The Autumnal Equinox Side Dishes

Last night, I traveled up to Westchester for my older sister & her husband's first Rosh Hashanah in their new house. Today, we began the day with hot power yoga, where the instructor mentioned that it's now the Autumnal Equinox. The word equinox is derived from latin, meaning "equal night."  We are experiencing 12 hours of daylight, 12 hours of darkness, making it the most even time of year. Some people feel very grounded during this time, yet most feel slightly unstable, since it's also a time of change. In order to promote stasis, it's especially important during this time of year to eat a healthy diet and treat yourself with extra compassion. 

Though we prepared traditional Jewish dishes, we added a healthy spin to the holiday with spicy quinoa and roasted root vegetables for a well-balanced meal. These foods stabilize our own inner roots, which are undergoing evolution during the change of season. Quinoa, a gluten-free pseudo grain, is a complete protein that will stabilize blood sugar. Root vegetables grow underground, absorbing nutrients directly from the soil. They offer an earthy, sweet flavor providing complex carbohydrates for long-standing energy. The combination of the two promote gut harmony. Both dishes take minimal effort, but lead to maximum flavor and satiety. 

Spicy Lemon Quinoa Ingredients

  • 2 cups quinoa 
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Coarse salt


1.  Heat up olive oil on low light

2. Add pine nuts, toast until lightly browned

3. Place pine nuts on the side

4. Zest the skin of a lemon

5. In separate sauce pan, combine quinoa with water

6. Bring to a boil, then cover & reduce to simmer

7. Cook until water is completely absorbed

8.  Transfer quinoa into medium sized bowl

9. Add pine nuts, lemon zest, cumin, parsley, cayenne

10. Drizzle olive oil and lemon juice

11. Season with salt & pepper


Roasted Root Vegetables Ingredients

  • 8 carrots - cut into thirds
  • 3 turnips 
  • 4 cups of brussels sprouts - cut ends off, and into halves
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Salt, pepper
  • Braggs Organic Sprinkle


1. Preheat oven 350°

2. Place cut up vegetables into roasting pan

3. Coat the vegetables with olive oil. Note: you don't want the vegetables too oily but also not too dry (just riiiight)

4. Salt, pepper, Braggs to taste 

5. Roast for an hour and a half