Are you looking to eat more veggies? These autumn harvest bowls, packed with veggie goodness and drizzled with a tangy lemon tahini sauce, may be what you need. The seasonal bounty of winter squash, Brussels sprouts, and beets provide a colorful canvas for this delicious recipe. I’m also going to give some additional tips to help you to increase your vegetable intake this autumn!
Eating more veggies is likely a good idea for most people. Those in the United States, on average, are not consuming vegetables at the recommended levels. This is true across all age groups.
My family does meet the recommended intake for vegetables on most days. However, sometimes I know an event is coming up where we aren’t going to be eating as well as usual. Some examples include holidays, family vacations, or when my son heads off to camp.
Before these events happen, I put in extra effort to get even more veggies in, such as with these autumn harvest bowls. I like to think that this extra bit of nourishment will help keep us going strong.
If nothing else, it helps to balance out our diet a bit. If you are seeking a bit more dietary balance as well, I hope you enjoy this meal. The colorful phytonutrients are a feast for the eyes and may benefit your health if you add them in often.
The main downside is that it does take some work to chop and roast all of the produce. In general, I would save this dish for the weekend instead of a hectic weeknight. If time is your main concern, I have some timesaving tips for this dish in the following sections.
Cut fresh pomegranates with minimal cleaning up afterward
I recently saw a Costco shopper who was thoroughly inspecting the display of fresh pomegranates, so I struck up a conversation with her. She gave me a great tip on preparing pomegranates with less mess. It pays to talk to the foodies; you never know what you will learn!
She told me that she always cuts fresh pomegranates in a bowl of water. This practice catches all of the juices that may stain your clothes or cutting board. Behold:
After cutting, I break apart the pieces with my fingers and pull out the seeds. Do this over the bowl or paper towel, since the fruit will be drippy. Very little mess!
Don't waste time peeling veggies that don't need peeling
I used honeynut squash in this recipe, which is a cross between a butternut and buttercup squash. If you cannot find these locally, a very small butternut squash would be a great substitute. Delicata squash is another alternative that I would recommend.
If you choose one of the squashes mentioned above, you do not have to peel them. (Time saver!) The rinds of larger squashes (acorn, kabocha, etc.) are technically edible. However, I don’t find them as palatable as the rinds from small squash, so I would peel the large squash.
Since we are also roasting the squash seeds, you want to choose a squash with seeds you like. Honestly, I enjoy most types of roasted squash seeds aside from kabocha. Delicata seeds may be a personal favorite.
You do not have to peel the beets and carrots either; just wash them thoroughly. Keeping the (edible) skins and peels on your fruits and veggies saves time, prevents food waste, and provides more fiber. There is no downside to this practice.
I know at the top of the article I promised to provide tips to help you to eat more veggies. No worries, that’s coming up next!
Easy tips to help you eat more vegetables
Do you need additional ideas to help you eat more veggies? Zerocater.com recently reached out to me and was kind enough to share this infographic that you may find helpful. (I recommend zooming in if you are on a small screen.)
I love this flexible formula for making the perfect veggie burger; there are so many combinations to try! As mentioned previously, many of the "plant-based" store burgers are less healthful ultra-processed products. If you want a veggie burger, it is generally both healthier and less expensive to make your own.
DIY plant-based burgers can be built using the foods that you like best. Additionally, you can pack your homemade patties with nutrient-dense whole plant foods. It's worth the extra effort!
But before digging into some plant burger creations, why not try this recipe for harvest bowls? You'll be eating more veggies in no time at all!
And now for the disclaimer…
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The calorie information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don’t sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to this post. Let’s get cooking!
Eat More Veggies Autumn Harvest Bowls Recipe
- 1 lb. beets, washed, chopped into large pieces
- 3 medium carrots, sliced lengthwise, cut into 3" pieces
- ½ medium red onion, cut into thick slices
- ½ medium yellow onion, cut into thick slices
- 1 lb. Brussels sprouts, cut in half
- 1 medium honeynut squash, sliced lengthwise, cut into 1" thick slices (Save the seeds! I had about 2 cups of squash.)
- 2 T olive oil, separated
- 1 lb. chicken breast, cut into strips ("tenders")
- ¾ c dry quinoa
- 1 t dried thyme
- ½ t dried rosemary
- 1 medium pomegranate (seeds only)
- 2 T fresh parsley, finely chopped
- salt and pepper, to taste
- cooking oil spray of choice
For the lemon-tahini sauce:
- 2 T tahini
- 6 T lemon juice
- ¼ t garlic powder
- ⅛ t onion powder
- 2 T Greek yogurt, non-fat (plain, unsweetened)
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Put the beets on a baking pan that was covered with parchment paper. Drizzle the beets with ½ T of olive oil. Roast for 15 minutes.
- While the beets bake, prepare the squash, Brussels sprouts, onions, and carrots. Drizzle them with the remaining 1½ T olive oil.
- Turn the oven down to 350°F. Add the veggies in the previous step to the beets in the baking pan. Try to get everything in a single layer. Return the pan to the oven, roast for 30 minutes.
- While the veggies bake, clean the squash seeds and pat dry. (I had approximately 2 T of seeds from the honeynut squash.)
- Mist a baking sheet with the cooking spray. Add the seeds and mist the seeds with the spray as well. Pop the sheet in the 350°F oven and bake for 25 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. When finished cooking, set aside.
- Cook the quinoa in water according to package directions. This will take about 20 minutes. Set the quinoa aside.
- Cook the chicken breast strips on a stovetop grill pan that has been misted with cooking spray. They take about 8-10 minutes per side. (Pro tip: skip this step by using store-bought grilled chicken strips.) Set the chicken aside.
- After the veggies have roasted for 30 minutes, remove from the oven, and season with the thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Give the veggies a good stir to help distribute the herbs and spices and return to the oven for an additional 30 minutes.
- Whisk the tahini, lemon juice, garlic powder, and onion powder until smooth. Add the Greek yogurt, and whisk again until there are no lumps. Set the sauce aside until time to serve.
- Distribute the quinoa between the bowls. Top with the chicken and roasted veggies.
- Drizzle the bowls with the lemon-tahini sauce. (I recommend using only half of the sauce and adding more after tasting if you wish.)
- Garnish the bowls with the pomegranate seeds, squash seeds, and parsley. Admire your beautiful and delicious masterpieces!
This is a level 2 recipe (transition or weight maintenance). If you need a level 1 recipe, I would use only half the dressing and skip the quinoa. The last time I made this recipe, my son didn’t eat the quinoa, so I think the dish is fine without it! There are other “carb-y” foods here (beets, winter squash), so removing the grain does not make this one keto-friendly, FYI. If the tahini-lemon sauce is too sour for you, you can add a touch of non-nutritive sweetener. Save any leftover lemon-tahini sauce to use as a dressing on salads or white fish.
What are some of your favorite ways to eat more veggies? Do you dig homemade veggie burgers, soups, or are you more of a harvest bowl sort of person? Tell me some of your favorite ways to enjoy this food group!