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Warmed Spiced Quinoa with Roasted Autumn Vegetables

Warming Spiced Quinoa and Roasted Autumn Vegetables

Have you ever found the perfect recipe for what your inner body craves? I am not talking about chocolate or a glass of wine, although that would be quite nice. I am referring to nourishing your inner body and soul with what it "really" needs.

In our daily lives we crave certain foods. We don't know why, but it is our bodies way to try to restore balance. Maybe when you crave that chocolate, what your body really needs is magnesium or comfort. Maybe when you are craving those carbohydrates, what your body really needs is sleep.

My body has had an inner craving for roasted vegetables, warming spices and legumes. I made a nourishing vegan roasted veggie, garbanzo beans and quinoa salad with lots of warming spices and fresh herbs to warm your heart, strengthen your inner soul and to keep your qi flowing freely. My Chinese medicine doctor told me that I need to work on strengthening my blood and my spleen qi.  I also needed to eat plenty of warming spices, half of my total calories should come from grains and legumes and eat lots of nourishing vegetables.

Warming Spiced Quinoa and Roasted Autumn Vegetables

Warmed spiced quinoa with roasted autumn vegetables has so many dimensions of flavor and it is packed with healthy ingredients. The flavors are very subtle but perfectly balanced.  You will love the freshness of the herbs and the aromatic spices that tantalize your taste buds. You can taste the gentle sweetness from the raisins and the roasted autumn vegetables. You will love the nutty flavor of the red quinoa, garbanzo beans and the added crunchy pumpkin seeds on top. I had to keep going back to refill my bowl as each time I tasted it I began to fall in love with the flavors more and my soul was finally nourished.

For over 2000 years, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been using many forms of care such as acupuncture, herbal medication, Tui na (massage), qigong and dietary therapy to keep health in balance. I completely understand if you do not believe in TCM but when it comes to dietary therapy you should give it a second chance or at least give it a try as I think you will be pleasantly surprised how good you can feel with a couple of dietary changes.

Warming Spiced Quinoa and Roasted Autumn Vegetables

My Chinese medicine doctor said that for my spleen qi deficieincy I need to eat more cooked whole grains, rice, oats, roasted barley, sweet rice, spelt, millet pumpkin, sweet potatoes, squash, carrots, corn, parsnips, yams, peas, stewed fruit, onions, leeks, garlic, turnip, mushroooms including oyster & shitake chick peas, black beans, kidney beans, fava beans, walnuts, etc... He also said that I needed to add some of these warming spices and fruits to my diet such as black pepper, fresh ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, fennel, molasses, barley malt, dates, figs, and cherries.

Warming Spiced Quinoa and Roasted Autumn Vegetables

Oh lucky me as I love everything on his list. I had made some red quinoa in the morning in anticipation of a friend visiting for lunch. Then I began to brainstorm by looking in my refrigerator and pantry for ideas.

My Chinese medicine doctor also mentioned for my blood deficiency I need to eat dark green (purple/red) leafy vegetables, seaweeds, spirulina, sprouts, legumes and whole grains. Richly coloured foods (often red) are valued for building the blood including goji berries (Chinese wolf berries), dried apricots, dark grapes, blackberries, raspberries and black strap molasses.  I should support my digestive system with lightly cooked and warm foods and add some spices to aid in digestion such as ginger, cumin, fennel and cardamom.

Warming Spiced Quinoa and Roasted Autumn Vegetables

During my kitchen foraging efforts I found carrots, butternut squash, onions, Asian eggplant, broccolini. I tossed them in a little olive oil, fresh garlic and seasonings and baked them in the oven until they were tender and golden. I added my toasted vegetables to my cooked quinoa, added a tin of garbanzo beans and added a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper. ( I decided to save some of my carrots and my butternut squash for a delicious butternut and carrot ginger soup that will be knock your socks off and is coming to a monitor your way soon)

I have a lot of spices from my international travel. I grabbed some warming turmeric, cinnamon, cumin, ginger and some fragrant cardamom and fennel off the shelf and added it to my quinoa mixture and gave it a taste. Not bad, but it needed something fresh so I added some freshly chopped coriander, garlic chives and some fresh lemon juice. It needed a little spunk so I added some paprika.

