I'm Sapna, a foodie, blogger, wife, mom of two beautiful girls, and lover of spices. I have a background in Nutrition and Dietetics, which I use to incorporate healthy options into all of my recipes. I love traveling to new places, trying new food, and in turn, creating them in my kitchen to relive the magic. When I'm not in the kitchen, I love curling up with a good book, playing with my munchkins, running, hanging out with friends, and gardening.
The weather is still pretty warm out but I am mentally ready for fall! Especially with all the delicious veggies at the Farmer’s Market that are coming out for the season. The pomegranates, Brussels sprouts, root vegetables and especially all the squash and pumpkins I’m seeing everywhere! They’re all so beautiful, colorful and oh so yummy!
I was inspired during my last visit to the Farmer’s Market for this recipe. I used acorn squash because it is mild in flavor and one of the easiest squash to peel and cut. The beets added beautiful color and flavor (and lots of nutrition!), and crispy brussels sprouts once roasted are the perfect addition for texture in this bowl.
Here are a few other ingredients I used though, I definitely didn’t roast them:
As for the dressing, I debated whether to add one or not but in the end, I decided a simple squeeze of lime would do justice without taking away from the other flavors.
I was so excited just roasting the veggies because they looked so bright, bold and beautiful! The spice that I added to balance the sweet of the beets and pears out was smoky chipotle pepper to the veggies that I roasted.
This is one dish that I think is going to come up often on our table through this season! Make a big batch for a holiday dinner side, a small batch for a lunch or make it a meal for a weeknight! It’s simple, healthy, delicious, and you get to eat many of your colors!
Here are some of the health benefits from this yummy bowl:
High in Fiber
High in Protein
Vitamins K, C, A, and B-6
Good Source of Iron
Good Source of Folate
Well! What are you waiting for? You have got to try this out!
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this delicious Sweet and Spicy Harvest Bowl!
Sweet & Spicy Harvest Bowl
2 c Acorn Squash, peeled, deseeded, cubed
1 large Beet, peeled, cubed
1 lb Brussels Sprouts, halved
1 Avocado, cubed
1 Red Pear, thinly sliced
1/4 c crumbled Feta
1/4 c toasted slivered almonds
1/2 c quinoa
1 lime, quartered into wedges
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 1/2 tsp ground chipotle pepper*
1 Tbsp Avocado or Olive Oil
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat, parchment paper or aluminum foil
In a bowl, add oil, 1 1/2 tsp salt, black pepper, and chipotle pepper. Mix well
Add in the squash, beets and brussels sprouts. Toss well to coat all the veggies evenly
Add the veggies to the baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes
Meanwhile, thoroughly rinse the quinoa to remove the saporins
In a medium saucepan, bring to a boil 1 c water and add rinsed quinoa and 1/2 tsp salt
Let it cook for 10-12 minutes or until all the water has burned off. Remove from heat and cover for 5 minutes. When ready to use, remove cover and fluff with a fork.
Add the roasted veggies, quinoa, avocado, toasted almond slivers, feta, and pears to a bowl.
Serve hot with a lime wedge!
*Adjust the amount of chipotle pepper according to spice level
Ok so I know that the name alone makes this salad sound like an explosion of so many different flavors and it is! But….. that’s what makes this salad work so well!
Between my obsession for salads and my inclination towards making my own dressings, my salad game is going strong right now. I’ve been wanting to use watermelon radish for a while now because of it’s flavor and just how pretty it looks!
Here are a few fun facts about watermelon radishes:
They are nutrient dense with Vitamins K, A, E, C, and B6.
High in antioxidants
High in fiber, calcium, potassium, and iron among many other minerals
One serving of watermelon radishes has over 1/3 of your daily Vit. C requirements!
They’re just so darned pretty
The fennel was added in to balance out the peppery flavor of the radish (though, to be honest, I wasn’t sure how the hubby was going to like it as he is not a big licorice flavored guy. The best part about eating fennels to me is the licorice!). Luckily, the fennel taste was mild when combined with the flavors of the salad.
