Hello from Scottsdale, Arizona! We’re here visiting for a little work and play. I’m so excited to be getting away for some downtime after a busy year. My mom and stepdad are arriving soon too, and Adriana is pumped to have lots of quality time with her Mimi and Papa. The last time we were here I was 6/7 weeks pregnant so it’s pretty amazing to be here with my girl this year. That trip, I could barely get off the couch due to 1st trimester nausea (I think I hiked a total of 1 mile, lol); it’ll be nice to feel normal again. I plan on making up for the last visit in many ways, especially on the food front! Any new plant-based restaurants pop up?
Our trip is off to a bit of a strange start – we had a series of odd events yesterday during our trek here, and then we woke up to an earthquake (!) last night. It felt like a truck slammed into the side of our bedroom. Luckily, it wasn’t too bad (4.1-mag), but it did give us quite a scare in the middle of the night. Aka…I screamed and then said a couple choice words. I immediately checked the baby monitor and Adriana didn’t even budge! Oh to sleep like a baby. Anyway, that was quite the welcome.
This hearty meal was thrown together last week and I loved it so much I knew I had to share it with you. Plus, I figured we could all use a balanced meal after the Halloween festivities.
I did a an informal poll on Facebook asking you – burrito (in a wrap) or burrito bowl? Most of you said BOWL….just give me the bowl! Here are a handful of your responses:
Katherine loves the versatility of a bowl. “I love both. But I think there are more options with a bowl, especially for creative rice substitutions that have more nutritional value than a tortilla. And I trust you to make it delicious AND healthy!” (side note: I used classic white rice here (no regrets!! gah, so good), but you can use any base you like – cauliflower rice, quinoa, shredded lettuce, etc.)
Others think a burrito bowl creates feelings of jealousy and envy. Stacy wrote, “With the tortilla! Otherwise, it’s a pile of ingredients merely wishing they were a burrito!”
Some of you thought outside the box bowl. Jaya said, “A nice compromise is actually baking the flour/rice/whatever kind of tortilla into a bowl shape, so you get a crispy bowl!” (hello, lover)
Others mentioned giving the option of a wrap by serving the soft tortillas on the side. Jodi wrote, “Bowl for me, but kids would chose burrito. Win win either way!”
So I went with a bowl for this post, but rest assured you can also stuff this into a big soft tortilla wrap. I absolutely love burrito bowls because you can make them as simple or as complex as you want. They can be as basic as plain black beans, sliced avocado, store-bought salsa, and rice, or you can load on a wide array of toppings to your heart’s content. I tried to keep this one simple, but also included some interesting components that make it fun and unique. I hope you love it as much as we do!
This burrito bowl is so filling and healthy! The Spicy Black Beans are adapted from one of my favourite cookbooks, Super Fresh: Super Natural, Super Vibrant Vegan Recipes by Jennifer Houston and Ruth Tal. The spicy black beans are to die for. (Or, to live for!) I love to use the beans in a wrap, sprinkled on a salad, or even as a dip with tortilla chips and guacamole. The Avocado-Lime Sauce is also a must-make. It yields about a heaping half cup so if you are a big avocado lover you can always double the recipe. To change up this recipe, stuff everything into a large soft tortilla wrap rather than enjoying it bowl style.
For the burrito bowl:
- 1 cup dry white long-grain rice (or rice of choice)
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) refined coconut oil or vegan butter*
- Salsa, as needed
- Sliced green onion, for garnish
- Sliced grape tomatoes, for garnish (optional)
For the Spicy Black Beans:
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) refined coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup diced sweet onion
- 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 3/4 to 1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1/2 plus 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
- 2 1/2 tablespoons (37 mL) tomato paste
- 1 (14-ounce/398 mL) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup unpacked cilantro, large stems removed and finely chopped
For the Avocado-Lime Sauce (makes heaping 1/2 cup):
- 1 large garlic clove
- 1 large avocado, pitted
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) fresh lime juice, plus more to taste
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) water
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
- For the rice: Add the rice and 1 tablespoon of oil or butter into a medium pot along with 2 cups of water. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Immediately reduce the heat to low-medium, and cover with a lid. Cook the rice until it’s tender and the water is absorbed. For white long-grain rice this will take 13 to 20 minutes, but please follow the directions on your specific package for best results.
- Meanwhile, prepare the Spicy Black Beans: In a large wok or skillet, add the oil and melt it over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, along with a pinch of salt, and sauté for about 5 to 6 minutes, until softened.
- Stir in the chopped tomatoes, chili powder, garlic powder, dried oregano, cayenne (if using), and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Continue sautéing for another 3 to 5 minutes (increasing/reducing heat if necessary), until the tomato softens.
- Now stir in the tomato paste and drained and rinsed black beans. Cook for a few more minutes until heated throughout. Taste and add more salt if desired. Stir in the cilantro. You can leave the mixture over low heat until ready to serve or simply turn off the heat and reheat before serving.
- For the Avocado-Lime Sauce: Mince the garlic clove in a mini food processor (or use a regular size processor, if necessary). Now add the avocado flesh, lime juice, water, and salt. Process until smooth. Taste and adjust lime juice if desired. I usually add another teaspoon.
- When the rice is ready, reheat the bean mixture, if necessary. Divide the rice between 2 to 3 bowls. Top each with a couple scoops of the hot black bean mixture, and a large spoonful of both the salsa and the Avocado-Lime Sauce. Garnish with sliced green onion and optional sliced grape tomatoes. Serve immediately.
- * Why the use of refined coconut oil? Unlike virgin coconut oil, refined coconut oil doesn't have a noticeable coconut flavour. I use it whenever I don't want a coconut flavour to come through. That being said, if you don't mind a bit of coconut flavour feel free to use the virgin kind.
Nutrition Information(click to expand)
Photography credit: Ashley McLaughlin Photography
I recently heard that Oh She Glows won “Favorite Blog” in the 14th annual Veggie Awards™. Even though I never feel quite deserving of such a title given the immense talent in our plant-based community, I’m so grateful for those of you who love what I do and take the time to vote. You guys inspire me to grow and improve in so many ways! My 7-year “blogiversary” was on Halloween (seriously, I can’t believe it has been that long!), and this blog would be nothing without YOU. My favourite part of blogging is that I’ve met so many incredible people over the years, so just know that if you’ve ever taken time to leave a comment or said hello in person, it’s not something I take lightly. Or, if you’ve made a recipe and enjoyed it with your family, even better!
Ps – Thanks for all your reviews on the Pumpkin Gingerbread Muffins! So glad you are enjoying them.