Summer Veggie Bowls with Avocado Herb Sauce

All the things you love about summer, packed into one bowl! Summer Veggie Bowls with Avocado Herb Sauce are an ideal vessel for using up all of summer’s bounty!

Happy Labor Day babes!! I hope you have a long weekend and are reading this from under a blankie snuggled up on your couch. I’ll be sipping my coffee slowly and working on a crossword in my sweatpants. I’ve been mulling over the idea of Labor Day and what it means to take a break…

Taking a slow day isn’t something I’m good at. I lost track of what it means to “do nothing” quite a while ago. In fact, unproductive days sometimes make me anxious and uneasy. Having a Type-A personality means I always want to be moving and checking things off my to-do list. And I’ve been working a LOT lately. Between my day job, blogging, and freelance, it sometimes feels non-stop.

Summer Veggie Bowls w Avocado Cream Sauce | AreYouKitchenMe.com

With all the anxiety I’ve been having, it sort of feels like my body is screaming “SLOW DOWN you crazy woman!” It’s my job’s busy season and I don’t plan on taking a blogging break but I’m trying to incorporate more restful and restorative practices into my daily life. Crosswords. Creative DIYs. Just-for-fun recipes. And a cabin trip with friends in a few weeks! But when we all inevitably return to work on Tuesday, we might as well have a great lunch to take with us right?!

Summer Veggie Bowls w Avocado Cream Sauce | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Enter, Summer Veggie Bowl! I’m clinging onto the last shreds of hot, steamy weather while I can. This bowl was the perfect way to pack in the very best my favorite season has to offer. The fun thing about bowls is that you can throw in literally whatever you want! I wasn’t planning on using zuke, but we had one wilting in the fridge. I planned on using chickpeas, but all I had was red beans. Talk about a happy accident!

Summer Veggie Bowls w Avocado Cream Sauce | AreYouKitchenMe.com

The one item not optional in this recipe is the sauce. Ok, ok, I guess you could just use some plain avocado but I’m telling you this stuff is SO worth the 3 extra minutes. If you couldn’t tell, I’m on a real herby sauce kick (evidence). This particular concoction is just ripe avocados buzzed up with some yogurt, lemon, and tonnnns of herbs. Creamy dreamy goodness!

Summer Veggie Bowls w Avocado Cream Sauce | AreYouKitchenMe.com

If you plan to pack these up for lunch, I recommend going in reverse order. Meaning: sauce on bottom, then mixed veg, then leafy greens. This keeps everything crispy and crunchy. I actually prefer to bring the sauce in a separate container and keep in in the fridge for daily dressing.

Take a break this weekend. And then everyday at lunch this week while you savor the flavors of a Summer Veggie Bowl….

Summer Veggie Bowls with Avocado Herb Sauce

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4-5 bowls

All the things you love about summer, packed into one bowl! Summer Veggie Bowls are an ideal vessel for using up all of summer's bounty!

Ingredients

  • pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ lb. green beans, trimmed and steamed
  • 1 large zucchini, halved
  • 2 cobs cooked fresh corn, or 1½ cups thawed frozen
  • 1 can red kidney beans
  • 2 cups spinach
  • Avocado Herb Sauce
  • 2 avocados
  • 1/3 cup plain unsweetened non-dairy yogurt
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • Small handful (3 Tbs.) each fresh parsley, dill, cilantro
  • 1½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper

Instructions

  1. Prep the veggies: Gather all veggies and prep them as directed. For the zucchini, grill cut-side down for 5 minutes or sear in a very hot pan. Let cool and chop. If using fresh corn, cut it off the cob after cooking.
  2. Make the sauce: Add all sauce ingredients to a small food processor or blender and blend until smooth, scraping the sides as necessary.
  3. Assemble: Layer spinach and vegetables into bowl and drizzle with sauce. Serve cold or room temperature.
https://www.areyoukitchenme.com/summer-veggie-bowls-avocado-herb-sauce/

Summer Veggie Bowls w Avocado Cream Sauce | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Beet Green & Quinoa Salad

From root to leaf, this salad can’t be BEET! Eliminate waste and use the whole vegetable in this Beet Green & Quinoa Salad.

I have been holding out on you. I do this thing where I become obsessed with a recipe, eat it nonstop (ahem, like my fav smoothie– which ironically also contains beets…), and then forget to share the recipe. My bad. But I’m finally getting around to it!

Beet Green & Quinoa Salad | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Before I share more about this recipe, I have to give credit where it is definitely due. A few months ago, John and I went to an all-vegan participatory dinner at The Kitchen. This place is seriously the coolest. You show up, strap on an apron, get your inner chef on, and then feast family-style at a single long table. SO fun! The dinner we went to was their Vegan Spring Dinner and I was like a kid in a (vegan) candy store! We helped prepare a version of this beet salad and I have been hooked ever since.

Beet Green & Quinoa Salad | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Ok now let’s talk greens. Beet greens. Most people, myself included, either cook these down for hours or toss them in the trash (never again!)… I had NO idea how good they were eaten in their raw form. The leaves are tough and hardy like kale, which means they stand up to the heavy dressing. It also makes this salad great for meal prepping. The leaves won’t get all wilty and limp by Wednesday.

Beet Green & Quinoa Salad | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Waste is one of my biggest pet peeves in the kitchen. We eliminated all paper products and no longer buy plastic baggies or wraps but I still feel like some weeks, the trashcan is bursting at the seams. I love that this recipe uses all parts of the plant. Like a vegan nose-to-tail. I’ve even saved the stalks, thinly sliced them, and added them to stir fries or soup.

I’ve thought about doing a post of all of my favorite ways to eliminate waste in the kitchen. Would you all be interested? Leave a comment and let me know!