As to the Ginger Lime dressing, adding the hint of ginger balanced with a little honey in the dressing and the lime to brighten up the salad, it was the perfect choice to use this for the salad.
When I think about this salad, it really has a great balance of sweet, spicy and tangy! So perfect for a lunch meal, side dish, or a Covid free Thanksgiving dinner!
From my kitchen to yours, enjoy this salad!
Watermelon Radish and Fennel Salad with a Ginger Lime Dressing
For the Salad:
1 avocado, cubed
1 large fennel bulb, very thinly sliced
2 c arugula
1 watermelon radish, very thinly sliced
1 c fresh mint
For the Ginger Lime Dressing:
1" knob fresh ginger, grated
2 1/2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp honey
1/2 c Avocado or Olive Oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp poppy seeds
For the dressing:
Combine all the ingredients into a tightly sealed jar and shake well until all of the ingredients are well emulsified.
Layer all of the salad ingredients in a bowl and drizzle desired amount of dressing on top.
I love the Autumn season. The colors, the change in flavors, the hint of crisp air and everything else about Fall is just perfect!
Making this nourish bowl with a hint of Fall flavors was fun. I decided to roast the veggies with oregano and smoked paprika for some warmth in the taste.
For a pop of spice, I added charred Shishito peppers which made this dish so perfect!
Instead of dressing, I used hummus which becomes smooth and creamy as a dressing when combined with the hot roasted veggies.
This nourish bowl is so filling, try it out for your next lunch or dinner. You’ll be so satisfied and comforted.
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this bowl!
Fall Nourish Bowl
2 c spinach
1/2 c quinoa
1 medium sweet potato
1 zucchini, chopped
1 yellow squash, chopped
1 large beet, peeled and chopped
10 shishito peppers
1/2 c hummus
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 Tbsp Olive or Avocado Oil
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp red chili flakes
For the quinoa:
Thoroughly rinse the quinoa and mix with 1 c water and 1/4 tsp salt. Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce med-low heat and keep at a simmer for 10 minutes, until all of the water has evaporated.
Remove from heat and cover to steam for 5 minutes.
For the roasted veggies:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large bowl, mix together 1 Tbsp oil, 1 tsp salt, smoked paprika, oregano, and black pepper.
Add in the chopped veggies and toss well to make sure everything is coated properly!
Line on a baking sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes.
For the Shishito peppers:
In a cast iron skillet, heat 1/2 Tbsp oil on high flame.
Add in Shishito peppers and roast for 5-10 minutes or until you have a nice char on them.
Remove from heat and set aside.
In a wide bowl, add in 1 c spinach to each bowl.
Scoop in 1/2 c cooked quinoa into each bowl.
Divide the veggies in half into each bowl.
Add in the Shishito peppers and sprinkle kosher salt over the peppers.
This orzo is creamy, spicy, and full of flavor. I love orzo but wanted to do something different than the standard mediterranean orzo salad I have (which is delicious by the way!) so I decided to play around with it. And boy am I glad I did!
Fennel has a delicious licorice taste without being so powerful and combining it with the onions and caramelizing them was just the perfect way to give this orzo a sweet flavor to balance the spice.
I did top this with a piece of chicken for the husband but you can make it vegan by omitting the chicken! So easy to make it work either ways.
If you do use the chicken, you can either bake one if you have the time or use a rotisserie chicken as a hack to cut the time.
Perfect for the upcoming autumn season, try this delicious bowl of orzo and bring a little sweet and spicy to your soul!
I’ve recently learned that my girls like chickpeas in any form. I used to think it was just Roasted Masala Chickpeas that they gobbled down, but I’ve been paying attention and I’m glad I have! Watching both of them gobble down this stew was amazing. They are one of the few girls who also love to eat spinach in any form, cooked or uncooked (I feel blessed) so I knew I was going to use it to give some green to this dish!
I’m totally adding this to my weeknight meal list as it took me only 20 minutes to pull together! I got the couscous started on the side and takes only 15 minutes to make!
