If you follow me on Instagram at all, you are probably seeing a trend. (The word trend here is just a nicer way to say obsession… it’s probably really an obsession…) When I find something I really like, I tend to eat it over and over again until it no longer excites me. I know this isn’t a good trait, but I haven’t found a workaround yet. Anyways, the trends in the my kitchen lately are portobello bowls and veggie burgers. I recently posted a portobello bowl recipe but I had to come back with another. I’ll get the veggie burger recipes up here as soon as I have perfected them. Portobellos are pretty easy to perfect with a couple sauces and/or spices so the recipes require a lot less work. I’ve never heard a soul utter, “I wish this recipe required more work in the kitchen”. I do however hear plenty of people question the amount of time that is required in the kitchen when eating healthy. Some people have this perception that a healthy lifestyle will demand all of their time. While this can be true, it doesn’t have to be the case. This recipe is a great example of that.
I’m offering you shortcuts and variations to cater this to your lifestyle. If you have the time to make every ingredient, great, you’ll love it. If you are in a bit of a hurry, I have options for you too. That is why I started this blog – to help YOU find a way to fit healthy living into YOUR life. Your life is different from mine and different from the lives of every person that promotes a healthy lifestyle. You are the only one that knows how much time you have to dedicate to a task; I’m just here to guide you along the way.
Portobello Protein Bowl
For the Salad:
1/2 of a small sweet potato, sliced into rounds
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1/2 cup quinoa, cooked
3 cups leafy greens (I used spinach but feel free to use whatever you have on hand!)
1/8 cup sweet onion, sliced thin
1/2 portobello mushroom, sliced
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 of a zucchini, sliced
handful of sunflower sprouts
1/4 of an avocado, sliced
For the Dressing:
juice from 1 lemon
4 Tbsp tahini
2 Tbsp water (or more to thin it out)
black pepper, to taste
sea salt, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350F. Slice vegetables while oven is heating up. Place sliced sweet potato rounds into a baking dish and toss with 1 Tbsp of the coconut oil. Once oven is preheated, bake for 45 minutes, stirring once or twice throughout.
- Cook your quinoa according to the directions on the package. I usually go with 1 cup of quinoa to 1.5 cups of water. I like my quinoa firm and I find that a 1:2 ratio makes it on the softer end.
- While the potatoes and quinoa are cooking, you can start sautéing the other veggies, arranging the salad and making the salad dressing.
- Heat remaining 1 Tbsp of coconut oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté 1-2 minutes. Add portobello mushrooms to the mix and pour the balsamic vinegar over the veggies. Sauté another 5-6 minutes until soft and browning.
- Scoop your greens onto the bottom of your bowl. Once everything has finished cooking, scoop your quinoa, sweet potatoes, portobello-onion mix, zucchini, avocado and sunflower sprouts on top of the bed of lettuce.
- For the Dressing: Place all ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk with a fork until smooth. You can add more or less water depending on the consistency you desire.
- Pour desired amount of dressing over the bowl.
– Coconut Oil: If the coconut oil is solidified when you pull it out, you can microwave it for 5-10 seconds to soften it prior to adding it to the sweet potatoes. I usually just put the hardened coconut oil and sweet potatoes in the oven and pull it out 5 minutes later to mix it around. I avoid the microwave when necessary. But I told you I was giving you options today! Also, you can use another type of oil, but for high heats, coconut oil is one of the best. I know our society is prone to using olive oil as the heart-healthy option, but olive oil actually turns rancid when too hot.
– Have Leftovers: Here’s a tip for time saving: create in bulk! While the recipe above is for one salad, the things that take time to cook, like sweet potatoes and quinoa, I usually make extra of. Whatever I don’t use in the salad right away, I will use over the next couple days. I mean, are you really going to cook just 1/2 of a sweet potato? Cook the whole thing… or 2… or 4… Then you’ll have substance for days!
– Save the Salt: Notice I didn’t add salt on the sweet potatoes before they were cooking. This will cause the vegetable to dry out. It is best to add salt at the end, after you pull them out of the oven!
– Time Frenzy: If you don’t have 45 minutes to wait for the sweet potato to cook, microwave it! Pierce the potato with a fork a few times and place onto a plate. Microwave on high for 6 minutes, turning over halfway through. If you do have the time to spare though, always go with the oven. Honestly the sweet potato will taste better (flavor from the oil + less dry)!
I’m all about using what you have on hand so don’t freak out if your can’t find sunflower sprouts. Try any sprout! One of the first things you should know about healthy eating is that versatility is key. No one wants to eat the same thing 3 times a day for 2 days. Even if you have all this extra quinoa, sweet potato and veggies ready, try changing 1 or 2 things every time you eat it. You’ll still be able to make a quick meal given what you have on hand, but you won’t be bored with it!
If you do ever have questions about how to make a recipe in less time or without certain tools or ingredients, don’t hesitate to reach out in the Comment Section! I have all sorts of tips and tricks up my sleeve that are just waiting to be shared!
BeLeaf in tailoring your meals to your time needs.