This colorful Mexican-inspired vegan bowl with easy-to-prepare Garlicky Black Beans contains the vegan holy trinity of beans, greens, and grains, along with a rainbow of veggies. Top it with a creamy avocado lime ranch dressing and crunchy oil-free pepitas and you've got yourself a nourishing, satisfying, comforting meal.
I love a good Buddha bowl (aka grain bowl, power bowl, hippie bowl, nourish bowl, rainbow bowl, macro bowl... and who knows what other trendy names).
One of the highlights in this bowl is the easy garlicky black beans. Sure, you could use plain ol' black beans, but why not take a few extra minutes to season a can of beans and take the flavor up a notch? I think you'll be glad you did.
You can also prep the ingredients for Mexican Buddha Bowls ahead of time so you can quickly put a nutritious meal together for a work lunch or an easy dinner on a busy weeknight. To do this, cook your quinoa, beans, kale, and corn ahead of time and let them cool. Keep everything refrigerated separately and assemble your glorious bowl of goodness when you're ready to eat.
- These buddha bowls are vegan, oil-free, and gluten-free (depending on the grain you use).
- They're hella good-for-you! You can't really go wrong with beans, grains, and a ton of veggies. Plus, they're pretty. Food always tastes better when it's pretty!
- They're super quick and easy and excellent for meal prep.
The full recipe is in the recipe card at the end of this post, but here's a quick look at the ingredients you'll need to make your very own Mexican Buddha Bowl.
- canned black beans
- cumin powder
- cooked grain of your choice (quinoa, brown rice, barley, farro, etc.)
- corn kernels, fresh or frozen (steam if using frozen) (40g)
- red cabbage
- radishes, thinly sliced
- raw pepitas or Easy Oil-Free Roasted Pepitas
- Avocado Lime Ranch Dressing
- optional garnishes - chopped cilantro, lime wedges
First, add your garlicky black beans ingredients to a pot.
Next, put the corn and kale in a mesh strainer over the top of the beans and cover it with a lid. Let it simmer until the beans are heated through, the corn is thawed, and the kale starts to wilt and turn a beautiful bright green.
Now it's time to assemble your bowl! I like to start by mixing the kale and cabbage together on the bottom of the bowl before adding the beans and grain. The rest of the veggies (tomato, radishes, and corn) come next. Finally, I add the Avocado Lime Ranch Dressing and sprinkle the pepitas on top, along with any other garnishes, like cilantro and a squeeze of lime.
Mix it all up and DIG IN!
Substitutions and Variations
Here are some ideas for substitutions you can try.
- Quinoa - instead of quinoa, you can use cooked brown rice, barley, farro, or another grain
- Black beans - use pinto beans or a tri-bean blend instead of black beans
- Kale - the kale can be replaced with finely chopped collard greens, swiss chard, or spinach
You can really play around with any of the veggies in this bowl. Nothing is a required ingredient! Have some fun to make the bowl your very own.
- Cook your quinoa ahead of time. I like to make a big batch, let it cool, and freeze it in ½ cup portions. If you do this, you can add the frozen quinoa to the strainer when you steam the kale and corn (as long as the mesh is fine enough that the quinoa won't fall through).
Did you make this recipe? Please let me know how it turned out! Leave a rating and comment below, and share a picture on Instagram and tag me (@thethrobbingeggplant).