I’m happy to report that it’s finally starting to feel like fall here in Virginia.
We got back from Indiana on Monday and were cooly greeted with sweater weather.
I stepped out of our car, shivering in my T-shirt, and instantly starting craving all things soothing and warm.
You know what goes well with sweater weather?
Hot chocolate, big pots of soup, oh, and cozy quinoa bowls with flavors that represent the season.
These Pumpkin Quinoa Bowls with Brussel Sprouts and Easy Balsamic Reduction are my current go-to power bowl.
Grab a sweater and let’s get brusselin’.
I love brussel sprouts. There, I said it.
My parents used to serve them to us steamed whole, and I came to love those bitter little cabbages at an early age.
Dad (also a brussel sprouts fan) and I would cordially divide up the remaining sprouts at the end of our meal between the two of us.
Divide and conquer.
This recipe pan-sears them, creating blackened brussels with tons of crunch and texture.
I saved the fresh brussel sprout leaves that fell away while chopping as a pretty flourish for the bowls.
You might have tried coconut quinoa before, but I bet you haven’t tried pumpkin quinoa.
Cooking quinoa in coconut milk gives it a rich depth of flavor that’s a nice alternative to cooking with water or vegetable broth.
I was inspired by a recipe I saw for pumpkin rice to try adding pumpkin in with my coconut quinoa.
Puree from canned pumpkin brings these bowls together quickly, but feel free to roast your own pumpkin to create a fresh puree for the recipe.
The pumpkin coconut milk mixture makes the quinoa super creamy, thick, taking on a risotto-like texture that acts as the perfect base for these fall-bowls.
The “cherry on top” of these bowls is an easy balsamic reduction that you can make on the stovetop in under ten minutes.
I was mildly terrified the first time I poured vinegar in a saucepan and turned on the heat.
It felt like a bad science experiment, and one that smelled a bit caustic, but I promise you it really is so easy!
The only trick is to keep sure to stir often to prevent burning. Oh, and turning on the vent fan helps, if you’re sniffer is sensitive like mine.
If you have leftover balsamic reduction, try drizzling it on toast, tempeh, or a fruit and nut salad.
Enjoy these Pumpkin Quinoa Bowls with Brussel Sprouts and Easy Balsamic Reduction for a festive lunch or dinner.
Sprinkling them with pepitas and dried cranberries really makes the flavors pop, but I’d love to hear about trials with different nut, seeds, or dried fruit!
If you’re needing a little something more, try adding tempeh, tofu, or chickpeas for added protein.
I love to make these bowls for an easy weeknight dinner and enjoy the leftovers for a quick lunch the next day.
If you make these Pumpkin Quinoa Bowls with Brussel Sprouts and Easy Balsamic Reduction, I want to hear about it. I’d love to see how your bowls turned out!
Give me a shout on instagram @flora_and_vino and use hashtag #floraandvino to show me your creations!
For more power bowl recipes, check out my Delicate Pesto Quinoa Power Bowl or Forbidden Rice Power Bowls with Orange Maple Miso Dressing.
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- 1 cup light coconut milk
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- ½ cup canned pumpkin
- 1 cup white quinoa
- 3 cups brussel sprouts, trimmed and halved
- Himalayan sea salt, to taste
- Black pepper, to taste
- avocado oil spray
- ½ large or 1 small avocado, diced
- 3 scallions, diced
- 2 TBS pepitas
- 2 TBS dried cranberries
- 2 TBS fresh thyme
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- To make the pumpkin quinoa, combine the coconut milk, vegetable broth, pumpkin, and white quinoa in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Allow quinoa to simmer until the liquid is completely absorbed and quinoa is fluffy, about 15 to 20 minutes. Once cooked, stir, cover and set aside.
- Next, clean, trim, and halve all brussel sprouts. Spray a large pan with avocado oil spray and heat over medium-high. You want the skillet nice and hot before adding the brussel sprouts. Once the pan is very warm, add them, face down, careful not the crowd the pan. You may need to do several batches. Season with a little Himalayan sea salt and black pepper and cook 10-15 minutes, flipping halfway, until both sides are blackened and the brussel sprouts are crispy on the outside but tender when pierced with a fork. Once done, set aside and cover.
- To make the easy balsamic reduction, add ½ cup balsamic vinegar to a small sauce pan and bring to a low boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to simmer for ~10 minutes, stirring often to prevent burning. The mixture will start to get really thick and gooey (like molasses) towards the end Your balsamic reduction is done when it coats the back of a spoon. Store leftover balsamic reduction in the fridge for up[ to one week.
- To assemble the Pumpkin Quinoa Bowls, divide the pumpkin quinoa between bowls and top with brussel sprouts, diced avocado, scallions, pepitas, dried cranberries, and fresh thyme. Garnish with a drizzle of balsamic reduction and serve.
- Store leftovers separately in the fridge for 5-7 days to reheat and reassemble.