Bowls are way past “having a moment.” They’ve become a pillar of our lunches and dinners. Why? It’s simple: everything’s better in a bowl! (Nice knowing you, plates.) But seriously, the customizable combo of carbs, protein, veggies, and a drizzle of delicious sauce cannot be denied. True to form, this Middle Eastern-style rendition is fully loaded. Lemony scallion-and-apricot-studded rice is topped with roasted smoky-cinnamon cauliflower, carrots, and crispy chickpeas. Plus, the bowls are finished off with hot sauce crema for a cooling kick. We think it’s safe to say: one bite will have you totally bowled over.
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Smoky Cinnamon Paprika Spice
Adjust rack to top position (top and middle positions for 4 servings) and preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wash and dry all produce. Drain and rinse chickpeas; pat very dry with paper towels. Cut cauliflower florets into bite-size pieces. Trim, peel, and cut carrots on a diagonal into ½-inch-thick pieces. Trim and thinly slice scallion, separating whites from greens. Zest and quarter lemon.
Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a small pot over medium-high heat. Add scallion whites and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add rice, ¾ cup water (1½ cups for 4 servings), and a big pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a low simmer. Cook until rice is tender, 15-18 minutes. Keep covered off heat until ready to serve.
Meanwhile, toss chickpeas, cauliflower, and carrots on a baking sheet with Cinnamon Paprika Spice, a large drizzle of olive oil, and 1 tsp salt. (For 4 servings, divide mixture between 2 baking sheets; use 2 tsp salt.) Roast on top rack until chickpeas are lightly browned and veggies are softened, 20-22 minutes. (TIP: It’s natural for chickpeas to pop a bit while roasting!) Remove from oven. Squeeze lemon juice over mixture to taste.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine sour cream and hot sauce to taste. Add water 1 tsp at a time until mixture reaches a drizzling consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
Fluff rice with a fork; stir in 1 TBSP butter (2 TBSP for 4 servings), apricots, and lemon zest to taste. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Divide rice between bowls. Top with cauliflower, carrots, chickpeas, and crema. Garnish with scallion greens. Serve with any remaining lemon wedges on the side.