I’ve got a niiiiiiiiiice cozy one for you this week.
You know those days where it’s grey and drizzly and dreary outside, when you want to curl up and hide from the world in your jammies under a fort of fluffy pillows and blankets, mug of tea in one hand and a good book in the other? Recently I was having one of those days.
Around the same time, I stumbled across this slightly woo-woo but also very helpful article about staying centred and grounded in the midst of all of life’s chaos. If you’re into the self help genre, you’ll probably have seen the term ‘being grounded’ referring to being in touch with the Earth and who you are, being present and not getting caught up in the emotions of others.
Despite not being the best at committing to meditation (working on it, I promise!) I like to think I’m a pretty grounded person. Interestingly though, now that the chillier months have crept in with shorter days and fewer hours of sunlight, I’ve occasionally found myself feeling a bit more unsettled and irritable than usual. The self-help junkie and culinary nutrition nerd in me wants to take action immediately.
When it comes to how to get grounded, many experts recommend practicing meditation, deep breathing, mindfulness, yoga and other forms of exercise, and walking or sitting outside (on grass, not concrete). I’ve talked a bit about this in the past, but in Ayurvedic medicine, some foods are considered to have grounding properties. Not surprisingly, most of these foods come from…. wait for it…. the ground! Roots like yams, beets, carrots, turmeric, ginger, onions, garlic and celery, as well as winter squash, cabbage, dark leafy greens, beans and legumes are all examples, and I’ve included a whole bunch in the recipe I’ve got for you today.
Before we get to cooking, let’s take a look at what sort of goodies we’ve got in here:
Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale and cabbage
Cruciferous superstars, every single one of them! Many of the studies on these veggies have been done in relation to detoxification and inflammatory conditions (more on that here), and vitamins A, C and K are the key players. These foods are also high in fibre, and since it seems we’re allllllways being told we need more fibre, this recipe has got that base covered. Note that vitamins A and K are fat-soluble which means our bodies can only really get at them and use them if consumed with fat. That’s why roasting these vegetables in a healthy fat source not only makes them more delicious, but makes nutritional sense too.
One of the best bits about basil (and many other herbs) is the potent essential oils in the plant. These help to protect it as it grows, but also help us because those oils have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-microbial properties.
This is my favourite kind of squash, and one the best things about fall if you ask me! Butternut squash is loaded with beta carotene, a super antioxidant that helps prevent free radicals from damaging cells. Like the cruciferous veg, it’s also high in fibre which means you’ll feel nice and satisfied afterwards.
These guys contain omega-3 healthy fats, zinc (great for keeping your immune system strong) and iron. Plant-based sources of iron (also called non-heme iron) aren’t absorbed as well as animal sources, but by also including foods high in vitamin C like cauliflower, kale and Brussels sprouts, our bodies can make use of it more easily.
Rich in vitamin E (another fat-soluble vitamin that helps stop free radicals from messing with our cells), sunflower seeds also contain magnesium. You’ve probably heard of magnesium being taken as a sleep aid, and that’s because it helps our muscles and blood vessels to relax. Sweet dreams, dear friends.
Right, let’s get down to biznazz.
The Get Grounded Buddha Bowl
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Ingredients (2 servings)
- 3 cups cauliflower florets
- 1 1/2 cups cubed peeled butternut squash
- 1 cup trimmed and halved Brussels sprouts
- 1 tsp each dried basil, oregano and parsley
- olive oil, in a mister
- sea salt and black pepper
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 1/3 cup diced white onion
- 3 cups curly kale, stems removed and chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup thinly sliced purple cabbage
- 3/4 cup cooked white navy beans
- 1 tbsp each pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds
For the dressing (you will have leftovers):
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 1 tbsp miso
- 2 tsp minced fresh ginger
- 2 tbsp water, plus more to thin as needed
Preheat the oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay the cauliflower, butternut squash and Brussels sprouts out on the baking sheet in a single layer. Mist with olive oil and sprinkle with dried herbs, sea salt and black pepper.
Roast the vegetables for 20-25 minutes or until they begin to get crispy. Give them a stir after about 10 minutes for even cooking.
When the vegetables have almost finished roasting, melt the coconut oil over medium heat on the stove. Lightly sautee the onion until translucent, then add the kale and sautee until bright green and slightly wilted – about 2-3 minutes. Divide between 2 bowls and do the same with the purple cabbage.
Arrange the roasted vegetables between the two bowls, placing them on top of the kale and cabbage. Add the beans and top with pumpkin + sunflower seeds.
Drizzle the dressing over each bowl. Serve with lemon wedges to be squeezed on top just before eating.
So tell me…
- What comfort foods are you craving these days?
Psst: If you like this one, you might also enjoy my Down to Earth Bowl.