Broccoli, Chickpea and Brown Rice Bowl

This simple dish, roasted broccoli, chickpea and brown rice bowl gets a major flavor (and probiotic!) boost from a tangy mustard-soy dressing. 

A simple brown rice, roasted broccoli and chickpea bowl with a probiotic packed mustard-soy dressing!
A simple brown rice, roasted broccoli and chickpea bowl with a probiotic packed mustard-soy dressing!

Continuing the theme of simple recipes, today's recipe is a dish literally anyone can make.  It's just three basic ingredients drizzled with a quick, flavorful sauce.  Although it takes a little bit of time for the broccoli and brown rice to cook, this vegan rice bowl requires no more than fifteen minutes of actual prep time.  Considering the source, someone who takes a good hour and a half to cook a "thirty minute meal", I bet you can do it even faster.

I'd like to dedicate this post to broccoli, a food most people either love, or absolutely hate.  I'm guessing how it was prepared for you as a child determines what category you fall under.  Soggy, overcooked, sulfurous smelling broccoli drenched in a watery fake cheese sauce is about the least appetizing thing I can think of.  But tender, caramelized roasted broccoli...well that's another story.

To the broccoli haters out there, I am determined to convert you with this post.  I rarely tell my clients to eat any foods they don't like, but because broccoli is such an inexpensive, powerful superfood, I often turn into a nagging mom on this one.

Digestive Support

Besides being high in fiber, with a gram of fiber in every ten calories, broccoli may benefit your digestion in other ways as well.  Broccoli contains a substance called sulforaphane, extensively studied for cancer prevention benefits, which one study found may prevent the overgrowth of h. pylori, a bacteria responsible for many cases of chronic gastritis and ulcers.  The healthy bacteria in your gut are decidedly in the broccoli-loving group, so eat plenty of cruciferous veggies to keep them happy.

Cancer Prevention

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but half a cup of broccoli may help prevent cancer.  Seriously, broccoli has such powerful cancer prevention benefits that studies show as little as 1/2 cup of broccoli can provide measurable benefits for cancer protection.  Broccoli has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and pro-detoxification benefits, all of which work together to help your body fight the growth of cancer.  Specific nutrients in broccoli that appear to have an anti-cancer benefit include diindolylmethane,allyl isothiocyanate, and isothiocyanates.

Cardiovascular Protection

Rich in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrients, broccoli provides protection against cardiovascular disease.  It also contains soluble fiber, a type of fiber that binds to bile acids in the gastrointestinal tract, which in turn, helps lower cholesterol.

If you made it through childhood feeding your broccoli to the dog, I think this may be the recipe to convert you!

Broccoli, Chickpea and Brown Rice Bowl

Serves:

Serves 3-4 (technically 4, but it was so good we only got 3 servings out of it...)

To make an even more filling meal, add crumbled tempeh or cubes of baked tofu. Adapted from The New York Times.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup short-grain brown rice
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into florets, stems peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce (tamari for gluten free version)
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 1 14-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Place brown rice and 2 1/4 cups water in a medium pot. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes until rice is tender.
  3. Meanwhile, toss broccoli with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and spread evenly on a large baking sheet. Place in the oven and roast for 20-30 minutes until tender and browned in spots.
  4. While rice and broccoli are cooking, whisk together mustard, soy sauce, hot sauce and a pinch of sugar.
  5. When rice and broccoli are finished, toss in a large bowl with chickpeas. Drizzle with mustard sauce and serve.