We're expecting our first taste of early Spring in Georgia this week with nearly 80 degree temperatures and I can hardly wait. Trying my best to contain my excitement though. Every February I get sucked into the lure of warm afternoons and mild evening and I start planting flowers and vegetables - and then we get one more late freeze in early March. I just get so excited about Spring planting though. 😅 I figure the earlier, I plant my garden, the sooner I can start enjoying the fruits of my labor. 🍆🥦🥒
Winter vegetables are fine but last week when I was trying to gather up fresh vegetables for a party platter, I had to go to 5 different grocery stores just to find everything that I was looking for. And my list of produce really wasn't anything crazy. I just wanted a head of broccoli that didn't look like it has been stomped on.🥦 A package of green beans that weren't wilted and wrinkled, a few unbruised peppers and a handful of ripe tomatoes.🫑🍅
I'm fortunate that all of those vegetables are available nearly year round, in my local grocery stores. And maybe I'm being too picky about my winter produce but it can certainly be a challenge to find quality vegetables in one location in February. I can hardly wait for summer when I can go to the farmers market and get fresh, local veggies. For right now though, I'll just plan on making my rounds to Aldi, Wal Mart, Kroger, Publix, Sprouts, Fresh Market and sometimes even Trader Joes in search of decent winter produce.😅
Sometimes it's unavoidable but I generally try and plan my dinner menus around the fruits and vegetables that are currently in season. The veggies that I can potentially pick up in a single grocery trip.😅 For me, that means, all the winter root vegetables - sweet potatoes, parsnips, carrots, eggplant, mushrooms and zucchini.🍠 🥕🍆
The great part about this roasted vegetable bowl is that you can add whatever vegetables are available to you - right now. If brussels sprouts are your thing - add those. If you like fennel or roasted broccoli - use those. Nearly every vegetable can be roasted to bring out its sweetness and when you add them to a whole grain - it makes a complete meal.
Roasted Vegetable Grain Bowl
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
2 parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/4" rounds
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4" rounds
1/2 red onion, sliced thin
1 eggplant, peeled and diced
1 zucchini, peeled and cut into 1/4" rounds
8 ounces mushrooms, quartered
1/2 bell pepper, diced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
1 lemon, cut in half
1 cup wild or brown rice, cooked
1 cup quinoa, cooked
1/4 cup walnuts
Roast vegetables 40 minutes at 350.
Squeeze lemon juice from roasted lemons over bowls. Sprinkle nuts on top.
The only dressing for this delicious bowl is a squeeze of roasted lemon. Wild rice and quinoa makes a great base for this bowl but farro, pearled barley or brown rice would make great bases as well. Make it unique and make it your own.
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