Gluten free and vegan roasted veggie quinoa bowl loaded with nutrients from oven roasted cauliflower, sauteed spinach, toasted almonds and a creamy vegan Thai peanut sauce. Perfect for a feel good weeknight meal.
It has been a somewhat interesting few days here at our Costa Rican housesit. First off, if you’re ever looking to try a housesit make sure to get all of the directions for everything you need to do very clearly spelled out before the owner leaves.
Case in point – the pool (yep – private pool here , yay!) needs to be vacuumed weekly. Might seem like an easy task – until you’re faced with a small hut of a pool bodega where you need to flip a switch for the suction to start and that little dwelling is being heavily guarded by a hornet’s nest.
Clearly not a one person task. Armed with a broom and bug spray D and I went into battle. With a withdrawals (mostly D, running away shrieking) we were eventually victorious. Until of course the suction stopped working, and I accidentally tossed out a chlorine tab thinking it was part of the leaves stuck in the filter – woops. Vacuuming of the pool to be continued… maybe tomorrow.
Next task – taking out the trash. Unlike the US, the trash bins are not at the end of the driveway, more like at the bottom of a steep hill – most easily reached by ATV – which the owner did give us access too, though she did warn us that it was a bit fussy and there was a “short” somewhere so starting it *might* be a problem.
Needless to say we couldn’t get it started. After blowing 2 fuses and not being able to pull start it (look at all the things I’m learning) we retreated back to the house – there’s only so many things you can try when you have absolutely no idea what you’re doing.
So we are now officially stranded on the property. What at first seemed like a house in a beach side village with easy access to great restaurants has turned out to be a remote property located on a steep set of hills, with motorized transport required to pretty much reach anything unless you’re looking for a solid workout in the unforgiving sun.
Let’s hope the ATV mechanic gets here before our water runs out.
Luckily we won’t go hungry for a while since I stocked up on all sorts of goodies at the grocery store when we got here. With my first sighting of quinoa in weeks I made sure to make a grab for that.
So how did I come up with this vegan Thai peanut sauce to go with these quinoa bowls?
In the corner of the pantry in the kitchen out of the corner of my eye I spotted a mini food processor and was almost giddy with excitement. Sauces, pesto, dips, spreads, here we goooooo. I mean how often do you find a food processor in a kitchen abroad?
I had already devised an awesome sauce recipe for these quinoa bowls. I was going to toast sliced almonds until nicely browned, and make a home made batch of almond butter which would be the base of an Asian nutty sauce to drizzle over the bowls.
I got the almonds toasted and packed into the food processor ready to send them into crumbles and then a thick delicious paste. I could almost taste the sauce already.
Well, not so fast. Apparently the food processor just didn’t have enough power to really crush those almonds. All that effort. All those recipe ideas. Down the drain.
Time for a new plan. Peanut sauce it is with a big jar of peanut butter in the pantry to the rescue.
With a few delays this vegan Thai peanut sauce recipe was finally ready. Instead of the almond butter sauce, I whipped up a peanut butter based sauce with olive oil, tamari, sesame oil, rice vinegar and ginger. Awesome awesome awesome. Love the thick and creamy nutty sauce. This vegan Thai peanut sauce was just perfect as a topping for the roasted veggie quinoa bowl!
For veggies I oven roasted cauliflower tossed with olive oil and cayenne (um watch how much cayenne you add — I might have overdone it a bit) and sauteed arugula in sesame oil for a minute until just wilted.
Layer everything on top of the quinoa, sprinkle with toasted almonds, and drizzle with the vegan Thai peanut sauce.
A delicious gluten-free and vegan heart healthy dinner perfect for a weeknight meal.
Gluten free and vegan roasted veggie quinoa bowl loaded with nutrients from oven roasted cauliflower, sauteed spinach, toasted almonds and a creamy Thai peanut sauce. Perfect for a feel good weeknight meal.
- 1 and 1/2 cups quinoa
- 1 head cauliflower cut into florets
- 2 handfuls arugula
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil divided
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- salt to taste
- 1/2 cup toasted almonds
- For the Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons gluten free tamari
- 4 tablespoons peanut butter or almond butter
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 inch piece of ginger grated
- 2-4 tablespoons hot water
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- In a large bowl toss cauliflower florets with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, cayenne and garlic powder. Bake on aluminum foil lined baking sheet for 25 minutes.
- Heat pan over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. Add quinoa and toast for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 2 cups water, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered for 15-20 minutes.
- Heat 1 teaspoon sesame oil in a pan and add spinach. Cook for 1 minute until just wilted.
- In a bowl combine sauce ingredients and stir until smooth (adding hot water until desired consistency reached)