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I often start the week off by making a batch of healthy grains and a big salad to make weekday lunches easy and healthy.  (I’ve definitely learned that if I have to make last minute lunch choices on the go, they often are not very healthy).

Autumn Harvest Rice Bowl 3

This week, I’m reaching for my Fig Balsamic Vinegar to bring rich flavor to Triple Play Recipe #2:  Autumn Harvest Rice Bowl with Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette.  My grain bowls tend to go heavier on the veggies then most, adding  added fiber, nutrients and antioxidants.

Autumn Harvest Rice Bowl 1

Autumn Harvest Rice Bowl with Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette
1  Cup        Brown Rice or Brown Rice Blend
1 3/4 Cups Vegetable or Chicken Broth (low sodium)
4 Cups       Butternut Squash (1” cubes)
3 Tbls.       Extra Virgin Oil Olive*
¼ Tsp.       Chili Powder
¼ Tsp.       Cinnamon
14-15 oz.   Bag of Pre-Shredded Brussel Sprouts
Salt & Pepper to taste
1                 Large Apple (cubed) – I like Gala for this
4 oz.           Maple Cheddar Cheese or Sharp Cheddar (cubed)
½ cup        Pepitas or Almonds (raw or honey roasted is great too)
½ cup        Dried Cranberries

Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette
4 Tbls       Orange Juice
4 Tbls       Napa Valley Naturals Fig Balsamic Vinegar*
½ Tsp       Dijon Mustard
¾ Tsp       Dried Thyme
¼ Tsp       Black Pepper
½ Tsp       Salt
½ Cup      Extra Virgin Olive Oil*

Add rice and broth to a medium saucepan then bring to a boil – prepare per rice package instructions.  (Left over rice is also great for this recipe).

Make the vinaigrette:  Combine all ingredients in a small lidded jar.  (When using dried thyme – rub in in between your hands before dropping it into the jar to release its natural oils).  Shake until mixed and set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place butternut squash cubes in a bowl – toss with 1½  tablespoons of olive oil, the chili powder and cinnamon. Salt & pepper to taste.  Toss together then place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast until tender- a total of about 15-20 minutes (stirring after 10 mins).

Next, add shredded brussel sprouts, remaining 1 ½ tablespoon of olive oil, along with salt & pepper to taste, to a bowl and toss together (you can use the same bowl that you tossed the squash in). Place on a second parchment lined baking sheet and put in the oven when you stir the butternut squash- roast both for another 10 minutes or until brussel sprouts are lightly brown and tender.  Cool for about 5 minutes.

Autumn Harvest Rice Bowl - roasted veg

Combine all the rice bowl ingredients in a large bowl and lightly toss – then mix in ½ of the Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette.

Garnish with additional nuts & dried cranberries.  Serve immediately or chill for later.  Store in refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Autumn Harvest Rice Bowl 6

Save additional vinaigrette to use when serving rice bowls and for your favorite mixed greens salad.

Enjoy!

*Ingredients available at à la Maison in Baldwinsville, NY or contact us at 315-440-6637.