Roasted vegetables are like comfort food for me. Once fall arrives, I get into the habit of roasting seasonal vegetables for a simple, inexpensive and cozy hearty side dish. They nourish your stomach and, I’d like to think, also nourish your soul. There is a lot going on in the world right now and I presume there will be a lot happening for the next few months. Curling up on the couch with a bowl of these Brussels sprouts with quinoa, chicken and dried cranberries can always be something to look forward to.
This week I thought about a lot things, and one of those was positivity. My friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, Instagram feed and Facebook were all processing the results of the historical event that took place on Tuesday. I wanted to say, “Here’s food! Sit down at a table and let’s share a meal together,” but that seemed trivial. “Let’s take a minute to be grateful for something, like this delicious salad!” seemed like I was downplaying people’s emotions.
My philosophy has always been that all people have to eat, all people need to nourish their bodies with food to stay healthy, alive and thriving. In times like these where people feel they may not share anything in common with one another, there’s certainly one thing we all need – food. In this time of transition, my hope is that food can be at the center of the table, opening opportunity for sharing, conversation, understanding, respect and laughter.
The month of November begins the season of holidays, parties, people, gifts and celebration. At the heart of this month is a holiday centered around gratitude. Thanksgiving allows us to simply give thanks for the blessings in our life. Amid the feelings of concern, confusion, conflict or celebration that people may be feeling (for a variety of reasons!) the one thing that I know I can bring to the table is positivity and good food.
I hope this holiday season will bring people together to form community around the table sharing delicious meals.
On that note. Let’s talk about this Brussels sprouts and quinoa salad.
Roasted Brussels sprouts get salty, crispy and extra golden brown when you roast them. Chop then in half, stick them on a baking sheet tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast at about 425 degrees for 20-ish minutes and open the oven door to find crispy, golden brown, tender vegetables. It’s as easy as that! If you’re thinking of stinky, mushy Brussels, you must give these a try. They will change everything!
To incorporate the flavors of fall to this salad, I added dried cranberries, and for protein, I cubed up my favorite easy baked chicken. It would be so easy to toss this together with leftover Thanksgiving turkey or even leftover Brussels you have from a side dish! Tricolor quinoa was a nice swap instead of typical lettuce and helped it feel more hearty. Now let’s chat about the dressing…
Ever since I made Roasted Red Pepper Hummus on Facebook Live, the biggest question I have gotten is what to do with leftover tahini. BOOM! Here it is: make this simple lemon tahini dressing. For an individual serving I used about 1 tablespoon of tahini, half a lemon, a couple drizzles of olive oil and a dash of S&P. The result is this nutty, zesty dressing that brings together the fall flavors of this salad. You could certainly use a balsamic dressing you have on hand, but I loved being able to use my tahini in a new way.
- 1 bag/stalk Brussels sprouts, rinsed and halved
- 3 large chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
- ½ cup dry quinoa, cooked according to package instructions
- ⅓ cup dried cranberries
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- ¼ cup tahini
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 1 lemon, juiced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- While oven is preheating, prepare chicken if needed and cook quinoa according to package instructions.
- Place cleaned and halved Brussels spouts on a foil-lined baking sheet. Toss with olive oil, generous pinch of salt and pepper. Roast for 20-25 until tender and golden brown.
- Mix all ingredients for dressing in a container or mason jar.
- In a bowl mix Brussels sprouts, cubed chicken breasts, cooked quinoa and dried cranberries. Add dressing and serve.
I hope this salad, or any meal, serves as a point of positivity for you and your community these next few months. We have a lot to be grateful for! I am grateful I get to share delicious food with you all and I am thankful you take the time to read posts that I write. Let’s kick off this holiday season in a great way.
Love food. Love self. Love life.