I usually associate seasons with colors. Perhaps it’s the kid in me, or the surrounding climate that creates a clear four seasons, but there are colors unequivocally belonging to each season. Winter, the sky is icy, the shadows grow long, and the light is brilliant and unobstructed. Winter is a wonderful time for photography. The luscious earthly plants dry and hibernate; and we are left with a skeleton of the world. Low light makes for dramatic, angular impressions, the trees are stripped bare and what once protects us with shade now exposes us to the world. Winter is the season of dark reds and greens, and cold, blue. To celebrate the season’s colors, I have a healthy, vibrant bowl of winter veggies to share, and this my Winter Green Goddess Bowl...
A green goddess bowl can be filled with anything you like. I like to douse mine in green. Sweet peas, fresh herbs, avocado, and the unforgettable crispy, roasted Brussels sprouts. Rainbow carrots add vibrancy and texture. Also, is a nice heaping of red quinoa that holds wonderfully all the fresh vegetables. And what would a green goddess bowl be without its sauce? I make a creamy cashew + herb dipping sauce to go with, made with cashews, lime, cilantro, garlic, and a touch of nutmeg (yes necessary!). It’s thick and full of flavor. Perfect for dolloping, drizzling or dipping!
This bowl has color, texture, flavor, and is full of all things good for you. The sweet peas add a nice crunch, the avocado, a smooth and creamy texture, the herbs, a freshness, the quinoa, a heartiness, and the Brussels sprouts and carrots, color and crispiness. The cashew sauce, a creamy and bright, is the perfect sauce to go on top. This recipe is a template, so feel free to add whatever favorite produce you like. Something about a big vibrant bowl filled with green seasonal vegetables and grains brings warmth to a cold winter day. It’s comforting, rejuvenating, and I know I am nourishing my body. With winter season fast approaching, this Green Goddess Bowl is the perfect celebration of the season’s colors and produce. Enjoy!
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. To roast the carrots and Brussels sprouts, I use one baking sheet and keep the carrots and Brussels sprouts separate. This is because they cook at different times; the Brussels sprouts cook quicker, so to make removing them easier, I just keep them on one half to the sheet tray. Feel free to use two baking sheets or cook the vegetables separately.
Once I’ve laid the veggies on the tray, I drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt, black pepper, thyme, cumin, and cayenne pepper. I toss (with my hands!) until the vegetables are coated and I space them evenly apart. It’s important, especially with the Brussels sprouts, to not overlap them but to give each their own space; this will ensure they get crispy rather than stem. Because the carrots take longer to cook, your other alternative is to cut them into 1 or 2 inch pieces, that way they will cook faster. I prefer to leave them whole and cook longer then later chop, but it’s up to you. Also note that because carrots vary in size the smaller ones will cook quicker than the larger ones. You can test their readiness if a fork is easily inserted, you know it’s done. Place the baking sheet into the oven and bake until the vegetables are done. The Brussels sprouts take about 15-20 minutes, the carrots in total take about 30-45 minutes. Toss the vegetables half way through cooking process. Remove and let cool when they are done.
To cook the quinoa, rinse the quinoa thoroughly through cold water. Preferably let soak for a few hours prior, but not necessary. Add to a sauce pot, along with the liquid (water or vegetable stock, or any combination or the two), and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to low, let simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
To make the creamy cashew herb sauce. In a food processor, pulse together the cashews, lime juice, garlic, cilantro, mint, freshly ground nutmeg, salt, and water until smooth. Add more water as needed. Let sit for at least an hour, better yet overnight to allow the flavors to really absorb.
To assemble the bowl, get a large bowl. Place a cup or so of quinoa in the middle. Surround with the roasted carrots (I like to cut in half), Brussels sprouts, sliced avocado, fresh sweet peas, radishes, hemp seeds, and more herbs like cilantro and mint. Dollop on the cashew sauce or place in a small bowl for dipping. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days, just leave the avocado for last minute. Enjoy!
Yields: depends because quantities vary per bowl, but about 2 or so large servings
Total time: about an hour (not including time to let cashew sauce rest, or quinoa or cashew soak)
What You'll Need:
1/2 pound medium rainbow carrots, peeled
1/4 pound (or about 12) Brussels sprouts, cut in half
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon cumin
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water or vegetable stock
1/2 cup fresh sweet peas
1/2 avocado, sliced
1/2 watermelon radish, sliced thinly
2 teaspoons raw hemp seeds
A few mint + cilantro leaves to garnish
Creamy Cashew Herb Sauce:
1 cup raw cashews, preferably soaked for a few hours
1 juicy lime or lemon, juiced
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon cilantro
a few mint leaves
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons water