Vegan Buddha Bowl with Eggplant, Zucchini, Butternut Squash, Asparagus, & Mustard Dressing
I feel like a hero when I eat this delightful vegan buddha bowl. What's great about this bowl? It is super healthy (but also super yum), it packs in tons of veggies, and combines everything with a delicious mustard sauce (yes to whole mustard!). I've made this a few times for lunch during the workweek and I feel full of energy when I go back to my desk.
The best thing about this dish, other than feeling like the jolly green giant after you eat it, is that it's incredibly flexible. You can sub in and out any of your favorite vegetables - the roasting method and dressing will work on almost anything!
I was initially hesitant about the butternut squash - it seems so tedious to peel and cut. Once, I found it in a little container, already cut and prepped by the supermarket (oh what a glorious day!) But, for all the other days, here's a great tutorial on prepping butternut squash (um, also, I have that same santoku knife she has - it's here in my store - and it's ah-may-zing. Seriously.)
So, if you've got the time and willingness to prep the squash, I say go for it! If not, why not chop up a couple red onions and roast those instead?
Vegan Buddha Bowl
Makes 2 large servings
3 cups water
1/2 cup pearl couscous (I used tri-color)
2 tablespoons red quinoa
2 cups (1 medium) large-diced butternut squash
1 cup (1 large) red bell pepper, large-diced
1/2 lb. of baby asparagus, woody ends removed
2 cups (2 medium) thinly sliced zucchini
2 cups (1 large) of large-diced eggplant
3 teaspoon olive oil, divided
1/2 cup vegetable stock
5 tsp garlic salt, divided
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 tbsp whole grain mustard
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).
Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a small stockpot over high heat. Add the pearl couscous and quinoa and boil for 8 to 10 minutes, till the pasta is al dente and the quinoa is done (little tails visible). Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
In a large bowl, combine the vegetable stock with the butternut squash. Coast the squash with the stock, then remove squash and shake gently shake off excess liquid. Lay squash on a baking tray in a single layer. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of garlic salt on squash and roast in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove squash from the oven and flip over each piece. Use a brush or small spoon to add a little more vegetable stock to each piece of squash and then return to the oven for 5 more minutes of roasting. Remove the squash from the oven and set aside.
Repeat the process with the eggplant. Using the same bowl of vegetable stock, coat the eggplant with stock and then lay it out in a single layer on a baking tray. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of garlic salt on top and roast in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove the eggplant, gently turn over each piece and put back in the oven for 3 minutes. Remove the eggplant and set it aside for later.
Heat a frying pan with 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium high heat. When the oil is ready, add the bell pepper and saute for 5 to 8 minutes until the pepper is tender and slightly charred. Add 1 teaspoon of garlic salt and lightly toss. Remove pepper from frying pan. Add another 1 teaspoon of olive oil and repeat the process with the asparagus - sauteeing for 5 to 6 minutes, adding the garlic salt, and removing asparagus from pan when it is tender. Add another 1 teaspoon of olive oil and when heated add the zucchini. Saute zucchini till it is slightly translucent and tender and then sprinkle on garlic salt.
For the dressing, combine the mustard, olive oil, salt, and lemon juice.
Plate half the roasted vegetables, cherry tomatoes, and pearl couscous quinoa mixture on each plate and use half of the dressing on each. Serve immediately.