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Sunday, January 22, 2017

Southwest Rice Power Bowl with Citrus Vinaigrette

I'm keeping on track - for the most part - with my decision to eat {and cook} with more intention in 2017. Instead of grabbing just a granola bar and maybe a string cheese for lunch while I'm home by myself during the day {or sometimes skipping lunch altogether}, I set out to invest a little more time and effort into what I feed myself. Yes, doing so has meant better planning while shopping, greater investment into meal prep and taking the extra time to actually make myself sit down to eat a wholesome, healthful lunch. But, I know that eating more intentionally is worth it. This power bowl has found its way into my meal rotation over the past few weeks. So darn good. And, definitely worth the bit of extra effort.


 
Although it's a breeze to make, it does take a few minutes to chop and assemble everything. With some music cranked, I pop the sweet potatoes into the oven to roast while I prep the other ingredients. The dressing could not be easier to whisk up, then it's time to arrange everything nicely {I like pretty-looking food} into a big bowl and grab a fork.

I take a little help in this recipe by utilizing a bag of frozen microwavable brown rice and a small bag of frozen microwavable corn. Obviously, you could use leftover rice or even something like, cooked quinoa if you'd like {in place of rice}. This whole power bowl is pretty versatile, so play around with what you like or what you have on hand.

This, basically, consists of cubed sweet potato that gets coated with olive oil, salt, pepper, a little ground cumin and a pinch of cayenne pepper before roasting. Some canned black beans, brown rice, corn and vegetables get piled onto some fresh greens before the whole thing gets drizzled with an ultra-simple citrus dressing. Oh, and I love this with some quick-pickled red onions on top, so I'm providing the recipe for those at the end of the post.

You'll feel amazing knowing that you're feeding yourself something super good for your body. And, it's a lunch that will definitely power you through the afternoon.

Yields 2 servings.

SOUTHWEST RICE POWER BOWL WITH CITRUS VINAIGRETTE

Ingredients:

FOR THE SWEET POTATOES -

1 large sweet potato, scrubbed and cut into small dice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt
Pepper

FOR THE VINAIGRETTE -

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

FOR THE SALAD -

3 - 4 heaping cups fresh salad greens
1 - 1  1/2 cups cooked corn, cooled
2 cups cooked brown rice, cooled
7 - 8 ounces canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup thinly-sliced red cabbage
1 - 2 thinly-sliced mini peppers {any color}
5 - 6 cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 avocado, sliced
1/4 cup quick-pickled red onions {SEE RECIPE BELOW}
Fresh cilantro, for garnish
Orange wedges, for squeezing on salad

Directions:

FOR THE SWEET POTATOES -

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place cubed sweet potatoes on baking sheet. Drizzle with oil. Sprinkle evenly with cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper. Toss lightly with your fingers to coat. Roast for 5 minutes. Flip potatoes. Roast for additional 5 minutes or until just tender. Remove from oven. Allow to cool.


FOR THE VINAIGRETTE -

Add vinaigrette ingredients to a small glass jar. Lid tightly. Shake until well-combined. Set aside.

FOR THE SALAD -

Lay greens evenly in a large bowl or across a large platter. Spoon corn, rice, beans and sweet potatoes onto separate sections atop the greens. Arrange cabbage, peppers, tomatoes, avocado and onions as desired. Garnish with cilantro and orange wedges {for squeezing over salad as desired}.

Serve with vinaigrette {shaken again if needed}.



QUICK-PICKLED RED ONIONS

Ingredients:

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 tablespoon Kosher salt
1/2 large red onion, peeled and cut into thin half-moon slices

Directions:

In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients except onions until sugar and salt are mostly dissolved. Add in onions.


Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of one hour. {Longer pickling time yields the best results. Overnight is ideal.} Serve atop salad. Refrigerate leftover onions in an airtight container.


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