Southwest Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad

The pasta salad I made earlier this week inspired a quinoa salad with a twist… the “healthier” version. I still can’t decide if I like the pasta or the quinoa more. Anyway, really simple recipe and pretty healthy. I made enough to last me the week for lunch, so it’s a good meal prep recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 c quinoa uncooked
For the butternut squash
  • 1 tbsp oil, more as needed
  • 1 c butternut squash, diced
  • 1 tbsp garlic minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • dash of cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
Veggies for the salad
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 1 cucumber diced
  • 1 c corn
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 2 small tomatoes diced
  • 1 c cilantro
For the dressing
  • 2 tbsp lime
  • 2 tbsp sriracha
  • 1/3 c veganaise
  • dash of chili powder

Instructions:

  1. Cook the quinoa according to the package.
  2. Heat the oil in a medium pan, add in the garlic for a minute until fragrant, and add the butternut squash, followed by all the spices, mixing well. If it’s a little dry add a touch more oil or a couple tablespoons of water or broth. Cook for 5 minutes, stir and cook another 5 minutes until crispy and you can pierce easily with a fork.
  3. Prepare the dressing, mix all ingredients together in a small bowl, set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, add all of the veggies except for the cilantro, prepared quinoa, butternut squash and stir. Mix in the dressing and once the temperature has cooled a bit, mix in the cilantro and enjoy.

Healthy, Weight-Loss Veggie Bowl w Oil-Free Goddess Dressing

Make some noise if you like filling your body with some delicious a** good food, that will keep you healthy & happy?! This recipe will give you all the energy you need, while also stuffing you with veggies. It’s oil-free, full of essential nutrients, and tastes damn good.

Shout out to Nora for the amazing goddess dressing, from Nora Cooks.

Ingredients:

  • 1 c quinoa, cooked according to package
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 c brussel sprouts, halved
  • dash of salt and pepper
  • dash of cumin
  • dash of paprika
  • dash of garlic powder
  • 1 large sweet potato, diced
  • dash of salt and pepper
  • 1 cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • dash of pepper
  • dash of curry powder
  • handful of spinach

    Goddess Dressing
  • 1 1/2 c raw cashews
  • 3/4 c water
  • 3 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c cilantro, lightly packed
  • 1/2 c parsley, lightly packed
  • 2 green onions, chopped

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, and line 2 baking sheets with tinfoil. When I cooked this I did brussel sprouts on one, cauliflower and sweet potato on the other.
  2. For the brussel sprouts, lay them out on the first baking sheet, drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil, and top with salt and pepper, cumin, paprika, and garlic powder.
  3. The sweet potatoes will be laid out on half of the other baking sheet, drizzled with 1 tbsp olive oil, and topped with salt and pepper.
  4. Cauliflower will go on the other half of the second baking sheet, drizzle with 1 tbsp of olive oil, and sprinkle on curry powder.
  5. Place both baking sheets in the oven for 15 minutes, remove flipping everything with a spatula, and returning to the oven cook for another 15 minutes.
  6. While the veggies are roast you can make the Green Goddess dressing.

    Goddess Dressing
  7. You will need a high powered blender such as a Vitamix for best results. First, soak the cashews in very hot water for at least 5 minutes, longer if desired. I do this by boiling water in my tea kettle and pouring it over the cashews in a bowl or measuring cup.
  8. Drain and rinse the soaked cashews, then add them to your blender, along with the water, lime juice, maple syrup and salt. Blend until very smooth.
  9. Add the fresh herbs and onions to the blender and pulse or blend to combine. I prefer to pulse it so you can still see some tiny flakes of the herbs, but you could blend it until very smooth as well.
  10. You can serve immediately, or refrigerate for up to 5 days. It may thicken a bit in the refrigerator, so thin it with water if desired.
  11. Plate your spinach, top with quinoa, veggies, and dressing. Enjoy that sh*t.

Low Cost Vegan Meal Prep and Recipes

Although it takes extra time to get it all done, it’ll be out of the way for the next week, and helps you to eat healthy without the “I’m too tired to prep and cook anything” after work thoughts that lead to Chinese take-out.

Start with picking a day! For me, it’s Sunday, I’ll hit the gym and on my way home stop and get groceries with the plan of prepping already set in my mind when I get home… no excuses!

I’ll start with my typical grocery list (for one):

Veggies:

  • 1 head broccoli
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 container spinach (organic)
  • 2 red onions
  • 1 lb bag of carrots
  • 1 lb bag of sweet potatoes
  • 3 avocados
  • 4 tomatoes on a vine

Fruit:

  • 1 bag of grapes
  • 3 bananas
  • 1 bag of frozen blueberries
  • 2 apples

Grains:

  • brown rice
  • whole wheat bread (low sugar)
  • cereal (8 grams of sugar or less)

Refrigerated/Cold:

  • almond milk (original/unsweetened)
  • 1 container hummus (I love red pepper hummus!!)
  • 1 container salsa

Canned:

  • 2 14oz can black beans
  • 2 14oz can chickpeas

Misc:

  • peanut butter

Total: $39.65

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*not pictured is the bread, soy milk, and cereal, I already had those!
** added cost would be $6.89

Meal Prep:

  1. Prepare 2 cups of dried rice according to package, store in a Tupperware.
  2. Cut the bell pepper into strips, store in a Ziploc or Tupperware.
  3. Rinse and peel half the bag of carrots, cut them into strips (cut in half long-ways, and cut those in half) and store in Z or T.
  4. Rinse half the bag of sweet potatoes, and dice into dime-sized pieces, store in a Z or T.
  5. Cut the broccoli into florets and store in Z or T.
  6. Cut the cauliflower into florets and store in Z or T.
  7. Rinse off grapes and put in a bowl.
  8. Rinse off apples (slice if you are going to eat one the next day)
  9. Grab two tomatoes and dice, store. Grab another two and cut into slices, store.
  10. Peanut sauce
  11. Chickpea mash

*onion is chopped right before cooking because the onion pulls in toxins after being cut open and isn’t as great compared to fresh!

You’re prepped!! Now you can just throw together easy meals when you get home, and there isn’t much prep needed.

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Some of my favorite recipes using these ingredients:

Banana, Blueberry, Spinach Smoothie

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Avocado Toast with Black Beans Mash

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Spiced Veggie and Rice Bowl

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Buddha Bowl

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Chickpea “Tuna” Sandwich

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