Can you tell I’m ready for the autumn season to begin? I’ve had a fun summer enjoying the hot weather but between the smoke from all the fires and a broken AC during the multiple heat waves, I am looking forward to the end of the year. Hot stews are just the thing to warm you up during the cold months and this recipe is a great one where you get to spend more time enjoying the food than making it!
Try it out and let me know what you think. Tag me on Instagram @bitofspice146 and use the #bitofspice146 hashtag. I would love to see your versions of my recipes!
From my kitchen to yours, enjoy this delicious stew!
Spinach Chickpea Stew with Garlic Couscous
Servings: 4-6 people
For the Stew:
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 white onion, chopped
1 c zucchini, chopped
1 c yellow squash, chopped
2 c spinach
1 1/2 c marinara sauce or your favorite pasta sauce
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp red chili flakes
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 c vegetable broth
1 Tbsp Oil, EVOO or Avo
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
For the Garlic Herb Couscous:
1 c couscous
1 1/4 c water
1 Tbsp Oil, Avo or EVOO
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
For the Stew:
In a stockpot, heat oil over medium high flame.
Add the onions, garlic, zucchini, and yellow squash. Stir and cook for 3-5 minutes until the veggies are tender.
Add in the red chili flakes, paprika, and spinach. Continue cooking for an additional 1-2 minutes.
Add in the chickpeas, marinara/pasta sauce, tomatoes, salt, pepper, broth and the zest and juice of a lemon.
Mix all of the ingredients well and bring to a boil on high heat. Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
For the Couscous:
Bring water to a boil in a saucepan.
Stir in couscous, remove from heat and cover. Let it stand for 5 minutes.
Remove cover and add in the garlic, oil, salt and pepper. Toss gently and set aside until stew is done.
Place the couscous in a bowl and top with chickpea stew. Serve hot!
I feel like almost every culture has their version of beans and rice. There’s the Latin style with adobo seasoning, the African style flavored with smoked paprika and garlic, Creoles use the “holy trinity” for theirs, Jamaican red beans and rice have coconut milk and scotch bonnet peppers, the Japanese use Adzuki beans with their rice, and the Indians have Rajma Chawal. Why are red beans and rice so common everywhere?
I don’t know. But what I do know is they make a complete protein when eaten together so it’s really beneficial to vegetarians and vegans who don’t get their complete proteins from animal protein to feel full.
I never thought Rajma was all that special until my friend Sumit made it one day. He makes the most amazing Rajma so I never bothered to learn because I could just call him up! But now he’s moved to a different state and it’s not as readily available so I have tried and tried and tried to perfect my Rajma.
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this classic dish of Rajma!
Set Instant Pot to saute mode and add oil. When it's heated, add in cumin seeds, hing, and cinnamon stick. Let them roast and sizzle for 30-60 seconds.
Add in the onions and saute for 2-3 minutes until tender. Add in the ginger and garlic and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
When the onions are golden brown, add in tomatoes, turmeric, cayenne pepper, coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala and salt. Mix well and cook for another 3 minutes.
Drain the soaked rajma and add to the pot. Mix well to coat all of the beans in the gravy.
Add in the water and mix.
Turn off the saute mode and cover the instant pot with the vent in sealing position.
Set to Bean/Chili mode which will automatically set the time to 30 minutes.
When the timer beeps, release the pressure from the instant pot and open lid. Stir in the lemon juice and garnish with cilantro.
Serve hot with rice or naan.
For Stovetop instructions:
Follow the same recipe above and cook in pressure cooker for 3 whistles.
For Slow Cooker instructions:
Kidney Beans have a natural toxin called phytohaemagglutinin which is hard to digest and may cause nausea/vomiting. If you don't presoak the beans, then I recommend not using the slow cooker method to cook rajma. If you do presoak the beans, then:
Boil the presoaked kidney beans for 20 minutes, then follow the same recipe above. Set heat to high and cook for 5-6 hours.
** If you don't have time to soak the beans overnight, increase instant pot cook time to 45 minutes ** the amount of water I used gives this rajma a thicker gravy. If you are looking to have a more soupy rajma, add an additional 1/2 c of water.