There are so many reasons I love a good power bowl. They’re easy to prepare, they can made in advance, they’re super healthy, and they fill you up for a really long time.
This quinoa and veggie power bowl incorporates fruits, veggies, grains and spices for a delicious lunch or dinner that is perfect for meal prep. Quinoa is one of my favorite sources of protein and fiber. So, it is the perfect addition to complete these power bowls.
What is a power bowl?
So, I have talked them up enough. What exactly is a power bowl? Honestly, it’s a fancy way of saying a very decked out salad. Similar to a buddha bowl, a power bowl typically consists of grains, vegetables, toppings and a flavorful sauce.
The best thing about buddha bowls is how customizable they are. You can add your own toppings, or omit ingredients you don’t care for. You can also split the portions up or double the batches for more food. They’re pretty great all around.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- This quinoa and veggie power bowl uses butternut squash, apples and cinnamon. This gives it a comforting feel that is perfect for fall. We’re getting into the cooler months here so this bowl pulls a lot of inspiration from those comforting fall flavors.
- This recipe is versatile and very customizable. You can add additional ingredients or omit ones you do not like.
- You can make these bowls in advance for meal prep. Simply add the toppings and dressing separately.
- This recipe is a great way to get in your grains, veggies, and even a little bit of fruit. It’s a healthy option that tastes fantastic.
- A creamy and tangy vegan dressing tops this power bowl off with an addictive flavor. You’ll never go back to store-bought!
About the ingredients
- Quinoa – This is the grain and the base of the power bowl. You can use any type of quinoa you would like, just be sure to rinse it before cooking. See my tips below for making the quinoa taste more flavorful.
- Kale – This green veggie is popular in the fall when the temperatures are cooling down. You can use spinach instead if you do not have kale on hand.
- Butternut squash – Squash and kale go together perfectly. You can also use sweet potato or pumpkin.
- Apples – Apples add the perfect level of sweetness to this salad. I like using red, but you can also use green for a different flavor.
- Chickpeas– Full of protein, chickpeas make this power bowl even more hearty and filling.
- Spices – The dreamy fall spices (cinnamon and nutmeg) are what give this power bowl such a comforting feel and flavor.
- Maple syrup – A touch of sweetness from a small amount of maple syrup brings all the flavors together.
- Pumpkin seeds – You can use another type of seed, but using pumpkin seeds as garnish adds a nice and crunchy texture that complements the fall flavor.
- Homemade dressing – The dressing is made of cashews, ACV, dijon, olive oil, shallot and salt. Once you try this homemade dressing, you won’t ever want to buy premade from the store again!
How do you make quinoa taste better?
Mixed up with all the other power bowl ingredients, this quinoa tastes pretty darn good. But, there are a few tips to help the flavor significantly.
- Cook it in broth – Instead of water, cook your quinoa in your favorite vegetable broth. This can really help add a ton of flavor.
- Rinse before cooking – Many people don’t know this, but rinsing your quinoa before cooking can make a big difference in the flavor. The process of rinsing removes the bitter coating (saponin) from the quinoa grains. It’s a simple step that really improves the taste.
- Don’t overcook it – Quinoa is really delicate and becomes mushy if overcooked. You want it to be fluffy, so keep an eye on it and take it off the heat once it is cooked.
- Let it rest – After cooking, let the quinoa sit for at least 10 minutes. This will allow the grains to absorb any remaining moisture for a fluffy texture.
Ways to change up this power bowl
These are some creative variations to mix this power bowl up. With these substitutions, you could even make this a few times a week and not get tired of it.
- Smoked paprika – Add a teaspoon of paprika to the dressing for a flavor that pairs very well with the squash and apple.
- Roasted veggies – Swap the kale for roasted brussel sprouts or broccoli for a warm and roasted flavor.
- Substitute the squash – Use sweet potato instead of squash for an equally tasty bowl.
- Go tropical – Add some mango in place of the apple for a tropical twist.
- Make it spicy – Try adding a little cayenne to the chickpeas before roasting for an added kick.
- Up the protein – Add tofu cubes for a bit of extra protein.
- Add berries – Try adding dried cranberries, blueberries or cherries for a sweet and tart contrast.
- Swap the quinoa – You can try using barley or farro as a different grain base.
- Add cheese – A sprinkle of your favorite vegan cheese goes a long way in this recipe. And, who doesn’t love cheese with apple?
These simple changes help keep the bowl versatile while still keeping it healthy and nutritious.
Let me know if you make this warming quinoa and veggie bowl, and any variations you may make. It’s a delicious fall meal that can be easily adapted for any season to make the most of fresh fruit and veggies.
Other quinoa recipes you may enjoy
Quinoa And Veggie Power Bowl
- ½ cup uncooked quinoa rinsed
- 10 cups chopped kale
- 2 cups butternut squash cubed
- 2 apples
- 1 can chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 1.5 Tbsp. maple syrup
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds optional, for garnish
- ¾ cup raw cashews
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. dijon mustard
- ½ shallot
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¾ cup water
- Preheat oven to 375 °F
- Add cashews to small bowl and cover with boiling (or very hot) water. Set them aside to soften.
- Rinse and cook quinoa according to package directions and set aside.
- While quinoa cooks, drain and rinse chickpeas. Chop apples into bite size cubes.
- Add chickpeas, apples, squash, nutmeg, syrup and salt to a medium bowl and stir till thoroughly coated.
- Bake the chickpea mixture for 25 minutes on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Place kale on a second parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and add to the oven during the last 8 minutes of cook time.
- Meanwhile, make the dressing. Dice the shallot and drain your soaked cashews.
- Add all dressing ingredients to blender and mix on high for approximately 2 minutes or until smooth liquid consistency is achieved. If necessary, add additional water.
- Combine all the cooked ingredients and drizzle with your homemade dressing. Serve warm and enjoy!
- If making in advance, add the dressing last after the bowl is reheated.