Hurry Up Vegan: Zucchini Noodle and Quinoa Bowl with Fresh Rosemary and Herbed Cashew Cheese

by Gena on July 30, 2012


So happy you liked the GF, vegan zucchini waffle! Your response, coupled with the delicious brunch experience, makes me think it’s high time I perused eBay for a waffle maker, so that I can experiment with more flavors. Hmm…

Today, I’m sharing the dinner feature I enjoyed last Thursday night, which is to say, approximately twelve hours before my physics midterm. Rule of thumb around here is that, if I have enough time to make a dish the night before an exam, then it’s quite easy indeed. The trick to this dish is that it involves pre cooked quinoa and the rosemary cashew cheese I made some time ago for my raw cherry “pizzas”; I liked the flavor so much I made another batch soon after, and this dinner employed the leftovers.

I’ve always said that one of the tricks to staying organized throughout a busy week is to make a couple of key foods either on the weekend or early in the week, before bedlam descends. In my home, reliable weekend or Monday night food prep staples will include:

  • 1 large batch cooked quinoa, another large batch cooked rice (or another grain; sometimes it’s millet, sometimes barley, and bulgur wheat if I’m short on time)
  • 1 super large batch legumes. Typically, half of this turns into a bean dip/spread, the other half is used in salads and entrees.
  • 1 nut pate
  • 2 interesting, tasty salad dressings
  • 1 batch raw bread (flax, pumpkin seeds, seasoning, and juice pulp dehydrated for a few hours)

On lucky weekends, I’ll also make some interesting dishes that I intend to reuse through the week: soups, stews, curries, veggie burgers, and so on. But those dishes are a luxury of time and focus, which has been rare for me this summer. More often than not, I’m throwing together the simple basics you see above with fresh vegetables. And when time is short, raw entrees—lasagnas, noodle dishes, and so on—are useful to me because they require no waiting for things to cook.

The recipe I’m sharing is typical in that it brought together my food prep staples and the fresh, seasonal produce in my fridge. Like most of my express food, it’s minimalist, but flavorful and delightful nonetheless. Though one doesn’t see zucchini pasta and quinoa together often, I found that the combined textures worked very nicely, and the fresh rosemary made it all sing.


Zucchini Noodle and Quinoa Bowl with Fresh Rosemary and Herbed Cashew Cheese (high raw, vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Serves 1

1 large zucchini, spiralized (I use this spiralizer) or made into ribbons with a vegetable peeler
1 cup cooked quinoa
2 tsp sacha inchi oil (substitute avocado or olive oil)
2 tbsp fresh, chopped rosemary
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
Salt and black pepper to taste
1/4 cup herbed cashew cheese (recipe included in this post)

Mix all ingredients together except for cashew cheese. Transfer to a serving bowl and place dollops of cashew cheese on top. Enjoy!


I love all of the texture in this dish!!


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I’d serve this with a simple side salad, sprinkled with lentils or split peas. Any assortment of veggie sides will do!

Dishes like this are proof that the simplest foods can be rewarding and beautiful to look at (and eat). I hope you enjoy it, if you try it!

And as of today, you have one week left to win a free juicer. Enter now, and see you tomorrow!!


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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa @ The Raw Serenity July 30, 2012 at 3:14 pm

The one of the many things I love about your blog is that you have delicious recipes that don’t require hours in the kitchen.
Thanks for the tips on how to pre pare!
When you cook up a huge batch of beans, how long can they stay in the fridge for? Or do you freeze them?


Dreena Burton July 30, 2012 at 3:19 pm

Gena, I love the idea of combining the raw zucchini noodles with the cooked quinoa. You do such a good job of showing that eating raw doesn’t have to be “strictly” raw, but rather one can follow a high raw or even moderately high raw diet. Raw fusion at its best!


Skye July 30, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Thanks for sharing your weekly food prep… that’s super helpful! I need to get better at that, especially when my fall semester starts and there will be 2 days a week when I’ll be gone from 8am-10:30pm. I always love your tips for eating healthy, yummy food as a busy student!


Sonnet July 30, 2012 at 3:58 pm

What a great way to use up all my zucchini! I’ve been enjoying lots of raw zucchini pasta lately, but this is a wonderful idea to combine it with quinoa. And I can’t wait to try your cashew cheese! Thanks Gena!


janet @ the taste space July 30, 2012 at 4:08 pm

Looks great, Gena! I still have some of the delicious rosemary cashew spread left so I may hunt down a zucchini to whip this up, too. Yummers! :) I totally appreciate the simplicity of such rapid meals. :)


Averie @ Averie Cooks July 30, 2012 at 4:34 pm

rosemary & zucchini…sounds great to me. Love zuke noodles for summer meals – so easy & fresh!


BYOL July 30, 2012 at 4:34 pm

Hey G!
Great post! I look forward to trying quinoa and zucchini noodles! Never thought of it before, but I think the two will work really well together!

as always,


Ricki July 30, 2012 at 5:13 pm

Sounds yum. And I love the color palette, too-green on green on white–gorgeous! :)


Get Skinny, Go Vegan. July 30, 2012 at 6:51 pm

Oh it looks so yummy!


purelymichelle July 30, 2012 at 8:28 pm

oh yum this sounds wonderful! perfect summer time meal


Ksenija July 31, 2012 at 1:27 am

This really sounds like the perfect summer lunch to bring to work. And i cannot wait to give the cashew cheese a try *bookmark*. Thanks for sharing this delish recipe!


Kari @ bite-sized thoughts July 31, 2012 at 1:44 am

This is my sort of bowl :) I love the idea of rosemary with the other flavours – and that it’s a ‘hurry up’ sort of recipe!


Tricia July 31, 2012 at 2:03 am

Yesterday’s waffles with zucchini, and then today’s zucchini noodles got me thinking about how verstile zucchini is. Have you ever used it to make raw desserts, Gena? I was thinking in particular about a couple zucchini-based cheesecake recipes I’ve seen on here: and here:


Alexia @ NamasteYoga July 31, 2012 at 3:41 am

I wanna bathe in this yummy salad, dive in the cashew cheeze and take a sip of the dressing :) haha. this looks more than delicious! i seriously cant wait to try!


Sadie July 31, 2012 at 5:31 am

I love the Hurry Up Vegan posts! I’m a student as well and I am always searching for quick and easy recipes. P.S. The Balance Your Plate is a great feature, sometimes I never know what to pair with a dish to make it a full meal.


Aoife July 31, 2012 at 8:11 am

How long does cashew cheese last for in the fridge after it’s been made? I haven’t made it before but am going to try soon!


Molly July 31, 2012 at 8:54 pm

So beautiful and verdant! I think I’ll be asking for a spiralizer for my birthday! See you tomorrow :)


melissa August 6, 2012 at 6:52 pm

that looks like pure comfort food!


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