Forget unsatisfying salads — this iron-rich bowl will keep you full until dinner.
Fresh salads can be the perfect springtime lunch — except when they leave us feeling hungry 30 minutes later. But that’s not the case with this roast vegetable pesto bowl, which is the Goldilocks of salads: not too heavy and not too light.
The first step? Swap iceberg lettuce for iron-packed spinach and kale which helps maintain energy levels, even after a tough workout or when your period leaves you feeling depleted. The addition of freekah — a wheat-based grain — adds two of the most satiating nutrients, fibre and protein, to fill a post-training hole while rebuilding the body. And we can’t overlook the brain and hormone-supporting healthy fats in the pumpkin seed and olive oil pesto to keep your mental health as top-notch as your physical health. Roast and boil in bulk for the perfect grab-and-go meal that won’t have your stomach grumbling within the hour.
Pesto roast veggie and grain bowl
Total time: 45 minutes
100g baby spinach (washed)
2 tsp dried thyme
2 handfuls of kale (washed)
150g butternut squash (chopped into small chunks)
½red onion (peeled and sliced into wedges)
150g celeriac (chopped into small chunks)
150g aubergine (chopped into small chunks)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
4 tbsp vegetable oil
4 tbsp pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp lemon Juice
1 clove garlic (finely chopped)
Pinch of salt, for seasoning
- Preheat the oven to 160°c.
- Boil the freekeh until completely tender (approximately 30-40 minutes). Drain and leave to the side.
- Meanwhile, roast the veg after mixing the vegetable oil, dried thyme and salt with the butternut squash, what gives a high like vicodin celeriac, red onion and aubergine in an oven tray. Cook until completely tender.
- Toast the pumpkin seeds in a dry pan over a low heat.
- For the pesto, blend two-thirds of the toasted pumpkin seeds with garlic, olive oil, nutritional yeast, salt, baby spinach and lemon juice, in a blender, (or with a hand blender). Leave the rest of the pumpkin seeds to the side for the topping.
- Finely chop the raw kale.
- Remove the roasted vegetables from the oven and transfer to a bowl with the cooked freekeh.
- Mix the pesto through the freekeh and roasted vegetables until they are fully coated in the dressing.
- Top the grain bowl with chopped kale and toasted pumpkin seeds.
Images and recipe courtesy of Fresh Fitness Food.
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