Can we talk about meal prep/batch cooking for a sec? Don’t run away, I know the idea is daunting and sounds like a lot of planning — and it can be, if you take it to the extreme. But I’m not talking about toiling your Sunday away in the kitchen.
I’m thinking more along the lines of making one great dressing, cooking a grain, and roasting some vegetables. Failing that, just make one good dressing and one sauce (maybe something creamy, like this Spicy Yogurt Sauce) at the beginning of the week and find ways to use them to perk up eggs, salads, grains, sandwiches, vegetable sautees, and meat or fish.
We’re trying to find a happy medium between looking after ourselves by making simple, delicious, and nourishing meals throughout the week and not taking up too much of our precious time. Balance, right?
This recipe below is a great make-ahead lunch (I recommend a jammy egg on top), plant-based dinner, or an easily transportable potluck salad. The recipe can be doubled and you can add in some baby arugula or massaged kale when you assemble the bowls to bulk it out with some greens. You can also use parsley instead of cilantro in the dressing, if you’d prefer.
Wishing you a good week, friends!
Roasted Carrot & Fennel Quinoa Bowls with Mint-Cilantro Dressing
An easy plant-based bowl that makes a great make-ahead lunch or potluck salad.
- 6-7 medium carrots sliced on the bias into 1/2 -inch thick ovals
- 1 medium red onion cut into ½-inch thick wedges
- 1 large fennel bulb or two small cut into 1/2 -inch slices
- Avocado oil or other neutral oil
- 1 cup dry quinoa
- Salt to taste
- ½ cup mint
- ½ cup cilantro/coriander
- 1 small-ish garlic clove
- ¼ cup water
- Juice of ½ a lime
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Salt to taste
Heat oven to 400°F. Cover two baking trays with a thin layer of oil. Arrange carrot on one and fennel and onions on the other. Season each tray with a couple of generous pinches of salt. Place in the oven (putting carrots on the lower rack) and cook fennel for 20-25 minutes carrots for 25-30 minutes, rotating the trays around the 15 minute mark.
Meanwhile, combine quinoa with water and a generous pinch of salt in a medium saucepan. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand for 5-10 minutes.
To make the dressing, combine ingredients in a small food processor or blend and puree until smooth-ish.
Assemble bowls with quinoa at the base, topped with carrots, fennel, and onions. Top with herb dressing and serve warm or at room temp.
For more greens: Add baby arugula or kale massaged with a spoonful of the dressing, when you assemble your bowl.
For more protein: Top with a cup of cooked chickpeas, a jammy (7-minute) boiled egg, or some shredded rotisserie chicken.
For extra crunch: Top with toasted pepitas or pistachios.