This easy vegan burrito bowl is filling, healthy, and takes less than 30 minutes. Spicy black beans, rice, and summer veggies make up this adaptable homemade weeknight meal.
The opposite to my usual around here, I’ve been testing and shooting way more savoury recipes and comfort food main dishes than sweets or baking lately. I’m going to blame the season – late summer and early autumn is the best time of year for produce, with all the good stuff from summer ending as the best fall fruits and veggies swing in. But you know I’m still all about cookies.
So although I have starting writing up pumpkin and apple recipes, tomatoes are still in season, and so are these vegan burrito bowls. 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’ for this vegan burrito bowl. I’m not a big fan of avocado (too imported, too expensive, and with a host of social issues attached) and you definitely don’t miss it in this Mexican inspired rice bowl.
If you feel that rice isn’t nutritious enough, try subbing quinoa in its place or cauliflower rice if you prefer. You could throw some extra rucola or lettuce in there instead too. I didn’t have brown rice at the house we’re currently in so I used a wild rice/long grain mix and boy is it a treat to have some white rice! No regrets here. We usually eat a pile of brown rice and I can’t remember the last time I had white rice, so good.
For now, this type of recipe suits my transitional mood for September, an in-between month. You have a warm base but it’s still topped with energizing raw veggies. If you don’t mind cold rice, these super healthy vegan burrito bowls make great packed lunches because there’s no sauce to sog things up. 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.
Coming up in the next few weeks, I’m shifting into total comfort food mood with lots of cozy mains, breads, and desserts. I’m talking pumpkin, apples, soup, and everything else we need to keep warm during the dark months closing in. There are a few more late summer recipes first so if you need fall inspiration, take a peek at some of my older recipes (there are over 60 autumn recipes to choose from). I asked on instagram and got so many positive responses about more comfort food recipes, so here we are! In the meantime, this vegan burrito bowl is a summery kind of cozy, right?
A quick note about these pictures. I took them in near twilight because I recently invested in a tripod! I don’t know how I’ve gone four plus years without one, it’s a total life changer. I’m sure I’ll get questions so this is the one I got and I’m really happy with it. I’ve always shot freehand but it meant that I didn’t have much freedom in photo arrangements or if lighting was poor and often resulted in imperfect images in terms of sharpness. This also means you might see more of me in photos! At least my hands, hah. We’ll see if I’m brave enough to show my mug, maybe.
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- 110 grams / 1/2 cup rice
- 150 grams / 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 bell pepper or 3 mini peppers, sliced
- 2 small handfuls rucola or lettuce
- 1/4 cup pickled onions*
- 1/2 fresh lime
- Small handful cilantro or parsley
Spicy Black Beans
- 2 teaspoons olive oil, extra virign
- 1/4 red onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 100 grams / 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans, rinsed
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- Add the rice to a medium pot with 1 cup of cold water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil on high heat, then reduce to low-medium and simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes or until the water is 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 in the apple cider vinegar. 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, greens, and pickled onions. Add some pickled onions, a squeeze of lime, and cilantro to each bowl, and serve immediately.
* For a how-to on pickled onions, see this post. The onions do take at least an hour so make them in advance or the day before.