Warming Spiced Quinoa and Roasted Autumn Vegetables

My Chinese medicine doctor also told me I needed more dried fruits. I just used the last Chinese dates and gogi berries in my tea but I added some raisins (sultans) for a little sweetness. Now it just needed a little something crunchy so I roasted some pumpkin seeds and topped off my dish.

Warming Spiced Quinoa and Roasted Autumn Vegetables

My Chinese medicine doctor also told me I needed to eat things at room temperature or warmed so I ate my dish at room temperature but I think it would also be quite nice warm or even chilled like a salad for a potluck. I think the flavors are even better the next day when the flavors have time to mingle.

You can use any vegetables you like in this dish but I think the autumn vegetable family such as sweet potatoes, squash, pumpkins, yams, beets, onions and so on taste really nice with all the warming spices and a perfect way to greet the cooler fall weather upon us.

WHAT’s FOR DINNER?

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Warmed Spiced Quinoa with Roasted Autumn Vegetables

By HWC Magazine  , , , , , , , ,   

November 6, 2013

Nourishing roasted vegetables, garbanzo beans and quinoa salad with lots of warming spices and fresh herbs to warm your heart, strengthen your inner soul and to keep your qi flowing.

  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Yields: 4 Adults or 1 Hungry Teenager

Ingredients

quinoa - 3/4 cup red dry (cooked per instructions)

water - 1 and 1/4 cup

Asian Eggplant - 1 washed and chopped

Carrot - 2 washed peeled and sliced

broccolini - 1 bunch (washed and chopped)

garbanzo beans - 1 cup

raisins - 1/2 cup

fresh garlic - 2 cloves chopped

olive oil - 2 tablespoons

salt and pepper - to taste

Warmed Spiced Dressing

olive oil - 2 tablespoons

lemon juice - 1.5 fresh lemons

turmeric - 1 teaspoon

paprika - 1 teaspoon ground

cinnamen - 1 teaspoon ground

cardamom - 1 teaspoon ground

cumin - 1 teaspoon ground

fennel - 1/2 teaspoon ground

ginger - 1 teaspoon ground

Garnishes

cilantro - handful chopped

garlic chives - 1/4 cup chopped

onion - 1/4 cup chopped

pumpkin seeds - 1/4 cup toasted (optional)

Directions

1Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C (392 degrees F)

2Chop vegetables (eggplants, carrots and broccolini) and toss with olive oil, fresh garlic and season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 25-30 minutes or until fork tender. Toss vegetables at the 15 minute mark and return back to the oven.

3Cook the quinoa per instructions on your package (I used red quinoa but can also use white quinoa or even brown rice) Set aside.

4Toast the pumpkin seeds in a dry pan until lightly toasty and slightly golden. Remove from pan. Set aside.

5In a large bowl mix the cooked quinoa with the roasted vegetables, garbanzo beans, raisins, garlic chives, onions, cilantro, olive oil, lemon juice and toss to mix. Then add the paprika, turmeric, cinnamon, cardamon, cumin, fennel and ginger. Add salt and pepper to taste.

6Serve either at room temperature or cold as a salad and top with roasted pumpkin seeds. Enjoy

7 

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  • After a few weeks of eating mostly takeout empanadas (handpies, full of fat and cheese), I literally spent 24hs eating roasted vegetable soup, just veggies and broth. My body definitely craved something nourishing! Adding spices completely changes healthy food and you don’t need so much of all those bad-for-you ingredients. This is truly a great for your body recipe! Love it.

  • Agghhh I am drooling over this at my desk.

  • Love the colors in this dish!!

