A real end of summer recipe, these vegan burrito bowls make great use of September produce. Spicy black beans and piles of colourful summer veggies top off a base of fluffy rice, with simple pickled onions and lime making up the ‘sauce’. You definitely don’t miss avocado in this Mexican inspired rice bowl.
Because you can make the beans and prep the veg while the rice is cooking, this is about a twenty minute meal. That depends on what kind of rice you use, of course – but if you want to cut your brown rice cooking time, soak it 12-24 hours ahead of time (you can freeze soaked rice, too). There’s a handy table in my book for cooking soaked grains like rice.
PS I have just moved again, into a temporary apartment, with a brighter kitchen. Some of the pictures reflect this change and are very casual process images to show step-by-step as I’m cooking.
- Rice: whatever kind you prefer. Pictured is short grain brown rice.
- Cherry Tomatoes: or any tomatoes you have.
- Sweet Pepper: yellow for some extra colour variation, though red or green will work too.
- Greens: rucola (arugula), lettuce, or baby spinach.
- Pickled Onions: make these at least a couple hours in advance, or the day before.
- Lime: vitally important. Use lemon or a splash of vinegar as a substitute.
- Cilantro or Parsley: whichever you like best. (See parsley substitutions.)
For the Spicy Black Beans:
- Black Beans: cooked or canned. If using canned, rinse, then soak in cold water for about 15 minutes, and rinse again for best flavour.
- Olive Oil: or your preferred cooking oil.
- Onion: red or white.
- Garlic: there is lots of flavour here with the spices, no need to go wild with garlic – just use enough salt!
- Spices: cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper.
Spicy Black Beans Step by Step
Notes and Substitutions
This is great for cooler summer days – you have a warm base but it’s still topped with energising raw veggies. If you don’t mind cold rice, these super healthy vegan burrito bowls make great packed lunches because there’s no sauce. Or pack the rice and beans in a heat-safe container and then top them with the veggies after warming them up at work or school.
Quickly cooking the spices in the pan releases more of their oils, making for a more flavourful dish.
If you prefer, substitute quinoa or cauliflower rice for the brown rice. You could throw some extra greens in there instead too.
Of course, change up the veggie toppings with your preferred veg or with what you have in the house or garden. Cucumber, some sautéed zucchini or green beans, even some pumpkin in later summer/early autumn.
More Summery Bowls
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Summer Harvest Burrito Bowl
Fo the Rice
- 110 grams rice
- 250 ml water
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
Spicy Black Beans
- 2 teaspoons olive oil extra virgin
- ¼ red onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper to taste
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 100 grams cooked or canned black beans, rinsed
For the Bowls
- 150 grams cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 bell pepper or 3 mini peppers sliced
- 2 small handfuls rucola or lettuce
- 40 grams pickled onions
- ½ fresh lime
- Small handful cilantro or parsley
- Add the rice, water, and salt to a medium pot. Bring to a boil on high heat, then reduce to low-medium and simmer, covered, for 15-20* minutes or until the water is fully absorbed.
- While the rice is cooking, prepare the beans. In a large pan, heat the oil over medium. Add the onions and sauté for 4-5 minutes, or until softened and translucent.
- Stir in the garlic, cumin, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Cook for another minute before adding the beans and stirring to mix.
- Lower the heat and cook for a couple more minutes to heat the beans. Reduce the heat to low or place a lid on the pan to keep warm while you finish the other elements.
- Once the rice is finished, divide it between two bowls. Top with half the black beans, tomatoes, peppers, and greens. Add some pickled onions, a squeeze of lime, and cilantro to each bowl, and serve immediately.
This post was originally published in September 2018. It has been updated with improvements to the text and recipe most recently as of September 2021.