Jun 15, 2016

Brown Rice, Black Bean & Sweet Potato Bowl

Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
I love this protein packed bowl filled with chorizo made from soy, brown rice, black beans, sweet potatoes, lettuce, guacamole and sour cream.

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I love this protein packed bowl filled with chorizo made from soy, brown rice, black beans, sweet potatoes, lettuce, guacamole and sour cream. This recipe is based off a dish that I had at Gracias Madre in West Hollywood. The restaurant is a vegan Mexican joint and I know it sounds crazy but even meat lovers will enjoy this place. They make their food in such a way that you don’t even realize you’re missing meat. I have been asked by some people to include some more vegan recipes on my site and while I am not vegan I love a good healthy meal that tastes good too!

Brown Rice, Black Bean & Sweet Potato Bowl

brown rice black bean bowl recipe from cooking with cocktail rings

Key Ingredients for This Recipe

  • Soyrizo – Soyrizo is a plant-based alternative to pork chorizo. The soy is ground to a similar texture to chorizo and seasoned with plenty of spices. I really like the one sold at Trader Joe’s.
  • Black beans – Using dried beans takes some extra work since they need to be soaked prior to cooking but they are delicious. I typically use canned black beans in my recipes for a shortcut. Drain the beans of the liquid from the can and rinse in water prior to using.
  • Sweet potato – Sweet potatoes are a nutritious root vegetable with bright orangey flesh. Sweet potatoes have a naturally sweet flavor. As they are roast the sugars slightly caramelize for a delicious side. 
  • Brown rice – Because brown rice is a whole grain rice it’s considered a healthier alternative. It has a low glycemic index and contains the outer parts of the grain, the bran and the germ which are removed in the production of white rice.
  • Avocado – When shopping for avocados, look for ones that are firm but “give” slightly when gently squeezed in your hand. You can also remove the top stem, though I prefer to call it a nub, at the top of the avocado – if you remove it and it is green, it’s most likely ready to eat. If it’s brown then it’s probably overripe.
brown rice black bean bowl recipe from cooking with cocktail rings

How to Make This Black Bean and Sweet Potato Rice Bowl

  1. Cook the rice. Combine 2 cups of water, rice and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer, and cook, covered, until all of the water is absorbed. Let the rice stand for 10 minutes and fluff with a fork.
  2. Heat oven. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
  3. Heat the beans. Heat the beans in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, 1 tablespoon water, cumin and cayenne and let simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Bake the sweet potatoes. Toss the sweet potatoes in the remaining olive oil and spread in a single layer on an aluminum-foil-lined baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper then bake until golden brown and cooked through, about 20 minutes.
  5. Cook the soyrizo. In a small sauté pan over medium heat, add the soyrizo and break it into pieces. Cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked through and lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
  6. Assemble and serve. To serve, dvide the lettuce between two large bowls. Scoop ½ cup brown rice into each of the bowls then divide black beans over the top. Add the sweet potato and soyrizo to the bowls then top with guacamole, pico de gallo, sour cream and pepitas.
brown rice and black bean healthy bowl closeup

Tips and Tricks for This Recipe

  • This is a very budget friendly recipe! If you’re looking to narrow down the ingredient list to make it an even cheaper option – try swapping the pico de gallo for a chopped Roma tomato, and omitting the sour cream and pepitas (although I like the mixture of creaminess and crunch they both add).
  • It’s very filling and while I add sour cream to the top for garnish you can omit it or use a non-dairy alternative to make the recipe completely vegan.
  • If you’re a meat lover and can’t give up that meat, use regular Mexican chorizo instead of the soyrizo.
  • Try swapping the brown rice for crispy rice or white rice.

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this recipe, I recommend checking out some of these:

Brown Rice, Black Bean & Sweet Potato Bowl

Print Pin
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup long-grain brown rice
  • 1 12-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup chopped sweet potato
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as needed
  • 6 ounces soyrizo (I use Trader Joe’s brand)
  • 3 cups chopped hearts of romaine lettuce
  • 1 medium avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced
  • ½ cup pico de gallo
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons pepitas

Instructions:

  • Combine 2 cups of water, rice and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer, and cook, covered, until all of the water is absorbed. Let the rice stand for 10 minutes and fluff with a fork.
  • Preheat oven to 400ºF (200ºC).
  • Heat the beans in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, 1 tablespoon water, cumin and cayenne and let simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Toss the sweet potatoes in the remaining olive oil and spread in a single layer on an aluminum-foil-lined baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper then bake until golden brown and cooked through, about 20 minutes.
  • In a small sauté pan over medium heat, add the soyrizo and break it into pieces. Cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked through and lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
  • To serve: Divide the lettuce between two large bowls. Scoop ½ cup brown rice into each of the bowls then divide black beans over the top. Add the sweet potato and soyrizo to the bowls then top with guacamole, pico de gallo, sour cream and pepitas.

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