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Meatless Monday- Italian Style Power Bowl

 

When I decide that I like something to eat, I tend to eat it over and over.

Allow me to introduce you to my latest plant-based dinner obsession which is loaded with healthy complex carbs, a complete source of protein, nutrient dense veggies and most importantly, tons of satisfying flavor.

Italian-Style-Plant-Based-Power-Bowl

Sweet potatoes, quinoa, veggies and marinara sauce = Italian Style Power Bowl

I wasn’t quite sure what to call this dish because anything I came up with sounded fancy and complicated so I took a look at the ingredients and realized we have another easy Power Bowl on our hands.

I have zero patience for cooking attention-to-detail meals which is why throwing ingredients in my cast-iron skillet, adding some flavors and allowing the dish to come together real quick works super well for me.

Why I love this Meatless Monday Power Bowl:

Sweet potatoes <- Not only do I love their taste but they are a great source of complex carbohydrates to fuel my muscles with lots of important antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties which aid in recovery/repair too.

Quinoa <- plant-based complete source of protein (all 9 essential amino acids!), complex carb and good source of iron.

Veggies <- you can load up this dish with a multitude of nutrient-dense veggies or limit them as you wish depending upon taste and/or if you have a long run in the morning 🙂

Nutritional Yeast <- the flavor of parmesan cheese without the dairy.

nutritional yeast

Nutritional Yeast contains protein (3 grams per tablespoon) and the ever-important B vitamins (especially vitamin B12) which can be hard to get if you follow a plant-based diet.

I like to cook this dish in my cast-iron skillet because really, everything just tastes better when cooked in the cast-iron skillet.

cast-iron-skillet

I don’t even know why or what I mean when I say this but trust me, anything you cook in your cast-iron cookware will taste different from the food cooked a basic skillet.

There’s something about using cast-iron pans that allows the food to just cook so darn evenly and give everything a great texture (I think, I don’t know, I am trying to pinpoint it all exactly and that’s what I am coming up with).

If you don’t have a cast-iron pan, feel free to use whatever you have — this dish will come together regardless!

Before we get to the recipe, here are some options to keep in mind:

*If you don’t have sweet potatoes, you can use white potatoes but I like the combination of savory marinara sauce with the flavor of a sweet potato.

*You can also use butternut squash in place of the potatoes or use both — what a terrific mix of flavor and texture!

*Use whatever vegetables you wish! I like spinach, broccoli and brussels sprouts lately but get a variety going! How about eggplant, cauliflower, carrots or zucchini?

*Prepare a few servings of quinoa at once; use some for this recipe and save some to add to other dishes like our other plant-based power bowl recipes, salads, stir frys and even your morning bowl of oatmeal for a protein boost.

*This dish is a perfect dinner the night before a long run. Just limit your vegetables and load up on the sweet potatoes and quinoa. The marinara sauce may even offer you a nice amount of sodium without overdoing it and the rest of the ingredients fuel up your muscles in a healthy way without weighing you down.

*Of course you can add mozzarella cheese and/or parmesan but I recommend the Nutritional Yeast for the nutritional value (and to keep things dairy-free).

*This Power Bowl is awesome not only served hot but eaten cold. It reheats well for future servings. Make double or triple so that you have extra!

*Carnivores in your house? Serve this power bowl as a savory side!

Italian Style Plant Based Power Bowl

Meatless Monday- Italian Style Power Bowl
 
A great Meatless Monday plant-based power bowl featuring sweet potatoes and quinoa with Italian flare. Fuel up on the complex carbs, complete protein, nutrient-dense veggies and delicious flavor!
Ingredients
  • 2 large sweet potatoes - diced
  • 2 servings of cooked quinoa
  • Vegetables of choice (fresh, frozen, roasted- up to you)
  • ½ can of organic tomato paste
  • 1 -2 cups marinara sauce of choice (you can use more/less sauce - your choice!)
  • Pinch of oregano
  • Pinch of basil
Instructions
  1. Cooked quinoa according to package directions and set aside.
  2. Microwave sweet potatoes briefly just to soften them before dicing.
  3. Grease your cast-iron skillet and heat it on top of the stove on a medium setting.
  4. Add your vegetables and diced sweet potatoes, sprinkle with seasonings.
  5. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure nothing burns.
  6. Add tomato paste, mixing to coat the ingredients and then add sauce.
  7. Cook until potatoes are soft and vegetables tender (maybe another 10-15 minutes).
  8. Stir in quinoa and mix.
  9. Sprinkle with Nutritional Yeast before serving.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2-4 (depending on your appetite!)

I am linking up with Tina and Deborah’s Meatless Monday recipe fun so be sure to check out the rest of the yummy meatless options!

Meatless Monday

Meatless Monday Italian Style Power Bowl! #yum #meatlessmonday #plantbased #vegetarian… Click To Tweet

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Do you use cast-iron cookware?

Do you have a dinner you are currently cooking over and over?