  • This looks delicious! I have been craving exactly this kind of mix of ingredients, so I will most probably try your recipe 🙂

  • Jo (http://blog-diggidy.com)

    I’ve been thinking about trying the “blood type diet” where you eat foods according to your blood type. I am O+… They recommend no wheat, no kidney beans, no corn, little dairy, for this blood type. I can have black beans, spelt, rice, mozzarella, and surprisingly lots of other things, but they say no pickles?!? No black olives, but I can have green?!? Some things are strange… I guess O’s are acidic, so they don’t want to add a lot of extra acid to your diet??? Anyway… Your dish looks yummy… 😉 xo

    • Bams Kitchen

      Hi there Jo, give the blood type diet a try and see how you feel as that is the best marker. Wishing you a super day. BAM

  • Maureen | Orgasmic Chef

    I won’t wait for a Chinese doctor to tell me to make this salad. I love it!

  • kitchenriffs

    Gosh, this is so nice! A lot of ingredients that I love to put together. I’m all for the warming spices – my favorites! I think I need to find a Chinese doctor! Fun post – thanks.

  • Glorious stuff BAM. We were in Limerick, in the south of Ireland at the weekend and bought some lovely root vegetables from the farm. I roasted them. I know what you mean about feeding the soul.

  • I think your Chinese doctor knows that it’s Fall. Everything he recommended is perfect for the Autumn season. Seriously though, I think there is a lot of truth in Chinese medicine. And either way, you are following a great diet!

  • This looks warm and comforting! Yum!

  • The colours are so beautiful, I really want to devour this autumn treat 😀

    Cheers
    CCU

  • This sounds so good–wonderful photos, too!

  • Eha

    Bobbi ~ I am SO jealous! Would give almost anything to be in Hong Kong to see your Chinese doctor! I have tried to follow TCM tenets for decades to get away from the pill-popping Western culture! But I don’t think he is necessary for me to love the appetising look and all the ingredients of this warming dish . . . it will be tried out by the weekend . . . wonderful what one can ‘do’ with quinoa!!

  • My mother (no she is not a Chinese doctor) always tells us to eat our food at room temp or warm not cold, yet we can eat ice cream, go figure.
    Love the veggies combo in your dish, I can almost taste the concentrated flavor of the roasted veggies.

  • Fabulous recipe Bam. We’ve been eating lots of vegan dishes for the past few months. And I too see a TCM doctor. She recently told me to incorporate more purple/red foods into my diet. I’m looking forward to making this one. We’ll add it to our weekly menu – and I love quinoa dishes because they make so many leftovers, great for lunches through the week! 🙂

  • I totally love that dressing! What a beautiful salad.

  • Looks fabulous and packed with healthy ingredients. Love it!

  • Beautiful colors in your salad, BAM. Attractive foods are always more appealing.

  • There is a lot of wisdom in the old traditional medicine. TCM is very similar to the Indian Ayurvedic medicine and I tend to remember my mother telling me eat this or not that. I do follow it to a degree and do feel better for it.
    Our body craves different things and o this salad is perfect for what your body needs. Great thing is, I can switch out certain things to please mine!
    This looks great is though has all my faves and it’s all warm and cosy.

    Nazneen

  • What wonderful spiced quinoa dish for the beautiful autumn! Quinoa is my favorite especially the Asian eggplants, broccolini & cilantro! This is also a perfect light side dish for the upcoming American Thanksgiving.

  • This is interesting to know the connection between our food cravings and body needs. Right now I am craving for fall flavored meals and I am inviting myself to your house for spiced quinoa.

  • I’m with you on the cravings. We’ve been eating pre-prepped & take out food now for so long that the other night I just had to get a juicy steak with baked potato in me. And vegetables! I’ve been relying a lot on fresh fruit but don’t care much for uncooked veggies so that’s been in my dreams a lot lately. This recipe is just so much fun to look at – I love how bright & appetizing it looks.

  • Well I can say I’m definitely craving this beautiful dish now! 🙂

  • What a lovely dish! I love the flavours and texture of quinoa.

  • looks appetizing.

  • Love this! It feels good to eat well. You know you are taking care of your body and health. And when the food tastes great, it’s a huge win win. 🙂 Please keep inspiring us! 🙂

  • YUM!
    What a delicious meal… so tasty and nutritious.
    I wish that dish was my dinner tonight!

