Ever since I started eating a whole food plant based diet about a year and a half ago, grain bowls have become one of my absolute favorite meals for lunch and dinner. They are so easy to whip up and are full of lots of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein. And flavor, so much flavor! There's even a local healthy restaurant here at Lake Norman called Cava that makes delicious grain bowls too. Love them!
I always make some type of homemade sauce or dressing to drizzle on top which just completes the dish and takes it to another level. Fresh homemade sauces add dimension, flavor, and even more nutrition to your meal.
I made a smooth avocado cream sauce for this grain bowl and it was so good! I stored my leftover avocado cream sauce in a mason jar in the fridge and used it to make everything avocado toast with sliced cherry tomatoes for breakfast over the next few days. It was delicious this way as well.
For my quick everyday sauces and dressings, I like to use my Mini Cuisinart Food Processor. I have had it for 7 years and it's still going strong. It's really small and easy to clean so I keep it sitting on my counter because I use it so much. I highly recommend getting one of these.
Grain bowls are delicious and fun to put together. You can make them any way you want with whatever you have in your kitchen and pantry. All of the items in my bowl today are foods that you will always find in my kitchen.
Make your weekday lunches and dinners easier by prepping on Sunday! Cook a big batch of your favorite kind of rice on Sunday evenings. I also recommend making a pot of fresh lentils or beans at the same time for even more variety. It will last you for several days and can be a great high protein base for salads or buddah bowls for the first few days of the week. And it just saves time later by already having things ready to go. I do it a lot and it's a game changer for having healthy lunches and dinners for days where Matt and I are really busy and don't have much time to spend in the kitchen.
I hope you enjoy this tasty recipe and get inspired to make something nourishing for yourself this week!
Brown Rice Grain Bowl with Roasted Veggies and an Avocado Cream Sauce // Vegan Recipe
For the Grain Bowl:
Whole grain brown rice
1 small sweet potato
1 small yellow squash
1/2 cup chopped red onions
2 cups fresh spinach
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1. Make the rice according to package instructions. You just need about 1 cup cooked rice for the bowl. (Store leftovers in a container in the fridge for the week.)
2. Chop the sweet potato into large bite sized pieces leaving skin on. Transfer to a mixing bowl and sprinkle in a little olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, cinnamon, and ginger. I didn't really measure, I just eyeballed it. Mix well and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake on 400 F for about 30-35 minutes. Stir halfway.
3. Slice the yellow squash into thin circles. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet and arrange in a flat layer. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Bake on 400 F for about 15-20 minutes. Flip halfway.
4. In a small sauce pan, add the chopped red onions and small dashes of salt, pepper, and coconut sugar. Cook on medium heat until nicely soft and caramelized. About 3-5 minutes.
5. Saute the spinach over medium heat for 1-2 minutes stirring often. It will cook down a lot. You can use the same pan you used for the onions.
For the Avocado Cream Sauce:
1 cup diced avocado
2 garlic cloves
1 T diced onion
1 T lime juice
2 T water
dash of salt
Blend all ingredients really well. Store leftovers in an air tight container or small mason jar for up to 3 days.
Prepare the bowl:
In a large bowl add in the rice then top with the roasted sweet potatoes, roasted squash, the caramelized onions, sauted spinach, and black beans. Finish off with some freshly cracked ground pepper. Put a few dollops of avocado sauce in a tiny bowl and pour over the salad when you are ready to eat! :)