Dive fork-first into this high protein, warm winter veggie bowl with healthy creamy avocado dressing. Pin it here.
Someone please explain why it’s been in the THIRTIES in Austin, Texas! With these cold temperatures moving in, I’ve been craving a big bowl of warm, winter flavors. Today I bring you my high protein, warm winter veggie bowl with quinoa and creamy avocado dressing!
Disclosures: This post was created in partnership with Ajinomoto. I’m happy to partner with brands with sound science to support their use to provide flavorful, nourishing meals. Thanks for supporting this blog!
Warm Winter Veggie Bowl with Quinoa and Creamy Avocado Dressing
Eating in season has its perks – like peak freshness, peak flavor and peak nutritional value.
I decided on a blend of warm, roasted sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts and red onion. Roasting brings out the natural sweetness of veggies, which makes them a tasty topping for any big bowl of goodness.
For protein, I opted for earthy quinoa, which cooks relatively quickly (15 minutes) on the stove top and low-sodium, canned garbanzo beans which I roasted on a sheet-pan with the veggies. Plant powered protein is rich in fiber, which helps you feel satisfied and full, is good for gut health and promotes digestion.
Flavor Boosting with MSG
MSG seasoning, also known as umami seasoning, is a quick and easy way to deliver savory deliciousness to foods and added dimension to flavors. Umami is the fifth taste; it comes from the presence of glutamate in foods. Umami is known for bringing out deep, rich flavors and providing a mouth-watering sensation. Because glutamate levels are low in plant-based proteins, MSG can be used to build savory, rounded flavors that enhance plant-based dishes like this yummy, warm winter veggie bowl!Try this #warm winter veggie bowl for a delicious, plant-powered weeknight meal! (#ad) Click To Tweet
Less Salt with MSG
Using MSG can reduce salt in cooking. Sodium can contribute to elevated blood pressure and most recent data shows 90% of Americans are over-consuming salt. MSG has two-thirds less sodium than table salt. Use one part MSG to two parts salt for a 25% sodium reduction with delicious results.
What is MSG?
MSG stands for monosodium glutamate. You’re familiar with sodium, since it’s the main ingredient in table salt. Glutamate is what’s responsible for the umami taste.
Glutamate occurs naturally in a number of foods. You can find it in animal proteins like beef, buttery salmon, rich parmesan cheese and in plant foods like mushrooms and tomatoes. Glutamate is the most abundant amino acid in nature, and is present in virtually every protein in your body.
In the US, glutamate in MSG is produced using a fermentation process that starts with corn (in other countries it could be sugar cane or tapioca). Corn is converted into glucose, which is then fermented and becomes glutamic acid, is combined with sodium and becomes MSG solution. This MSG solution is then purified, crystallized and packaged.
Is MSG safe?
Yes! It’s been widely established that MSG is safe to consume. Over the past 30 years, scientists, regulatory agencies (including the FDA), and public health organizations have verified MSG’s safety. (I like this comprehensive study here, and these here and here).DYK MSG separates into sodium + glutamate when exposed to water in foods or saliva, so it breaks down in your mouth? (#ad) Your body can't tell the difference between naturally occurring glutamate or MSG. Try it here! Click To Tweet
MSG separates into sodium and glutamate when exposed to water in foods or saliva, so it breaks down in your mouth. Your body can’t tell the difference between naturally occurring glutamate or MSG. In this recipe I’m using Ac’cent flavor enhancer as a source of MSG.
Warm Up with This Delicious Winter Veggie Bowl
Without further ado, let’s jump into this delicious warm, winter veggie bowl!
Pin it here.
Warm Winter Veggie Bowl with Creamy Avocado Dressing | Vegetarian
- 1 c uncooked quinoa (prepared according to package instructions
- 1 lb brussels sprouts
- 1 medium sweet potato
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 1 15-oz can low sodium garbanzo beans
- 1/4 tsp Ac'cent flavor enhancer
- 1 dash salt
- pepper, to taste
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
Creamy Avocado Dressing
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1/3 c fat-free, plain Greek yogurt
- 1/4 c cilantro
- 1 juice of 1 whole lime
- 1 small garlic clove
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/8 tsp Ac'cent flavor enhancer
- 1 dash salt
- pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Prepare veggies. For easier clean up, place foil over your baking sheet(s). Use either two small baking sheets or one large baking sheet.
- Add veggies and chickpeas to baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, top with Ac'cent flavor enhancer, salt and pepper. Toss gently with hands so oil and seasoning are well-incorporated into veggie mixture. Place in oven (side by side if using two baking sheets) on middle rack and cook for for 25 minutes, stirring at halfway through cooking.
- While veggies and chickpeas are cooking, prepare quinoa according to package instructions (optional: you can prepare quinoa with vegetable broth in place of water for enhanced flavor) and prepare avocado dressing.
- For the avocado dressing, combine all ingredients (avocado, Greek yogurt, cilantro, lime juice, garlic clove, Ac'cent flavor enhancer, salt and pepper) in a food processor. Blend until smooth (~1-2 minutes).
- Remove veggies from oven. Top quinoa with veggies and creamy avocado dressing. Enjoy!