Mexican Black Bean Rice Bowl

I adore the sun. When I’m outside in it, I swear that every cell in my body tingles with joy. Maybe that’s just all that vitamin D I’m absorbing, but I think on a deep emotional level, I know my little cells are sublimely happy.

And now as I stare outside my window at the Toronto street below, a haze of flurries blocks my view. The sun is nowhere to be seen. It’s not that I hate winter, it’s the lack of sun that often accompanies this season that makes it so difficult to get through. On the day that I developed this recipe, I had not seen the sun for 3-4 days. I knew I had to get out of my winter funk by creating a little taste of the south to remind me of the fresh summer flavours I’d long forgotten.

Mexican Black Bean Bowl - truefoodlove

Mexican Black Bean Bowl – truefoodlove

One of my favourite vegetarian restaurants in Toronto is Fresh for healthy food. Unfortunately where I live, it’s not the most convenient place to visit for a bite when I’m craving something from there, especially when it’s below zero outside and all I want to do is huddle under a warm blanket. Since I couldn’t go down south, I was going to bring it up north! I created an inspired rice bowl with the fresh flavours of Mexico: cilantro, cumin and chili powder. And you know what? After eating it I have to say I felt a little sunnier. 🙂

Mexican Rice Bowl - truefoodlove

Mexican Rice Bowl – truefoodlove

Not only did it boost my mood, the amazing health and nutrition benefits I was getting from these true foods made it all the more tastier!

  • Black beans: a great source of protein and fibre, support the digestive tract, contain several anthocyanins and flavonoids
  • Cilantro: known for its detoxification and alkalinizing properties it binds to heavy metals such as mercury and removes them from tissues in the body
  • Avocado: high in carotenoids, helps reduce inflammation, source of monounsaturated fat which lowers cholesterol

Of course to really obtain all the benefits of the following foods, they really should be organic, particularly those in the Dirty Dozen group.

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt and pepper
  • 1/4 red onion chopped
  • 1 avocado cubed
  • 1/2 red pepper chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels (brought to room temperature)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (garnish)

Method:

  1. Rinse brown rice and add to pot with 2 cups vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, cover the pot and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for 40-45 minutes until cooked.
  2. In the meantime, rinse black beans well under running water. In a small pot over medium-low heat, add beans, garlic, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper and a little bit of water/oil  to prevent them from sticking. When heated through (about 5-7 minutes) take off heat.
  3. Assemble bowls by putting a cup of brown rice at the bottom of each bowl, adding about 1/4 cup black beans and sprinkling the rest of the ingredients over top, ending with the cilantro. If you’re making this for a casual dinner, place all the ingredients in separate bowls and allow people to assemble their own bowls adding whatever ingredients they prefer.

You could also add salsa, tomatoes, sour cream and cheese (if you’re not vegan) and green onions. Let me know if you have any suggestions for other types of flavours of rice bowls below. I’ve already had dreams of a Greek style bowl with olives, parsley, dill, tomatoes and cucumbers.

Be well! 🙂

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