Rainbow Buddha Bowl

Preheat the oven to 425 degree fahrenheit.

Place the Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes on a baking sheet, keep separate so sweet potatoes are on one side and Brussels sprouts on the other (they cook at slightly different times). Toss both sets of vegetables with olive oil salt and black pepper, making sure to evenly space each so they do not overlap, that way they will bake not steam. Sprinkle the Brussels sprouts with small pinch of chili flakes (optional) and the sweet potatoes with smoked paprika. Place in the oven until cooked. Start checking for the Brussel sprouts after about 15 minutes and remove when crispy. Put the pan back in the oven and continue to bake sweet potatoes. They take in total about 20-25 minutes. Remove and let cool.

To make the sauce, in a small bowl, stir together the tahini, water and lemon juice until combined. Set aside.

In a serving bowl, place in the brown rice. Arrange the oranges, cucumber, celery, Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes around the rice. Sprinkle on some chia seeds. Serve alongside with the tahini sauce. Enjoy!

Total time: about 1- 1 1/2 (including making rice)
Makes: 1-2 servings

1 cup brown rice, cooked to instructions*
1/2 pound Brussels sprouts, halved
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced into 1/2 pieces
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
small pinch of pepper flakes *optional

1/2 cucumber, sliced thinly
1 celery stalk, peeled and sliced
1 teaspoon chia seeds
1/2 navel orange, sliced

tahini sauce:
3 tablespoons tahini
1 1/2 tablespoons water
1/2 squeeze lemon

rainbow buddha bowl by fried parsley

After the first major snowstorm, seems like we are in the midst of winter. I woke up the other morning to a whiteout outside my window. White flurries dancing in the air and a white fog encapsulating the city. The day prior to the snowstorm was a warm 60 degrees, unusual for a northeast winter, but hey, it got me thinking about spring and that in almost a few weeks we’ll be in march, the month of the spring equinox.

I may be jumping too far in excitement, but I can’t wait for the first round of produce, eagerly emerging from their hibernation and sprouting into to still chilly but warming world. Fiddlehead ferns, asparagus, leeks, fennel, and fava beans.

rainbow buddha bowl by fried parsley

But in the midst of it all, this Rainbow Buddha Bowl is a colorful example of my favorite winter veggies all snuggled up in a warm and nourishing bowl.

What makes up this bowl:
brown rice: probably my most reliable go-to grain. It’s sure to feel me up and goes along with about anything. Brown rice is full of fiber and rich proteins.

sweet potatoes: rich in vitamin are good for skin and eye health. When roasted, they develop a crispy skin while the inside remains soft and delicate.

brussels sprouts: fiber-rich, dense and crunchy, when roasted, these vegetables are a crispy and earthy delight.

oranges: citrus season is always a bright delight midst winter. It’s a reminder that not all wintery foods should be heavy or lacking in vibrancy, in fact their color contrast is always an uplifting sight. Sunny colors sure to bring warmth to any day. I love adding fresh orange slices to my buddha bowl.

cucumbers + celery: these water-dense vegetables add a light and crunchy flavor. They are cool and refreshing, with mild but distinct flavors of anise. When added to the warm bowl, they add a raw, contrasting taste and texture.

Tahini sauce: You may have seen on my last recipe, this tahini sauce is the same. Probably my favorite right now. I go through waves of nut and seed butters, but I’m on a tahini kick right now. So for my buddha bowl I add a 3-ingredient tahini sauce, tahini water and lemon. It compliments all the vegetable textures and taste with an earthy and creamy flavor.

rainbow buddha bowl by fried parsley
rainbow buddha bowl by fried parsley
rainbow buddha bowl by fried parsley
rainbow buddha bowl by fried parsley
rainbow buddha bowl by fried parsley

Seems like there are a lot of veggies to prep in this bowl but there are only THREE things to cook, one of which is brown rice and the other of which you can cook together on the same sheet pan. Enjoying winter does not come easy, I am more of a summer person, but when it comes to making home-cooked food, nothing is more comforting than warming up to a nourishing buddha bowl, full of vibrant and seasonal fruit and vegetables. Enjoy and stay warm!