If this dish doesn’t scream “Cass is jonesin’ for summer”, then I don’t know what does. When I sliced into the lime to cut these pretty little wedges to garnish the dish, I seriously sat there and huffed the thing for like five minutes because it smelled so darn summery. I closed my eyes and had all these visions of sipping gin and tonics by the pool and eating pina colada sorbet after a hot day working in the garden and drinking cucumber limeade on the front porch in rocking chairs (not that we own any rocking chairs, but still). I even made Babyface smell it. I literally walked over to him on the couch with a lime in my hand and said “SMELL THIS LIME, BOY.” Marriage is all about shared experiences, right? And we smelled the hell out of that lime together. High-quality lime-sniffing bonding. The family that huffs limes together stays together. Or something like that. While the lime helps set the flavor of the bowls off, the real flavor superstar of them are the roasted veggies. I roasted sweet potatoes (both orange and purple, because that’s what I had on hand) with garlic, jalapeno, red onion and red peppers. Before popping them in the oven, I tossed the veggies in olive oil and a spice mixture that adds an incredible amount of flavor to the final rice bowls. You’d think with a bed of plain brown rice and ho-hum unflavored black beans, that this dish might be bland, but the blank canvas of the rice and beans balances beautifully with the explosive, spicy flavors of the roasted veggies. And just like with your favorite taco or burrito, you can doctor it up to be exactly what you want. Add a touch of salsa, a dollop of sour cream, some cheese, cilantro, or avocado to really make the rice bowl your own. All those veggies combined with hearty whole grains and a meatless source of protein make this one crazy healthy dish. In one serving, you’ll get over half of your daily recommended allowance of dietary fiber. And my favorite part—each bowl has a whopping 17 grams of lean, plant-based protein—making this a perfect dish for Meatless Monday! You’ll also snag 112% of your daily allowance of vitamin A in just one bowl. Why is getting vitamin A important? Well, vitamin A is one of the nutrients that our body can’t create itself, so we have to get it solely through dietary sources. Vitamin A is really important to help keep your eyes, your skin, your bones and your immune system healthy. This dish not only made for a great lunch, but it also made for a great dinner the next day and a great lunch the day after that and as an awesome side dish the day after that. This is one of those recipes that makes a ton and you can stash that in the fridge for easy-peasy eating all week-long. Sure, I made it all look pretty in the bowl for these pictures, but for fridge-storage, I just mixed the brown rice, black beans, and roasted veggies all together in a big bowl and stuffed it in the fridge. When it’s time to eat, I just heat up the mixture, put a few of my favorite toppings on it and a fiber-packed, protein-filled, flavorful, vegetarian lunch is served. I love that it’s a one-bowl kinda meal. No need to pack veggies or crackers or anything for the side. Gosh, I love easy meals. Enjoy!
Are you excited for summer? Have anything excited planned to look forward to?
P.S. I just found out I was nominated for the 2013 Bloggies Awards! Yay! Thank you so much to everyone who nominated me. I am really flippin’ honored to be in a category with some of the biggest names in Health blogging. If you would like to, you can vote for me by visiting the Bloggies site, going to the “Health” category, checking the box next to Wholefully and then scrolling to the bottom to submit. Make sure to check out some of the other blogs nominated, too. There are some really amazing folks in there that you should add to your reader.