Spicy Peanut Dressed Vegetables

Spicy Peanut Dressed Vegetables by Produce with Amy

“You are what you eat. What would YOU like to be?” ― Julie Murphy

With the first week of 2015 in the near distance, I keep reminding myself to stay true to my healthy goals and to keep progress over perfection my mantra. I have been navigating a personal struggle and I have to remember that nourishing my body with fruit and vegetables will help me keep my immune system strong and help me find the balance in my life that I am craving. When I feel like too many things are out of my control  – I need to find a way to manage stress in a healthy way. Therefore, I often turn to the produce section of the supermarket and make sure that I am properly feeding my body.

One of my goals this year is to post a weekly recipe. Today I find myself perched on a chair at a local Starbucks doing just that. I posted photos of this recipe on my Facebook page on December 2nd and I am finally making the time to share it with you.

I am always looking for new ways to reinvent my favorite flavors and I tend to like food with a spicy flair. When I get tired of Mason jar salads for lunch, I like to come up with different options. These Spicy Peanut Dressed Vegetables combine spiralized butternut squash, roasted broccoli, black beans, tomato, and cilantro. Can you imagine anything more perfect?

SPICY PEANUT DRESSED VEGETABLES
(I made five servings in 3 cup Pyrex glass dishes, but you can adapt to your individual needs)

Spiralized Butternut Squash*1 – 1/2 cups of cooked black beans 
*1 pint of halved grape tomatoes
*1 large head of broccoli – roasted (you can also roast frozen broccoli.  I chopped, drizzled with a little olive oil, and roasted for approximately 40 minutes (turning at the 20 minute mark) at 400 degrees.Times may vary depending on your oven)
*Spiralized butternut squash (approximately 1/2 cup per serving. The spiralizer that I use can be found HERE.)
*1 teaspoon of cinnamon
*1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
*1/2 cup of vegetable stock

*1 bunch of chopped green onions
*1/2 cup of fresh chopped cilantro
*Oil 
(2 teaspoons per serving. I used flax oil)

SPICY PEANUT DRESSINGChili Sauce

*1/2 cup of rice vinegar (or to taste. I like my dressings tangy. You could reduce the amount of vinegar and use water)
*1 Tablespoon of garlic chili sauce (or to taste)
*2 Tablespoons of lime juice
*2 Tablespoons of peanut butter
*Optional – teaspoon of fresh ginger

After spiralizing the butternut squash, heat the vegetable broth in a pan with the nutmeg and cinnamon until it starts to boil. Add the squash, reduce the heat to medium, cover, and allow to cook for approximately five minutes. Toss at the halfway point and remove from heat.

I ate this cold but I imagine it would also be terrific warm. It would also be wonderful layered in a Mason jar.
Divide the ingredients in individual containers and dress with the Spicy Peanut Dressing (I used all the dressing). Drizzle each serving with 2 teaspoons of oil. Sprinkle the top with the chopped green onions and cilantro.
Spicy Peanut Dressed Vegetables

 

The vibrant colors of this dish speak for themselves and the flavors and textures work well together. This recipe would also work well with roasted Brussels sprouts, cabbage, or cauliflower and a variety of beans. Sweet potato would also make a great swap for the butternut squash.

I hope you enjoy this meal as much as I did. Please make sign up for email updates of my posts, and follow my posts on Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, and Twitter.

If you try this recipe, please let me know what you think. I love hearing the tweaks and additions that others make to my creations to fit personal tastes. Together we can thrive and embrace a healthy lifestyle.  Thank you for reading and I look forward to sharing more recipes with you.

 

 

 

 

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Black Bean, Lentil, & Quinoa Salad

Black Bean, Lentil, and Quinoa Salad by Produce with Amy“He who is best prepared can best serve his moment of inspiration.”
― Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The topic for last week’s Weight Watchers meeting was Fake It Until You Make It.  In my meetings we discussed what healthy changes we have made to our lifestyle that are now routine. The things that we do automatically – like eating breakfast, drinking water instead of soda, and adding vegetables to our meals to bulk them up. I shared that one of the biggest changes that I made when I joined WW was a weekly shopping trip (sometimes two) to make sure that our house is stocked with fresh fruit and vegetables. Before I joined WW my husband Mike and I would often go on one huge shopping run once or twice a month, and though we love fruit and vegetables, our supply would be depleted. I cannot

The Marquette Food Co-op features a machine to grind your own fresh almond and peanut butter.

The Marquette Food Co-op features a machine to grind your own fresh almond and peanut butter.

imagine how we survived before. Now Mike eats 3-4 pieces of fruit a day and on most days I eat 10-12 servings of fruit and vegetables each day. While fresh produce can be expensive, making sure our house is fully stocked prevents us from scrambling to put meals together and we do not have to rely on expensive take-out.

Another important step in my shopping routine that I practice is meal prep. On the weekends I make soup, dinner entrees, and prep lunches. Yet, even though I try to have a strong plan for the week, sometimes I end up making mistakes. A couple of weeks ago I found that after eating breakfast and lunch that I was still hungry. I realized that I was not eating enough protein at lunch and I had to make some changes.

Mike and I HAD to sample the peanut butter when I got home.

Mike and I HAD to sample the peanut butter when I got home.

Last week I made a layered Greek hummus dip (recipe to be shared soon) and for this week’s lunches I made a protein packed spicy salad with beans, lentils, and quinoa.

Yesterday while shopping I made sure to grind fresh peanut butter at our local food co-op

which I will eat with apples and sprouted Ezekiel bread as a mid-day snack.

The salad recipe is reminiscent of my Confetti Salad. I decided to make a version of it with what I have on hand.

If you have been following my blog you have probably figured out that I like spicy food and this salad can be made to suit your personal taste by controlling the amount of taco seasoning and jalapeno pepper. This salad screams TORTILLA CHIPS. Okay, everything I eat seems to demand tortilla chips – but we all must have our weaknesses and I will make due this week without. This recipe makes eight cups of salad and I packed one cup for my lunch tomorrow. I squeezed a little extra lime and vinegar over the top to give it a little extra zing.
Black Bean, Lentil, and Quinoa Salad by Produce with AmyBLACK BEAN, LENTIL, & QUINOA SALAD

*1 cup of cooked black beans
*1 cup of cooked lentils
*1 cup of cooked quinoa
*1 quart of halved grape tomatoes
*1 chopped green bell pepper
*1 cubed avocado
*1 large clove of minced garlic
*1 seeded and finely chopped jalapeno
*1/2 bunch of chopped cilantro
*1/4 cup of chopped onion
*1/4 cup of lime juice
*2 Tablespoons of raw apple cider vinegar
(or vinegar of your choice)
*1 – 2 Tablespoons of taco seasoning (to taste)

Printable recipe: BLACK BEAN, LENTIL, & QUINOA SALAD

Pin recipe HERE

Check out my other Salad Recipes.

I hope that my recipes help you create healthy routines in your life. Once you start prepping meals ahead for the week you will be hooked. It carves out precious time during the week, saves money, and helps a busy schedule feel more manageable. Make sure that you sign up for email updates of my recipes and let me know which ones are your favorites. Stay tuned for more produce packed dishes. I wish you a productive week!