Speedy, healthy dinners are my love language these days. This one is ready in under 30 minutes. With three young kids I want to be able to get dinner on the table fast but also feel good about what I’m putting on the table (and in our bodies). These burrito-like bowls have been game changers for us. My husband goes crazy for them and says how delicious and filling they are. I love how easy and healthy they are to pull together. And my kids even enjoy them. They usually skip the pico de gallo but they love everything else. These bowls are totally basic and yet colorful, full of fun Mexican flavor and loaded with vegetables, plant-based protein, whole grains and healthy fats. What could be more perfect than that?
To pull these bowls together I start by sautéing the bell peppers and onions since they take about 20 minutes to cook. These can also be made in advance and reheated in the microwave just before serving.
To keep life simple I opt for frozen brown rice and throw that into the microwave for 2-3 minutes depending on the brand. While that cooks I make the pico de gallo.
The pico de gallo could be made one day in advance if needed.
To pull together the bowl I drain and rinse the canned black beans and cut up an avocado. Then I add in the sautéed peppers and onions, brown rice and pico de gallo. It is efficient if you layer the tasks this way. By the time the bell peppers and onions are done sautéing everything else comes together perfectly and you can build your bowl.
Here is a list of what you will probably need to pick up for this dish at the grocery store:
- 1 bag frozen brown rice (Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods 365 brand both make great options)
- 1 can black beans
- 3 bell peppers
- 1 white onion
- 4 roma tomatoes
- 1 jalapeno
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro
- 1 avocado
- 1 lime
Not bad, right? I usually have frozen brown rice in my freezer and a can of black beans in my pantry so it makes the shopping list even shorter.
These bowls are great for a packable lunch or simple weeknight dinner. So if you are planning to meal prep more in 2018 (you can check out my recent post on how to meal prep), these bowls would be a great recipe to add to your weekly rotation.
This dish makes ho-hum rice and beans way more interesting. This recipe is vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free and refined sugar-free. If you give it a try, please snap a pic and tag #eatingbyelaine and @eatingbyelaine on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook so I can see your burrito bowl creations!
Here are a couple more recipes to satisfy your Mexican food cravings:
Creamy Vegan Black Bean Dip
One-Pot Tex-Mex Veggie Quinoa Stew with Lime-Cilantro “Cream”
Southwestern Jicama Slaw with Lime-Agave Creamy Tahini Dressing
Mexican Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Avocado
Brown Rice Black Bean Salad with Mango and Avocado
Roasted Spaghetti Squash Boats with Quinoa, Chickpea & Veggie “Taco Meat”
Vegan Mexican Hot Chocolate
This easy plant-based and gluten-free entree will simplify your life in the most delicious way! The warm brown rice, beans and sautéed onions and peppers pair beautifully with the chilled and refreshing pico de gallo and creamy avocado. These burrito bowls are full of good-for-you ingredients that will fill you up without making you feel stuffed. Mexican night is on!
- For the bell pepper saute (serve hot):
- 3 medium bell peppers (I like to use one red, one orange and one yellow), stem and seeds removed, sliced
- 1/2 large white onion, sliced
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- For the pico de gallo (serve well chilled);
- 4 roma tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
- 1/2 large white onion, finely diced
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 jalapeno, finely diced (seeds optional depending on how spicy you want it)
- 1/2 juicy lime, juiced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Everything else:
- 2 cups cooked brown rice* (serve warm or hot)
- 1 can black beans, drained (serve room temperature or warm)
- 1 avocado, diced (chilled)
- For garnish:
- Fresh lime, squeezed overtop everything
- Fresh cilantro
- Salt + pepper sprinkled on top to taste
- For the bell pepper saute: Bring a 12 inch pan to medium-low heat and add bell peppers, onions, olive oil, salt and pepper. Cook for 20 minutes or until bell peppers are tender stirring occasionally. This can be made a couple days in advance and warmed just before serving.
- For the pico de gallo: Combine tomato, onion, cilantro, jalapeno, lime and salt together in a bowl. Season to taste with additional lime juice and salt if needed. You can make this in advance and store in the refrigerator for up to one day. Before you serve it, stir it well and drain any excess liquid.
- Assemble your bowls: Add 1 cup of warm or hot cooked brown rice to each bowl. Add 1/2 cup room temperature or warm black beans to each bowl. Add 1/2 cup warm or hot sautéed bell peppers and 1/2 cup of chilled pico de gallo to each bowl. Divide the chilled avocado between the two bowls so each bowl gets half of the avocado. Squeeze fresh lime juice over the entire bowl. Sprinkle chopped cilantro overtop the bowl if desired. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Enjoy!
Enjoy the extra pico de gallo with your favorite chips! Store extra ingredients in an airtight container in your refrigerator and assemble more bowls throughout the week. You will likely have some leftover black beans and sautéed bell peppers & onions.
When I’m in a rush I use frozen brown rice and microwave it.
If you have extra time, turn the black beans into creamy refried beans. So good!
If you have more extra time, use guacamole in place of the diced avocado for even more flavor! Here is my favorite guacamole recipe.
- Category: Entree
- Cuisine: Mexican