Happy first day of spring – gahhh, we made it!!!
March has lived up to its reputation of coming in like a lion and going out like a lamb. Last week was pretty dreadful as the stomach flu took out 4/5 of our family one by one every 24 hours (Lincoln was spared, hallelujah!) but we’ve all thankfully recovered in time to enjoy his spring break this week in good health and with delicious, mild weather to enjoy. It’s supposed to be 60 and sunny by Friday – I’ll cuddle the heck out of that lamb!
I’d also like to put these adorable, pink and purple Easter Egg Radishes in my front pocket. I about died after reading the name on the tag at the store then immediately stuffed a bunch into my bag. What can I say, I’m a sucker for fresh spring vegetables and good marketing. ;)
I’m celebrating the new season’s arrival with the aforementioned adorably-named radishes which I roasted alongside golden beets, cauliflower florets, and asparagus stalks to star in these healthy and hearty Spring Bliss Bowls with Pesto Rice!
This recipe celebrates all things spring produce and is so simple to make. Not to mention it’s a great recipe to prepare then portion into containers for make-and-take lunches all week long. Meal prep, for the win!
Also can we talk about this pesto rice for a second? Since pesto has parmesan and often times romano cheese in it too, it basically creates cheesy herb rice when paired together and I am HERE FOR IT. Such an easy way to pump up plain ol’ rice with fresh herby flavor without having to buy or chop up fresh herbs. I also decided to thin some pesto out with chicken broth (could use vegetable broth) then drizzle it on top of the bowls with a generous sprinkle of pepitas for more flavor and texture. As the name implies, these bowls are BLISS.
Now, I like these Spring Bliss Bowls as written, but feel free to add the protein of your choice to pump them up even more – chicken, roasted shrimp, garbanzo beans, or roasted pork tenderloin would all be fab.
So what say you, winter-weary friends – ready to celebrate all things spring?!
Start by cooking 1 cup short grain brown rice in water with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle of homemade seasoned salt. If you’re not familiar with my 4 ingredient homemade seasoned salt – prepare to! It gives everything, including the rice and our fresh spring vegetables, a boost of tasty flavor. Once the rice has cooked then cooled slightly, stir in 1/3 cup prepared pesto.
You can use store-bought pesto – I used prepared Buitoni pesto – or the recipe for my homemade small batch pesto makes exactly 1/3 cup. Make a double batch so you have enough to make the pesto drizzle for the end!
While the rice is cooking, roast the spring vegetables. Cover two half sheet pans with foil then spray with nonstick spray, and then chop the vegetables – beets, cauliflower, radishes, and asparagus.
First toss 3 peeled then chopped golden beets with extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of homemade seasoned salt in a bowl then arrange on one half of the first sheet pan. Oil/season 10oz cauliflower florets then spread on the other half and roast for 15 minutes. I chose golden beets because they don’t stain your hands/cutting boards, but red beets would be just fine too.
After the 15 minutes are up, add 1 bunch radishes that have been trimmed and chopped into the bowl, oil/season them, and then spread onto one half of the second sheet pan. Roast alongside the beets and cauliflower for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, add 1/2 bunch asparagus that’s been trimmed into 2″ chunks and oiled/seasoned then roast for an additional 10 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender.
Total breakdown for cooking times:
- Cauliflower/beets: 35 minutes
- Radishes: 20 minutes
- Asparagus: 10 minutes
NOTE: If you are making this recipe for meal-prep, I suggest roasting the vegetables until they’re al dente vs super soft, as they’ll soften as they sit in the fridge.
Scoop the pesto rice into four bowls or containers then top with a quarter of the roasted vegetables. Stir together 1/4 cup pesto with 2 Tablespoons chicken or vegetable broth then drizzle on top, followed by 1 Tablespoon pepitas/pumpkin seeds for a little texture and crunch. These bowls keep wonderfully in the fridge for up to 4 days and, as the name implies, are total bliss! Enjoy, enjoy!
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Spring Bliss Bowls with Pesto Rice
Meal-Prep Spring Bliss Bowls with Pesto Rice celebrate fresh spring produce in a tasty, filling bowl. Pack into containers for healthy, pre-made meals all week long!
- 1 cup short grain brown rice (I use Lundberg Farms)
- extra virgin olive oil
- homemade seasoned salt and pepper
- 10oz bag cauliflower florets, trimmed into similar sized florets
- 3 small golden beets, trimmed, peeled and chopped
- 1 bunch radishes, trimmed then halved or quartered if large
- 1/2 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed then chopped into 2” lengths
- 1/3 cup + 1/4 cup prepared basil pesto, divided (I used Buitoni - see notes for homemade recipe)
- 2 Tablespoons chicken or vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup pepitas/pumpkin seeds (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees then line two half sheet pans with foil, spray with nonstick spray, and set aside.
- Add brown rice plus 1-3/4 cup water, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and a sprinkling of seasoned salt to a small saucepan with a tight fitting lid. (If you are using a brand other then Lundberg, refer to the cooking instructions on your particular bag.) Bring to a boil then place a lid on top, turn heat down to low, and gently simmer for 40 minutes. Taste - if rice is still crunchy add 2 Tablespoons water then continue to cook for 5 more minutes. Remove pot from heat then let sit and steam with the lid on for 7 minutes before fluffing and cooling slightly. Once slightly cooled, stir in 1/3 cup pesto.
- Meanwhile, add cauliflower to a medium-sized bowl then drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and season with seasoned salt and pepper. Spread onto one half of the first sheet pan then oil/season beets in the same bowl and spread onto the other half. Roast for 15 minutes then stir.
- While the cauliflower and beets are roasting, oil/season the radishes then spread out onto one half of the second sheet pan. Roast for 10 minutes with the beets/cauliflower then stir. Add oiled/seasoned asparagus to the remaining empty half of the second sheet pan then roast with all the other vegetables for 10 minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender.
- Breakdown of cooking times: Cauliflower/beets: 35 minutes. Radishes: 20 minutes. Asparagus: 10 minutes.
- Add remaining 1/4 cup pesto to a small dish with chicken or vegetable broth then stir to combine.
- Scoop pesto rice into four bowls then top each bowl with a quarter of the roasted vegetables. Drizzle with pesto sauce then top with 1 Tablespoon pumpkin seeds, if using, and serve.
- For Meal Prep: Let all components cool then portion into containers, cover, and refrigerate. Microwave for 1-1:30 minutes or until warm then eat.
- I like to keep each vegetable separated in case they cook quicker or slower then the other vegetables.
- Click here for my homemade small-batch pesto recipe. NOTE: the recipe makes 1/3 cup pesto so I would double the pesto recipe to make enough for this recipe.
- Click here for my homemade seasoned salt recipe >
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://buzzpur.info.