I’m back! I’ve missed you. How are you? I hope your new year is off to a good start. If you resolved to start eating healthier this year, then you’re in the right place. Today, I have an especially healthy, nutritious recipe for you. It’s vegan of course, and also gluten-free. The flavor is light and refreshing, but it’s also a hearty, filling dish.
Often I’ll make a big batch of brown rice at the beginning of the week. It makes recipes like this one so quick and easy. Reheat the rice, steam the broccoli, whip up the dressing and toss it all in a bowl. Done. See, this is what drives me nuts. This is such a cheap, quick, easy meal—why can’t I find something like this on the menu at most restaurants? Maybe it’s just where I live—rural midwest America. But that’s about to change.
Soon, we will be moving from Michigan to North Carolina! We are so excited! The Michigan winters are brutal where we live (very close to Lake Michigan). Sometimes it starts snowing in October and doesn’t let up until March, or even April. I’m not a fan of the cold. I hate putting on snow boots and a bulky winter coat every time I leave the house. The gray days are a bummer and the rare sunny ones are deceiving. It might look all bright and cheery, but just step outside and the single digit temps tell a different story. NO THANK YOU!
Now, with that said, we know plenty of people who live in Michigan and LOVE it. They love the snow, the winter sports, the chilly temps. And others just tolerate the Michigan winters because the Michigan summers and falls are AWESOME. So I don’t want it to seem like I’m bashing Michigan. It’s a beautiful state that has served us well. And we will certainly miss all of our family and friends.
Back to my point about not being able to find dishes like this Broccoli & Chickpea Rice Bowl on most restaurant menus. Several of the restaurants in the city we’re moving to have plenty of vegan options, and oh my gosh, am I ever excited to have a Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s!!! You have no idea. Pretty sure I belong there.
What about you? Are you happy where you live or are you longing to live somewhere else?
- 4 cups broccoli florets
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- 1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained, rinsed, patted dry
- ½ cup sliced green onions
- ¼ cup sliced almonds
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp pineapple juice*
- 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp Tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
- Steam broccoli for 3 to 5 minutes, just until tender. Add broccoli, rice, chickpeas, green onions and almonds to a large bowl. Set aside.
- Add all dressing ingredients to a small bowl and whisk with a fork until well combined. Drizzle dressing over rice mixture and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper as desired. Sprinkle chopped cilantro on top and serve warm.
**Recipe serves 6 as a side dish. As an entrée, it serves about 3.