I seem to be on a roll with the Southwestern/Mexican-inspired dishes these days.
My last post was Chipotle Quinoa with Black Beans, and today I have one of my favorite vegan dishes, Avocado Rice Bowls with a fresh homemade tomato salsa and really yummy cilantro-lime dressing (plus crunchy tortilla chips)!
I love this dish because it’s so fresh-tasting and really flavorful.
With hearty black beans and creamy avocado, it’s also very rich and filling.
And the easy homemade dressing – with hints of fresh herbs, sweet honey (or agave), and zesty lime – is the key to bringing every ingredient together to create a complete meal, all in one bowl.
It’s no wonder I’m getting lots of Southwestern/Mexican inspiration lately.
This type of cooking makes it easy to bring together tons of fresh and nutrient-rich ingredients into craveable, super-flavorful dishes.
I’ve also been on a roll weather-wise in my part of the world (and the warm and sunny forecast continues through early September…) so Meat-and-Potatoes-Guy and I have had tons of opportunities for fun new hikes with Calvin.
I captured this shot from the top of Mt. Mansfield in Stowe, Vermont.
It’s a beautiful town to explore, and the views from the top of Mt. Mansfield are really stunning and expansive.
Take a photo from the top, and it looks like you’re floating in the clouds!
For the step-by-step on how to prepare these bowls, begin with these ingredients.
Drain and thoroughly rinse some black beans.
Then grab some scallions (green onions) and chop off the root ends.
Thinly slice them (you can line up about three at once and chop them together in one line), keeping the white and pale green parts and discarding the dark green ends.
The scallions are a key ingredient in this dish, because they add such a tasty, really delicate onion-y flavor.
Also grab a handful of fresh cilantro leaves, and chop that up too.
Next, dice up a couple of tomatoes.
And chop both ends off of a jalapeño pepper …
…and then cut it into quarters.
Cut all of the seeds out of the insides and discard (they’re really hot!)
Then finely dice up the pepper.
For a mild salsa, use just one quarter of the pepper.
For a spicier salsa, try half of the jalapeño.
(Taste the salsa after you’ve prepared it, and you can add additional jalapeño at that time if you’d like more spice.)
Next, squeeze all of the juice from a few limes.
Then prepare an avocado.
Cut it in half lengthwise. You’ll feel a large pit in the center, just cut around it.
Twist the two sides you’ve cut in opposite directions to pull apart the two halves.
Then use a spoon to scoop out the pit.
Cut thin slices of avocado.
And then use the spoon to scoop the avocado from the skin.
Avocado tends to begin browning as soon as the skin is removed, so to keep it beautifully green, immediately pour a couple of tablespoons of the fresh lime juice all over it (reserve the rest of the lime juice for the cilantro-lime dressing).
Next step: prepare a package of garlic and herb rice (either in the microwave or on the stove top) according to the package instructions.
I love using a garlic and herb rice (versus plain rice) in this recipe because the rice has a starring role in the dish and the seasoning blend adds so much flavor.
While the rice is cooking away, heat up a bit of sunflower oil (or organic canola oil) in a small skillet over medium-low heat.
Then toss in the black beans along with some frozen sweet corn kernels, season with a bit of salt, and cook until they’re heated through.
Time Saver Method: (the method I like to use!) combine the black beans and corn in a heat-safe bowl and warm them up in the microwave until they’re heated through.
Then prepare the salsa.
Set aside a tablespoon of the chopped green onion and a tablespoon of the cilantro.
Then stir and combine all of the remaining green onion and cilantro with the diced tomato and jalapeño.
Season with a bit of salt, and set it aside.
Last step: prepare the cilantro-lime dressing.
In a small mixing bowl, add some sunflower or organic canola oil, the freshly squeezed lime juice, a bit of honey or agave, some ground cumin, and a bit of garlic powder.
Add that tablespoon of green onion and tablespoon of cilantro you set aside earlier.
Season it all thoroughly with salt and whisk until everything is well combined.
Then, assembly time.
Spoon equal portions of the cooked rice, the black bean and corn mixture, and the homemade salsa into six serving bowls.
Add a few slices of avocado, and drizzle the cilantro-lime dressing all over everything.
Very critical last step: Top off each bowl with a few crushed tortilla chips!
(The tortilla chips are so important for adding that delicious crunch to complement the rich and creamy avocado and black beans!)
I love, love this dish because it’s so fresh tasting with lots of interesting, bright flavors like zesty lime, sweet corn, and savory green onion.
It’s a complete, nutrient-rich, vegan dish, all in one bowl (and bursting with flavor)!