Quinoa & Black Bean Burrito Bowl
For a fresh take on your quinoa bowl, pair quinoa with spicy black beans and fresh veggies for an easy, healthy dinner.
Serves: 2 • Cook Time: Super quick!
Quinoa Bowls: Black Beans, Quinoa, the perfecto Burrito Bowl
A quick, healthy & delicious quinoa recipe
One of my favourite ways to make a quick and healthy dinner is to throw together a quinoa bowl. This is a great catch-all term for just lots of healthy ingredients, simply cooked… There’s usually some sort of carb-y base, like rice or potatoes (or they can be salad-based, if you’re on a low-carb diet), which is topped with plenty of vegetables, a tasty sauce, perhaps some crumbled nuts… the possibilities are endless and they’re really easy to throw together, which is why I’m so in love with dinner bowls!
Quinoa is one of my favourite ingredients to use as the base of a dinner quinoa bowl. Quinoa is quick and easy to cook, it’s filling (yet not too heavy), and since quinoa doesn’t have much flavour it can be dressed up to fit any flavor profile. In the past I’ve made Thai curry quinoa bowls, roasted chickpea quinoa bowls, tikka quinoa bowls… I just look in the fridge and see what I think might work (and sometimes, what jars of flavor are just about to go out of date!). Since I’m completely obsessed with Mexican food, this time I decided to make burrito quinoa bowls using all my favourite Mexican flavours.
Burrito bowls are usually made with rice but these Burrito-Quinoa bowls are a much healthier alternative. Quinoa contains more dietary fibre, more protein, and more magnesium, potassium and iron than rice. Rice and quinoa are both comforting and filling bases for a dish, but with quinoa you’re getting much more bang for your buck.
The quinoa in these burrito bowls is simply cooked, but this time I boiled it in vegetable stock rather than in plain water. Often it’s fine to boil your quinoa in water, like I did when making my pizza quinoa stuffed mushrooms; since we were adding a tasty tomato sauce anyway, it didn’t impact the flavor of the dish. But with quinoa that will be served plain, simply changing from water to stock makes an enormous difference in flavour, even after the excess stock has been drained away. Make sure you use a good quality stock, and consider going for a low sodium version.
Fancy something hot and spicy?
Add more chili powder or a touch of cayenne pepper to your quinoa bowl.
Alongside the quinoa, the other stars of this Mexican flavor-fest are the black beans, which are drenched in a homemade enchilada sauce that’s out of this world – and I don’t use that phrase lightly! The sauce recipe is based off a really old recipe from my own blog, but I used slightly different spices this time. Fancy something hot and spicy? Add a bit more chili powder, or a touch of cayenne pepper. In the mood for a milder sauce with your quinoa bowl? Stick to more aromatic spices like cumin and paprika. Only have cinnamon in the cupboard? Well… perhaps give this one a miss for now.
Making your own enchilada sauce may sound like a bit of a headache, but it actually couldn’t be easier. It’s just tomato purée, spices, and a splash of hot water to get the sauce to the correct consistency. It is the work of minutes.
Toppings for your burrito quinoa bowls
As with a lot of my recipes, these quinoa bowls are more of a general framework than a set of strict rules; you can pile your bowls high with all sorts of things, as long as they fit the general theme.
Alongside the enchilada-style black beans and, of course, the quinoa itself, I piled my burrito bowls high with lettuce, cherry tomatoes, fresh coriander, and spring onions – lots of lovely, fresh ingredients that made my burrito bowls feel nice and light.
Some other topping ideas could be?
– jalapeño peppers (I love using the pickled ones, because you can throw them straight on top without any extra prep. Laziness prevails…)
– a squeeze of fresh lime
– a handful of grated cheese (either a standard cheddar, or something a bit spicy!)
– fresh avocado or guacamole
– sour cream
If you’re cooking for yourself, it’s best to stick to just a few additional toppings in your quinoa bowl: remember, these are meant to be quick and easy dinner bowls so there’s no point in getting carried away, much as I would love a bit of everything! However if you’re cooking for a crowd, try creating a spread with all the different toppings in their own individual bowls, so everyone can help themselves to their own preferred combinations. It’s a low-effort way of cooking for a crowd that ensures everyone’s getting something they like.
Your burrito-quinoa bowls will look the prettiest if you use a fairly small bowl and pile the toppings high, keeping them separate like I did. But it’s much more practical to use a nice big bowl and just dig right in. Once you’re enjoying the beautifully fluffy quinoa with the spicy beans and crunchy lettuce, you’re really not going to care about what it looks like in the bowl.
Have you ever used quinoa as the base of a dinner bowl? Don’t forget to share your favourite topping combinations over on the Forq app; I am always looking for new inspiration!
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Here’s how to make this delicious Quinoa Bowl recipe!
Small bunch fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped
Boil the quinoa in the vegetable stock until it is soft and the spiral-shaped germ has detached, then drain.
Meanwhile, pour the oil into a small saucepan over a low heat. Add the oil and spices, and whisk until smooth. Add the tomato puree, then add the hot water a little at a time, whisking until smooth. Add the drained black beans, and mix tom combine.
Serve the cooked quinoa and black beans with chopped lettuce, cherry tomatoes, chopped spring onions and fresh coriander.
The final masterpiece
- 100g (~1/2 cup) quinoa
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp hot chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 150ml (~1/2 cup) hot water
- 400g tin black beans, drained (240g, or ~1 cup when drained)
- 1 baby gem lettuce, chopped
- 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 spring onion, sliced
- Small bunch fresh coriander, chopped
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Who’s Cooking Today
Becca Pusey is a freelance recipe developer and food writer based in Hertfordshire, UK. She blogs over at Amuse Your Bouche, where she shares her favourite simple vegetarian recipes using everyday ingredients. She aims to show that vegetarian food can be just as easy to make, just as satisfying, and just as tasty as any meat dish. Oh, and she likes cheese, a lot.
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