Do you ever feel like fall is the start of a new year? I mean, I’m all for New Year’s Eve (or really any excuse to wear a sparkly outfit) and even though I’ve been out of school for 4 years now, fall to me feels like the actual start of a new year. The season noticeably changes, people go back to their normal/not-summer routine and the world just falls into a groove.
I promise, I didn’t mean to make that pun. Be-leaf me. Okay, the last one I did.
My blog started off the “new year” with a completely new design and layout and I love it!! It was exactly the oomph and pizzazz this blog (and I) needed.
And as for myself, I’m hitting reset on the year and working to finish out 2016 with a more positive outlook. With everything going on in the news each day, it’s easy to get down in the dumps. Especially if you watch the news for 40 hours a week like I do. So I have been taking steps to take care of myself, inside and out. Lately, I’ve gotten really into the Happier with Gretchen Rubin podcast. I love listening to it while doing the dishes, laundry or tidying up my apartment. She has some great advice and little life hacks, if you haven’t checked it out before, I highly recommend you give it a listen.
As for taking care of myself on the outside, I’ve been making a point make sure my plate (or bowl in this case) is filled with greens and protein. A few weeks ago, I was feeling sluggish and run-down. I even fell asleep on my couch at 7 two days in a row. I hadn’t done anything that day that would leave me feeling drained and I thought, what gives? So I kept a food diary for a few days and realized between happy hours and football-viewing, I wasn’t putting the best stuff into my system. And it was definitely showing in the form of lethargy and some unsightly pimples. When I went grocery shopping this weekend, I stocked up on all the veggies I could carry and planned out healthy lunches and dinners for this week. All in all, it also felt nice to break out of a cooking rut.
Thankfully for me, brussels sprouts are in season. Once I picked out my veggie, it was time to get to work on building a fall Buddha bowl. I love Buddha bowls for dinner and they’re a great way to use what you have in your pantry and freezer (For those of us food hoarders), especially if you can’t make it to the grocery store for another day or two. There’re no rules when it comes to building a Buddha bowl. It’s the Cat Stevens of recipes. You can start with a layer of greens, add veggies, beans, grains, nuts, whatever tickles your fancy. Drizzle with your favorite dressing (I topped mine with the world’s easiest tahini dressing) and enjoy!
For my protein, I picked roasted chickpeas because they are out-of-this-world good. Buffalo Roasted Chickpea Wraps were my gateway drug for this plant-based protein. I regret all those years of drowning chickpeas in Ranch dressing to make them more exciting. All it takes is a skillet, coconut oil, a can of rinsed and dried chickpeas and a little salt and pepper to get the tastebuds dancing.
To add a little extra protein and some good ol’ fiber, I added a hearty scoop of quinoa. I make a batch of quinoa every Sunday when I’m meal prepping and keep in a Pyrex to use throughout the week. The quinoa goes into salads, wraps, bowls, soups, whatever is on the menu. It’s also wonderful to have on mind in case you come home ravenous and you need to dinner on the table (or the couch) ASAP. I like preparing my quinoa with 1 cup water + 1 cup low-sodium vegetable stock to add some flavor.
Lastly comes the drizzle of tahini dressing. I first learned about tahini dressing from Cava Grill, their cucumber tahini dressing is out of this world good. With a whisk and tahini and a few other ingredients from the pantry, you are 2 minutes away from making a dressing to last you the entire week. It’s also an excellent dip for carrots, celery or tomatoes.
Do you have a favorite fall Buddha bowl? Or just a favorite Buddha bowl in general? I’d love to find new combinations to try out!
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup low-sodium vegetable stock
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 cups trimmed Brussels sprouts
- Cinnamon, 1 tbsp
- Nutmeg, 1 tbsp
- Cumin, 1 tbsp
- Salt, 1 tbsp
- Pepper, 1 tbsp
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 can chickpeas, drained, rinsed + dried
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ½ cup tahini
- ¼ cup room temperature water
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- Sprinkle of salt
- Dash of pepper
- Place the quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse thoroughly with water. Pour the rinsed quinoa into a saucepan. Add the water and stock and bring to a boil.
- Once it's boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and keep an eye on it, stirring occasionally. Once the liquid is all absorbed, remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Set aside.
- In a skillet over medium heat, add the coconut oil and wait until fully melted.
- Place the sprouts cut side down, do not overcrowd the skillet so that the sprouts can brown.
- Let the sprouts saute until evenly browned, about 5-7 minutes, moving occasionally with a spatula.
- Once the sprouts are tender (Test by piercing with a knife), remove from the heat and add the seasonings to the skillet. Toss to evenly coat.
- In a skillet over medium heat, place 1 tbsp of coconut oil. Once melted, add the chickpeas and toss to evenly coat with oil. Keep on heat, moving with a spatula every few minutes until toasted. Add in the salt and pepper and give a toss.
- In a small bowl, add all ingredients and whisk together until combined. Drizzle over assembled bowl and save the rest for later.
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