  • ohlidia

    I always appreciate a new quinoa recipe, especially a great one. This looks sooooo delicious Bam! Thanks for sharing.

  • Healty + Tasty = Win. My body calls for healthy and hearty dishes such as this from time to time. Great job packing all the fall harvest together into a great dish!

  • Bobbi,I hope you begin felling just wonderful! I have just eaten, yet all the foods you mentioned are making me hungry again…
    I have not gotten around to quinoa, but I do a lot of beans, legumes and, (other),grains.
    Beautiful dish, as well!

  • Absolutely wonderful Bam! I think I would devour the your dish!

  • LOL! I do consider chocolate or a glass wine food of the soul, but this one looks bloody perfect too 🙂

  • That looks so healthy, I agree with you sometimes your body is craving for something healthy that keeps everything in balance. Roasted vegetables would be a great fix for it, and that definitely would be really tasty.

  • Yummy Bam! This dish is both nutritious and tasty! Love quinoa! Can I reiterate again how lucky it would be to live with such an awesome cook like you? 🙂

  • Roasted vegetables have such a profound taste and quinoa makes the perfect accompaniment!

  • I feeling more healty and even slimmer just by reading this healty recipe….
    the spiced dressing is sounds irresisteable!

  • This does look like something that would instantly make you feel better! I love quinoa and use it more all the time in place of carbier, less satisfying starches – SO good!

  • A sensational salad. Love the flavors and colors.

  • Wow! This recipe looks delicious and so inviting! Can’t wait to try this! 🙂

  • Kumar’s Kitchen

    hearty,nourishing and delectable autumnal treat…will love every bit of this,thanks so much for sharing 🙂

  • Quinoa is not only tasty but also healthy, so no regrets after craving for this dish.
    Great recipe, perfect for this season.

  • Hi Bobbi, I am nominating you for versatile blog award! I will would like to take this chance to recognize share your awesome blog to other bloggers. Your blog rocks!
    I have a link to your blog from my award nomination page:
    http://myeasychineserecipes.com/easy-Chinese-recipes/versatile-blogger-award/
    Come check out other great blogs!
    Thanks!

    Dan.

    • Bams Kitchen

      Hello Dan, Thanks so much for thinking of me. Have a super day. BAM

  • Wow – what a colorful and healthy dish this is! I love all the roasted veggies in here.

  • The dish that you prepared according to your Chinese doctor’s advice sounds very tasty…let’s hope it works wonders with your health.

  • I just bought some more quinoa from the bulk bin and can’t wait to try this!

  • Totally love your Warmed Spiced Quinoa with Roasted Autumn Vegetables! So healthy and packed with veggies that I love. 🙂

  • You have displayed all the grace, beauty, color, nutrients, warmth and aroma from mother nature into your dish. How can I not fall in love with earthy, healthy dish?
    Can’t thank you enough for this incredible recipe. A fitness-freak like myself would be madly, deeply, utterly in love with this kind of crazy good dish.

    – And those vivacious, glamorous, perfect pictures!

  • What a gorgeous dish! I love all the amazing flavors and textures. I’d be thrilled to go to a chinese medicine dr and hear what I should be eating…I believe that there’s a lot of merit to some of their suggestions!

  • Hotly Spiced

    What a great vegetarian dish, Bam. I’m sure I need to nourish my body with more of these kinds of meals. I’ll pin this so I can make it later this week xx

  • What a great dish … love vegetables mixed with grains! We can actually say … just what the doctor ordered 😉

  • Love all the ingredients in this dish! My body would love to be fed this )

  • What a beautiful autumn quinoa salad! I love quinoa and try to have it at least once weekly. It’s great to have new inspiration to go with it. Shall try a spiced one next time. It sounds really good!

  • I’ve missed you too! My daughter makes a wicked quinoa salad too, but hers has flavors from a spring garden. I can’t wait to show her your idea, we love dinners like this and the warm spices and veggies would take this in a whole new direction. I think you’re right.. when I eat food that’s “pure” like this I always feel better.. now I know the Chinese medicine behind it:)

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