Craving healthy comfort food? A filling, one-dish meal like this autumn-inspired grain bowl is your answer! Assembly is easy: simply topped baby spinach with warm quinoa, roasted butternut squash and broccoli, and a quick maple-balsamic dressing. For an extra touch of flavor and protein, add a little crumbled feta or goat cheese, if desired.
Ingredients in this grain bowl not only highlight fall flavors, but they also provide a healthy dose of carotenoids. Responsible for the vibrant orange hues in produce, this family of bioactive compounds includes beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Research suggests that regular intake of carotenoids works to reduce oxidative stress in the brain to potentially slow memory loss and cognitive decline as we age. Increase your intake of carotenoid-rich foods by incorporating orange vegetables like carrots and winter squash and dark green vegetables like spinach, kale, and broccoli throughout the week.
Toss squash with 1 Tbsp oil, a ½ tsp garlic powder, and a ¼ tsp salt. In a separate bowl, toss broccoli, cauliflower, and onion with 1 Tbsp oil, ½ tsp garlic powder, and ¼ tsp salt.
Spread squash across a rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 425 for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and stir. Add broccoli mixture to squash on baking sheet, evenly spreading vegetables across baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until squash is tender and vegetables are beginning to brown.
In a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, syrup, mustard, and a dash of salt and pepper, if desired.
To assemble bowls, divide greens evenly among 4 bowls. Top each evenly with warm quinoa, followed by roasted vegetables. Drizzle with dressing.
Carolyn is an author, registered dietitian, and James Beard Award-winning food and health journalist. NeuroReserve is delighted to partner with Carolyn to develop brain healthy recipes for Brain Table. Carolyn is the founder of Meals That Heal, an online platform providing numerous new recipes, evidence-backed resources, and time-saving tricks to make getting dinner on the table quicker and easier. She is also the author of Meals That Heal cookbook that includes over 100+ quick and tasty recipes to cool inflammation, balance gut health, and detox the body. She is a contributing editor for Eating Well, Cooking Light, Allrecipes and eMeals and has been featured in many other publications. Carolyn is a busy mom of two who knows the necessity of having quick, healthy meal ideas. Carolyn’s philosophy on food is that eating and living well isn’t about perfection. It’s about doing the best you can with the resources you have.