Meal Prep Roasted Winter Vegetable Bowls
There is certainly no shortage of bowl recipes on the internet. Why are they so popular? They are customizable and satisfying, to be sure, but for me, I love making big bowls full of good things because they lend themselves so well to meal prep. You can make each component of these Roasted Winter Vegetable Bowls in advance; when it’s time to eat, just put them all together and dinner’s ready.
(Check out my daughter’s Rilakkuma spoon in the photo. She likes to help!)
Let’s talk about what’s in this recipe for Roasted Winter Vegetable Bowls:
The Winter Vegetables
What are winter vegetables? They’re usually vegetables that store well, like potatoes, onions, and winter squash. I add crucifers too because, while technically fall vegetables, they are cold hardy and grow through the winter in some climates. So they totally count! In this recipe, I use cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, and a red onion. It’s a lot of vegetables.
I like roasting the vegetables instead of steaming them. (Here’s an interesting article about how roasting vegetables became the default instead of boiling or steaming. I had wondered about this!) The sweet potatoes get tender, the cauliflower mellows in flavor, and the Brussels sprouts are crisped to perfection.
The Crispy Chickpeas
Speaking of things that are crisped! One of my favorite parts of this recipe is the za’atar chickpeas.
Za’atar is a seasoning blend made with dried herbs (usually thyme, oregano, and marjoram), toasted sesame seeds, and sumac. I keep a small pouch on hand to sprinkle on vegetables and hummus. In the summer, try drizzling thick slices of heirloom tomatoes with a good olive oil and then dusting them with a pinch or two of za’atar. Here, za’atar adds flavor to the chickpeas, but if you don’t have it on hand, you can substitute dried thyme or oregano instead.
Oh, and the secret to getting your chickpeas crispy in the oven? Make sure they’re dry before putting them on the sheet pan.
There’s not much to say here. Use what you have! I happened to have a big bag of quinoa, but I’ve also made this with freekeh, which is always delightful too.
The Tahini Sauce
This isn’t just any tahini sauce! It’s blended with flat-leaf parsley. It’s like green goddess meets tahini. It’s fresh and herbaceous and while it’s perfect for pairing with these Roasted Winter Vegetable Bowls, it also makes me think of springtime.
The Pomegranate Seeds
The finishing touch! Yes, pomegranate is a fall fruit. Yes, it’s totally an extravagance to buy those little pomegranate seed containers in the winter. But they look like little jewels and their sweet-tart flavor contrasts so nicely with the savory dressing and vegetables. You can totally skip this, though. Maybe use some dried cranberries if you have them on hand.
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Roasted Winter Vegetable Bowls
Roasted winter vegetables are combined with an herbaceous tahini sauce in this nourishing cold-weather recipe. Make each component in advance and assemble when you’re ready to eat. If you can’t find za’atar, skip it or substitute dried herbs.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
For the sheet pan vegetables:
- 1 small cauliflower, broken into florets
- 4 ounces Brussels sprouts, halved
- 2 small sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 small red onion, sliced into thick half-moons
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon za’atar
For the sauce:
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- About 2 cups cooked quinoa (or any other whole grain)
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (optional, but so good)
- Parsley, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 425ºF and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Toss the vegetables on the sheet pan with a tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast the veggies for about 25 minutes, or until they’re tender and beginning to brown.
- Pour the chickpeas onto the sheet pan. Drizzle everything with the remaining tablespoon of oil and sprinkle with za’atar. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 10 minutes more, or until the vegetables are browned and crisp on the edges.
- While the vegetables are roasting, combine all the sauce ingredients in a small food processor or blender and blend until smooth. (If you don’t have a small food processor, you can chop the parsley finely and whisk the ingredients together.)
- Divide the freekeh into 4 bowls, then add the vegetables and chickpeas. Drizzle with the sauce and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds, then serve.