Beet Green & Quinoa Salad | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Now about this salad… It has quickly risen in the ranks to become my go-to favorite lunch. And dinner. And snack… I also am now required to bring it to every family and friend event because everyone goes nuts over it. Even people who don’t love beets dig it! It’s quick to prep and easy to transport so naturally, I make it every week.

Bright and healthy yet hardy and filling, I see no reason to hop off this Beet Green and Quinoa Salad lunch train any time soon….

Beet Green & Quinoa Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

From root to leaf, this salad can’t be BEET! Eliminate waste and use the whole vegetable in this Beet Green and Quinoa Salad.

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch beets with greens
  • ½ cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 cup water or broth
  • 1 cup chickpeas
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts (or sunflower seeds)
  • 3 green onions, thingy sliced
  • Lemon Tahini Dressing:
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cloves garlic, grated or finely minced
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. maple syrup or agave (optional- I usually skip it)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Prepare beets: Separate beets from greens, scrub beets, wash greens, and dry everything well.
  3. Wrap each beet in a small piece of foil with a drizzle of olive oil (optional) and plenty of salt and pepper. Bake for 45 minutes until fork tender.
  4. Meanwhile, cook the quinoa by combining with one cup salt water or broth, bringing to a boil, and simmering for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.
  5. Make the dressing by combining ingredients in a jar and shaking until combined.
  6. Remove the stems from the greens and chop into bite-sized pieces. Toss all salad ingredients in a bowl with dressing. Garnish with extra green onions and a squeeze of lemon.
https://www.areyoukitchenme.com/beet-green-quinoa-salad/

Beet Green & Quinoa Salad | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Grilled Eggplant with Pesto & Yogurt Tahini Sauce

Smoky, charred veggies smothered in herby and tangy sauces is basically what summer dreams are made of. Grilled Eggplant with Pesto & Tahini Yogurt Sauce is a dream come true!

Grilled Eggplant with Pesto + Yogurt Tahini Sauce | AreYouKitchenMe.com

There’s not much more I need in the summer than a little sunshine and some grilled veggies. It’s something about the heat and the smell and the fresh air. It just gets me. Some of our grill staples include zucchini, green beans, corn, and tofu. Our go-to’s. But it’s not often we toss on something more wild and… purple.

Grilled Eggplant with Pesto + Yogurt Tahini Sauce | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Cooking eggplant on the grill may have forever changed my perspective on the sometimes-mushy globes. Eggplant parmesan can be greasy or soggy and ratatouille is really all about the tomatoes. Baba ganoush is delicious but I just can’t make it as well as Brassica… But I think I’ve finally cracked the code! Grill. all. the. things!

Grilled Eggplant with Pesto + Yogurt Tahini Sauce | AreYouKitchenMe.com

I’ve had the best luck with long, thin eggplants, as opposed to the larger round ones. They have fewer seeds and flesh, making them less bitter and much firmer. I believe they’re sometimes called Chinese eggplants, but they’re all over my farmers market right now. Next on my eggplant bucket list (oh wow, how did we get here?) are fairy tale eggplants. Just precious.

Side note: why must people make dirty jokes out of the eggplant emoji?! What did that poor little plant ever do to them?? Don’t they know some people want to use it for it’s true form as a deliciously tender and mild vegetable???

Grilled Eggplant with Pesto + Yogurt Tahini Sauce | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Anywho… Let’s talk about the most important part of any recipe. The sauce. I’m a self-proclaimed sauce whore so you know I’m smothering every bite of eggplant with more than a dainty drizzle. The combination of herby pesto and creamy yogurt is everything. I made my own homemade pesto but you sure don’t have to. But you mussssst make the yogurt sauce.

Grilled Eggplant with Pesto + Yogurt Tahini Sauce | AreYouKitchenMe.com

I’ve been using yogurt in more savory recipes and I’m a big fan. Don’t get me wrong, I love some parfait action, but yogurt brings such a welcome tang and creaminess to dinnertime dishes. I use Silk plain soy yogurt because I can buy it in a 24oz. tub. If you’re not against dairy, use whatever plain brand floats your boat.

Grilled Eggplant with Pesto & Yogurt Tahini Sauce

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

Smoky, charred veggies smothered in herby and tangy sauces is basically what summer dreams are made of. Grilled Eggplant with Pesto & Tahini Yogurt Sauce is a dream come true!

Ingredients

  • 6-7 long, thin eggplants (or 2-3 larger ones)
  • 2 Tbs. avocado oil (or other high-heat oil)
  • Pesto, like my homemade
  • Fresh mint
  • Yogurt Sauce
  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • 2 Tbs. tahini
  • 1 clove garlic, grated or finely minced
  • Zest and juice of one lemon
  • 1 tsp. salt

Instructions

  1. Heat a grill to medium-high heat, making sure the grate are cleaned and oiled.
  2. Slice each eggplant in half lengthways and sprinkle with salt. Allow to sit for a few minutes, then blot them dry. Brush with oil and season generously with salt and pepper.
  3. Cook the eggplant on the hot grill cut side-down for 4-5 minutes and check to make sure they are well charred. Flip and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes. Remove to a plate and season again with salt and pepper.
  4. Meanwhile, make the sauce by adding ingredients to a small bowl or jar and whisking well to combine.
  5. To serve, dollop pesto on eggplant, drizzle with yogurt sauce, and garnish with mint leaves.
https://www.areyoukitchenme.com/grilled-eggplant-with-pesto-yogurt-tahini-sauce/

Grilled Eggplant with Pesto + Yogurt Tahini Sauce | AreYouKitchenMe.com

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