were actually ordinary potatoes. This time around, I grabbed some purple potato-type things, but alas, purple yuca.
Therefore, today’s roasted vegetable bowl can use sweet potatoes (as I normally would do at home) or try something new with some kind of yuca or other root vegetable. Either way, it is bound to taste scrumptious!
Second challenge – I realized after buying all of these vegetables to roast, I did not have a baking sheet to cook everything on. Lucky enough, I had a good roll of aluminum foil and I just wrapped one of the shelves in foil. While traveling, you learn to be pretty creative. I also struggled with getting the gas oven to light, stay lit, etc… but I clearly figured it out eventually.
Okay, without further adieu, let’s make some roasted vegetable quinoa bowls!
Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Bowls
- Olive oil and balsalmic vinegar
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 small head broccoli, chopped
- 1-2 yucas or sweet potato, 1/2″ cubes
- 1 zucchini, 1/2″ cubes
- 1 (28oz) can garbanzo beans
- 2 bell peppers, any color, chopped
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1 avocado
- 1 cup dry quinoa (2-3 cups cooked)
- 1/2 ts cumin
- 1/2 ts chili powder
- Balsamic vinaigrette
- Bonus: If you are lucky enough to have hummus around, it is delicious in the bowl.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Chop up the broccoli, sweet potato (or yuca), and zucchini. Toss each ingredient with just enough oil to fully coat them and pour th vegetables onto a baking sheet. Top with salt and pepper to your taste.
- Drain the garbanzo beans and try to dry them with a paper towel or drying cloth. Place in a bowl and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, cumin, and chili powder. Add the garbanzo beans to the baking sheet. Place in the oven for 20 minutes. Flip the vegetables and place back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes (depending on how cooked you want the vegetables to be).
- In the meantime, cook the quinoa and chop up the remainder of the vegetables.
- Once everything is cooked, fill each bowl (or tupperware for packed lunched) with a large scoop of quinoa at the bottom. Top with some of each vegetable and drizzle balsamic vinaigrette and/or olive oil on top. Voila!
Learning how to cook in a flexible way while on the road is definitely one of those useful skills I did not expect to pick up. Whether the local grocery store is out of something you need for a recipe or you can’t find what you are looking for, learn to appreciate the opportunities to experiment with new things. Cooking is sometimes about experimenting and it is important to have fun with it.
I would love to know if you try the recipe and what you thought of it. Comment below – did you use yuca or sweet potato? What recipes have you learned to tweak or be flexible with? Have you had a similar experience? Let’s chat!