Ever thought about what’s in season in March? There is no question that Spring has arrived- the flowers are out in full force and the winter jackets are back in storage. But even though the cherry blossoms are in bloom, not much is being harvested from the veggie gardens at this time of year. Luckily, last years parsnips, carrots and beets have been kept cold in cellars for us all winter so we can still enjoy last seasons bounty while we wait for the new years crop. This Roasted Vegetable Buddha Bowl with Kale Pesto, Lentils and Barley is a great versatile dish, and an easy way to use up excess produce in your fridge.
“Root vegetables such as carrots, beets, parsnips, turnips, potato and onion can be stored all winter long and are great nutrient-packed additions to any winter or early spring dish.”
I love this guide from Get Local BC which shows what produce is in season by month. It even extends to seasonal seafood and meat and dairy. Lucky for us kale and mushrooms are pretty much always in season. To create this dish, choose your favourite seasonal root vegetables, roast them and serve on top of barley. This dish can also be made gluten-free by using quinoa in place of barley.
This recipe uses a Kale Pesto Recipe which I created for my Winter Kale Pesto Whole Wheat Pizza. This time I chose to make it vegan by using 1 tbsp. white miso paste in place of the parmesan cheese. The entire Kale Pesto Recipe will likely be used for this Roasted Vegetable Bowl Recipe but if you have any spare, it goes great on crackers!
Roasted Vegetable Buddha Bowl with Kale Pesto, Lentils and Barley
A perfect autumn or winter dish, or in early spring we can still rely on last years cold storage root vegetables. Serving them roasted, on top of a warm bed of barley or quinoa and topped with a homemade vegan kale pesto is a great way to nourish your body with seasonal delights.
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 carrots
- 2 parsnips
- 1 sweet potato or yam
- 1 large beet
- 1 large red onion
- 3 tbsp rosemary fresh, roughly chopped
- 1/4 tsp sea salt fine
- black pepper ground
- 10 cremini mushrooms
- 3/4 cup green or brown lentils dry
- 3/4 cup pearled barley dry
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare the vegetables by first washing them and removing the skin from the sweet potato or yam and beet. Chop all the vegetables into 1.5" cubes, except for the onion and mushrooms which can be thickly sliced.
Place the carrots, parsnips, sweet potato, onion and beets into a bowl and drizzle with 2 tbsp. of olive oil. Add 2 tbsp of the rosemary, season with three quarters of the salt and pepper and mix well so all of the vegetables are well coated. Place all these veggies on one tray if they will fit and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, flipping them at least one during this time.
Next put the sliced mushrooms in the bowl by themselves, drizzle with the remaining oil, salt and pepper and the rest of the rosemary. Place the mushrooms on a separate tray, ideally spaced enough so they aren't touching each other. Mushrooms need less time to cook, Put them in the oven about 20 minutes after the rest of the vegetables. Roast them in the oven for 20 minutes or until they are nice and tender, flipping once during this time.
Once the root vegetables are baking, and the mushrooms are prepared it is time to cook the barley. To do this place the barley in a saucepan and add 2 cups of water. Bring it to a boil and then turn down the heat and let it simmer for about 30-40 minutes or until all of the water has dissolved.
To cook the lentils, first rinse them really well and pick out anything that doesn't look like it belongs in there. Put the lentils in another saucepan and add 2 cups of water. Bring it to a boil and then turn down the heat and let it simmer for about 30-40 minutes or until all of the water has dissolved.
Prepare the Kale Pesto while everything is cooking. Replace the parmesan cheese with 1 tbsp. of white miso (see link in the ingredients list).
After 40 minutes has passed check the vegetables and make sure they are done. The root vegetables should be golden on the outside and tender when pricked with a fork.
To assemble the dish, evenly distribute the barley into 4 bowls. Top with a variety of the baked vegetables, lentils and a nice serving of the kale pesto. Done!
Make it vegan: Use 1 tbsp. white miso in place of parmesan cheese in the pesto
Add more protein: Add 1/4 cup of salted pepitas to each dish
Make it gluten free: Serve with 1 cup dry quinoa, cooked as per package directions instead of barley.