What’s on today’s workout agenda?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meatless Monday- Italian Style Power Bowl
 
A great Meatless Monday plant-based power bowl featuring sweet potatoes and quinoa with Italian flare. Fuel up on the complex carbs, complete protein, nutrient-dense veggies and delicious flavor!
Author:
Recipe type: vegetarian
Ingredients
  • 2 large sweet potatoes - diced
  • 2 servings of cooked quinoa
  • Vegetables of choice (fresh, frozen, roasted- up to you)
  • ½ can of organic tomato paste
  • 1 -2 cups marinara sauce of choice (you can use more/less sauce - your choice!)
  • Pinch of oregano
  • Pinch of basil
Instructions
  1. Cooked quinoa according to package directions and set aside.
  2. Microwave sweet potatoes briefly just to soften them before dicing.
  3. Grease your cast-iron skillet and heat it on top of the stove on a medium setting.
  4. Add your vegetables and diced sweet potatoes, sprinkle with seasonings.
  5. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure nothing burns.
  6. Add tomato paste, mixing to coat the ingredients and then add sauce.
  7. Cook until potatoes are soft and vegetables tender (maybe another 10-15 minutes).
  8. Stir in quinoa and mix.
  9. Sprinkle with Nutritional Yeast before serving.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2-4 (depending on your appetite!)

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  • Tina Muir July 20, 2015, 6:11 am

    Oh yum Meri!!! This sounds delicious, and I love that you used a cast iron pan for it. I forget about mine too much, but its so good for cooking! I have never tried nutritional yeast, but I know I need to! So glad you joined us for meatless monday, I hope to se many more of your recipes in the future!
    Tina Muir recently posted…Meatless Monday- Chickpea and Vegetable Coconut CurryMy Profile

  • yum! I am like you, and I tend to eat the same thing once I like it. This looks fabulous love the sweet potato in there. Thanks for joining us for Meatless Monday today

  • Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine July 20, 2015, 6:59 am

    I love my cast iron skillet! I actually just got one in May and Im not sure how I survived without it. This dish looks like something I would love even without any meat in it!
    Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine recently posted…Weekly Recap And A New TrailMy Profile

  • Susie @ SuzLyfe July 20, 2015, 7:38 am

    You have essentially just recreated the power bowl that I made for Alex for last week’s night float! I added ground beef, peppers, and onions, but still, haha.
    Susie @ SuzLyfe recently posted…IDEA World Blogfest 2015: Blogging Friends in Real Life Part 4My Profile

  • Michele @ paleorunningmomma July 20, 2015, 7:53 am

    I’ve been totally doing the “paleo” version of this – everything the same except ground meat instead of quinoa! Just had something similar topped with an egg this morning. So good!
    Michele @ paleorunningmomma recently posted…NYC Marathon Training Week 1 + PRO Compression Giveaway!My Profile

  • Jamie July 20, 2015, 9:36 am

    Awesome recipe. Definitely want to try this out. I’m obsessed with veggies and always find myself eating a ton of fruit and missing my vegetables in the summer! I want to get a cast iron skillet – it looks like it can just handle more complex dishes where my frying pan is somewhat limited. 7.25 miles – easy run done and done before work. Humidity is KILLER! Have a fabulous day !!
    Jamie recently posted…Already?My Profile

  • Chaitali July 20, 2015, 10:24 am

    This sounds delicious, and a great option for a quick weeknight dinner 🙂 My go to right now seems to be tacos with whatever veggies we have on hand and black beans.
    Chaitali recently posted…Wine and Dine Half Marathon training – week 2My Profile

  • Liz @ I Heart Vegetables July 20, 2015, 11:18 am

    I’ve got a giant sweet potato that needs to be used up so I might try this! I love nutritional yeast!!

  • Miss Polkadot July 20, 2015, 12:45 pm

    Same here. When I like something, I -really- like it. That’s why I’ve been eating both bulgur and cottage cheese pretty much every day for the past week(s).
    The idea for this bowl – yay nutritional yeast! – is great. I’m neither a fan of sweet potatoes nor quinoa but can easily see this come together swapping regular potatoes and another grain (bulgur 😉 ?!).
    Miss Polkadot recently posted…Good good links #99My Profile

  • Shannon July 20, 2015, 1:01 pm

    I love this recipe! I don’t have a cast iron pan but I always want one! I always hear such good things about them.
    Shannon recently posted…Foil Pack Grilled Herb PotatoesMy Profile

  • Amanda @ .running with spoons. July 20, 2015, 5:43 pm

    Yeeeep. This is something I could put on repeat and be perfectly content. I have the same habit of eating the same meal over and over again when I love it, until I find something I love more and move on to doing the same thing with that 😆 Right now, dinners have been some kind of Mexican burrito bowl, with rice, beans, guac, salsa, and veggies. So.so.good.

  • Niki @ Life With Niki July 20, 2015, 8:37 pm

    I often find myself having meatless days and am surprised when I see how satiated and energetic I feel!
    I definitely also have my go to meals, eggs, toast, and veggies are my absolute fave!
    Niki @ Life With Niki recently posted…Are You Obsessed With Finding The Perfect Diet?My Profile

  • lindsay July 20, 2015, 11:09 pm

    you just reminded me i need to buy more of that nutritional yeast. IT”S SOOOOO GOOD! And you already know how i feel about the sweet potato –> MUST HAVE!

  • Arman @ thebigmansworld July 21, 2015, 8:24 am

    This looks really good Meredith- Who needs Maoz now with this beauty!
    Arman @ thebigmansworld recently posted…Airplane Warm Nuts RecipeMy Profile

  • Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes July 21, 2015, 3:24 pm

    I’ve never tried nutritional yeast before, in fact I don’t think I’ve ever seen it in the store. I’ll have to keep my eye out for it!

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles July 22, 2015, 4:57 pm

      I definitely recommend it as a dairy free option and for all of the B vitamins!