These healthy quinoa bowls with roasted vegetables and a garlicky cashew sauce are amazing and one of my favorite plant based recipes right now! If you’re looking for a delicious and healthy quinoa recipe or a super satisfying vegan dinner idea that is gluten free and soy free – these Mediterranean-inspired power bowls are all you need. Just simple ingredients and a little bit of meal prep and you can have these for the next few days.
As you can tell over the course of the last few months I’ve been obsessed with adding roasted vegetables to everything. I made these roasted vegetable chickpea bowls, these chicken bowls, the black bean and sweet potato bowls and last but not least this amazing roasted vegetable dip. I feel like everyone should make all of these and as you can also tell, this is democracy. I’m not insisting this hard only because I made these recipes and I’m obviously very talented, pretty and humble, but because they’re that good.
Simple Ingredients, Big Flavor
As you can also tell someone’s been reading magazines and stealing headlines as if they’re snickers bars and she’s seven again. Ah, the thrill. We know, it would take me years to come up with simple ingredients, big flavor, I’m not that creative. I’m just really tired and I feel like I came up with this heading, but probably didn’t. Let’s skip over the robbery part, and let me give you the ingredients because there are a lot of ingredients and they’re all in season right now:
- Eggplant. I know, I know. Poor eggplant. Poor peach. They both have quite the emoji reputation over the internets these days. What did they ever do to you, to call them names? I’m pretty sure most kids don’t even know what to do with an actual eggplant. (Said the 30-smth dinasaur.) Spoiler alert: you wash it, then chop it and then roast it.
- Quinoa. This ancient grain is full of wisdom, fiber and some saponins that make it bitter, so make sure to soak and wash it real good before cooking.
- Roasted vegetable sauce. I made this sauce and then used it everywhere. You’ll need some zucchini, walnuts, garlic, carrots and bell pepper to make this delicious dip.
- Tomato cucumber salad with dill. Pretty basic, but so good during summer. Some cucumbers, tomatoes, dill, olive oil and onion – that’s it!
- Cashew sauce. You can also use yogurt of choice if you don’t like cashews or don’t have time to clean up. The sauce I used here is made with cashews, garlic, lemon and salt.
- Olives. Use the type of olives you like here, I used Kalamata olives.
How To Make These Healthy Quinoa Bowls
If you play your cards right and multitask to delusion, you can make these in about 20-30 minutes. Here’s what you need to do:
- Cook quinoa (about 10-15 minutes). Rinse and drain quinoa, then add it to a pot with some water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and cook for about 8 minutes or until most water has been soaked up. Let sit, covered with a lid, so that the quinoa can absorb the rest of the water.
- Roast eggplant (about 10 minutes). Chop the eggplant, add to a nonstick pan with olive oil in single layer and then cook until done both sides.
- Make the tomato cucumber salad (5 minutes). Chop the cucumbers, dill, onion, tomato and whatever else you desire, add some salt and olive oil and it’s done.
- Prep the cashew sauce (5 minutes): either soak your cashews for 3-4 hours minimum, or soak in hot water for 15 minutes. I usually prefer to soak them longer, because they blend better, but who remembers to soak cashews in the evening? Let’s imagine you have remembered and now you have these soaked cashews – add them to a small blender, add lemon, water, salt and garlic and blend until creamy and smooth. You can also use an immersion blender here.
- Roasted vegetable dip (10 minutes): Roast the vegetables, then add them to a bowl with garlic, walnuts and a little bit of water and blend with an immersion blender or whatever good blender you have.
- Assemble everything (5 minutes): Add the salad, quinoa, eggplant and olives to a bowl, top with the roasted vegetable dip and then with the cashew sauce.
I know it seems like more work than writing a book, but it’s worth it.
How To Meal Prep These Vegan Power Bowls
If you would like to meal prep these plant-based power bowls for the next few days here’s what to do:
- Make the roasted eggplant
- Prep the cashew sauce and the roasted vegetable dip
- Cook the quinoa
- For the salad, go for whole cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped cucumbers, some onion, the olives, dill and no olive oil/dressing just yet. This way “the salad” will stay fresh longer.
- Divide everything into airtight containers and keep in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Quinoa Bowls Options
This recipe is super versatile and you can easily switch things up, if you get bored or don’t have an ingredient. You could:
- use hummus or tzatziki sauce if you don’t have time to make the roasted vegetable sauce (I still think it’s worth it, because you can use it as a spread too and it’s delicious)
- make a different type of salad depending on the current season (for example a cabbage-based salad would be better option during cold seasons)
- roast a different type of vegetable – again, depending on the season you could do cauliflower, or peppers, or zucchini or even sweet potatoes.
- add some more protein – you can add some chickpeas, some tofu or for non-vegetarians fish or chicken
These are just a few options and you can play around with the ingredients to make these bowls what you want them to be.
Now, let’s get to the recipe!
For the bowls:
- 1 eggplant, cut in circles
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
- 2/3 cup olives
- roasted vegetable sauce
- 2 cucumbers, chopped
- 1 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
- 4 tbsp thinly chopped dill
- ½ red onion, thinly chopped
- 1 tsp olive oil
- salt (optional)
- 1/3 cup cashews
- pinch salt
- 1/2 lemon, juice of
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/3 cup water
- Cut the eggplant in circles and arrange in a large nonstick pan with olive oil, in single layer. Cover with a lid and cook for about 2-3 minutes, then turn and cook the other side as well, without a lid. A great option here would be to add a crushed garlic clove for a deeper flavor.
- Cashew sauce: Soak the cashews overnight or use boiling water to cover the cashews for 5-10 minutes, so that they get soft and become easy to blend. Remove soaking water, add the cashews to a blender, the garlic, lemon juice, salt and about a 1/3 cup of water. Blend until smooth. If needed add water 1 tbsp at a time to achieve desired consistency. In my experience 1:1 is a great ratio for cashew sauce.
- For the salad: Thinly chop a cucumber, cherry tomatoes, dill, red onion. Add to a bowl, then some olive oil and salt, mix and you're ready.
- For the bowls: Add the salad, quinoa, eggplant and olives to a bowl. Top with the roasted vegetable sauce and sprinkle the cashew sauce over everything.
- Enjoy immediately!
Meal Prep: If you would like to meal prep these plant-based power bowls for the next few days, you can make the roasted vegetables, the sauces and the quinoa ahead of time. As for the salad, go for whole cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped cucumbers, some onion, the olives, dill and no olive oil/dressing just yet. This way "the salad" will stay fresh longer.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 413Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 584mgCarbohydrates: 57gFiber: 12gSugar: 14gProtein: 11g
I hope you enjoy these bowls, let me know if you have any questions or feedback if you’ve tried them!
More Healthy Power Bowls:
- 5-Minute Mediterranean Bowl
- Sweet Potato, Cauliflower and Black Bean Bowls
- Roasted Vegetable Chickpea Lunch Bowls