A real end of summer recipe, this vegan burrito bowl makes 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.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Brown rice: if you prefer, substitute quinoa or cauliflower rice for the rice. You could throw some extra greens in there instead too.
- Vegetables: 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.
- Greens: rucola (rocket/arugula), lettuce, or baby spinach.
- Pickled Onions: make these at least a couple hours in advance, or the day before.
- Cilantro or parsley: whichever you like best, or omit if preferred. (See parsley substitutions.)
Spicy Black Beans Step by Step
Step 1: add the onions to a pre-heated pan and cook until translucent.
Step 2: stir in the spices and cook briefly.
Step 3: add the beans and stir to heat through.
Step 4: keep warm while you prepare the other elements.
This is great for cooler summer days – you have a warm base but it’s still topped with energising raw vegetables. If you don’t mind cold rice, these 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.
How to Store
Storage: these are best served when assembled, but taste good cold. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.
Freezing: I don’t recommend freezing this.
- Cook the rice in advance: rice will last for several days in the refrigerator, and making it ahead of time makes this into a ten-minute meal.
- Season to taste: for the beans in particular, taste and add salt if needed before plating and serving. Salt the rice water well, too.
- Adjust the spices: if you are quite sensitive to spice, reduce or omit the hot pepper.
More Black Bean Recipes
Black Bean Sweet Potato Chili
Roasted Cauliflower Tacos with Refried Beans
Vegan Black Bean Meatballs
Black Bean Quinoa Burgers
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Summer Harvest Vegan 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 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.110 grams rice, 250 ml water, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 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.2 teaspoons olive oil, 1/4 red onion
- Stir in the garlic, cumin, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Cook for another minute before adding the beans and stirring to mix.2 cloves garlic, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 100 grams cooked or canned black beans, rinsed
- 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 each 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.150 grams cherry tomatoes, halved, 1 bell pepper, 2 small handfuls rucola or lettuce, 40 grams pickled onions, 1/2 fresh lime, Small handful cilantro or parsley
* For American cup measurements, please click the pink link text above the ingredient list that says ‘American’.
Nutrition is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate. If this information is important to you, please have it verified independently.
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.
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