Whether you’re embracing a meat-free Veganary or just adding more plant-based meals into your weekly diet, here’s a delicious recipe to kickstart your healthy resolutions. Easy to make, brimming with nutrients and ideal for get-ahead lunches, this is one meal you’ll want to return to for the whole year.
The sweet potato and chickpeas are a doddle to roast in the oven whilst you are cooking another meal. The protein-packed quinoa base makes a satisfying vegan main which soaks up the fabulous pesto flavour and brilliantly hosts the crispy chickpeas.
Yum! Let’s cook!
PESTO QUINOA AND SWEET POTATO BOWL WITH TOASTED CHICKPEAS AND KALE
1. Roast the veggies. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees. Drain and rinse one can of chickpeas then pat dry with a tea towel. Chop 500g sweet potatoes into 2-inch pieces. Place both together on a baking tray and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, plenty of salt and pepper and a few chilli flakes. Roast for 20 minutes, stirring halfway, until the sweet potatoes are caramelised and chickpeas are lightly browned.
2. Cook the quinoa. Grab a small saucepan and heat a little oil. Rinse one cup of quinoa then add to the pan, stirring until all the water is absorbed. Cook for a couple more minutes so the quinoa is toasted. This gives it a lovely nutty flavour. Add 2 cups of water or vegetable stock and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Stand for 5 minutes then fluff up with a fork.
3. Make the pesto. Using a food processor, finely chop ½ packed cup basil, ½ cup toasted almonds (or other seeds or nuts of your choice) and 1 clove garlic. Mix through 2 tbsp olive oil, juice of ½ lemon and salt and pepper.
4. Soften the kale. Chop and shred a bunch of kale. Place in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil and the other half of the lemon. Massage for a couple of minutes until soft,
5. Assemble your nutritious bowl! Stir the pesto through the quinoa. Mix in 50g of crumbled feta and a few chopped green olives (both optional). Top with the sweet potatoes and chickpeas.
Eat immediately to enjoy warm. Store in the fridge for up to 4 days, pop in a lunchbox or grab for a quick supper!
Photo by Ella Olsson on Unsplash