This Mexicano Power Bowl is a total fiesta of flavors, textures and even temperatures… it’s warm, it’s cold, It’s creamy, crunchy, crisp, tangy, sour, spicy and smoky, and all at once! It’ll flat out have you Olé, Olé!
Power Bowls are all the rage these days and with very good reason: not only are these things crazy yummy, but they also happen to be a nutrition powerhouse. They’re a one-bowl, uncomplicated, versatile and highly customizable way to eat healthy, nutritious, wholesome food.
A typical Power Bowl starts with a base of nutrient-rich whole grains, or similar substitute, which then gets topped with a colorful variety of fresh or roasted veggies, some type of protein — good vegan options include beans, tempeh, marinated tofu or even seitan — and a little something for crunch, such as croutons, nuts, seeds or… tortilla chips! A generous drizzle of dressing then pulls all these ingredients together and sort of sets the tone for your Power Bowl.
Indeed, you can very easily make your Power Bowl match any cuisine or taste profile that you are in the mood for, be it Mediterranean, Mexican, Asian, Thai, Indian, by simply changing up the garnishes and dressing. Of course, I would be sharing a recipe for a Mexican inspired Power Bowl with you today… you’re not surprised, are you?
Granted, Power Bowls do demand a little bit of time and effort to put together, but really, it’s not as bad as it looks… most of the prep work you can do while your base grain is cooking. And more often than not, you’ll be waiting for you grain to be done cooking to assemble your bowls.
Also too, you can prep all kinds of veggies on the week-end and have them last you all week, so you can then build a different Power Bowl each night to fit the mood you’re in.
Or, well, you can just make this Mexicano Power Bowl exactly as it stands… it’s a really good place to start, I swear. You won’t be sorry you did!
Unless you happen to have some kind of cooked grain leftover in the fridge (in which case you’d still want to slightly reheat it) start by cooking up some rice, or quinoa, or any other grain of your choice according to the directions on the package.
Me, I chose to use Lundberg’s Wild Blend of rice, but really any kind of grain would work here. Quinoa, barley, farro, millet, sorghum, buckwheat or even bulgur, for instance, would all be very suitable options! No matter what kind of grain you choose to use, you should need approximately 1-1/2 cups of dry to get the desired amount of cooked grains.
While your base grain is cooking, you’ll have plenty of time to prep all your veggies, make the black bean salsa and crazy tasty Creamy Lime Chipotle Dressing.
A FEW TIPS WORTH MENTIONING: If you are using frozen corn kernels, there’s really no need to cook the corn first; simply leave it in the fridge to thaw overnight, or rinse it under cold running water until it’s completely thawed and then drain it well.
Also, I find that spiralizing the beet as opposed to grating is a lot easier on the fingers (i.e. they won’t stain as badly…) since you don’t need to touch it as much! No need to peel it, either: just clean it really well, trim off the ends and then spiralize or grate away. Trust me, leaving that peel will greatly help in keeping your fingers beet-stain free.
Lastly, you might want to wait until the very end to slice your avocado and top your bowl with it, as avocados tend to brown when exposed to air.
Once the veggies are prepped, make the black bean salsa; rinse and drain a can of black beans and then place them in a medium bowl along with the chopped cilantro, red onion and jalapeno pepper. Set that aside for now… we’ll be adding a few tablespoons of dressing to that to make it explode with flavor, but first, we’ll need to make said dressing…
To make this Creamy Lime Chipotle Dressing, place some non-dairy yogurt of your choice, vegan mayonnaise, chopped cilantro, garlic, maple syrup, lime juice and a bunch of spices to a small food processor.
Process until reduced to a yummy, creamy dressing, about 30 seconds.
Add a few tablespoons of that dressing to the black bean salsa…
…and stir to combine. You are now ready to assemble your power bowls. Well, providing that your base grain is done cooking, that is!
Divide the cooked warm rice (or any other grain you may have chosen to use) between 4 fairly large bowls.
Top with a few spoonfuls of the black bean salsa and then arrange all of your lovely prepped veggies around the bowl…
Now slice up that avocado and add it to the top of the bowl, along with the roasted pepitas and a few corn tortilla chips, if you choose to use them.
Corn tortilla chips… they just make everything more Mexican, don’t they?
Lastly, drizzle some of that crazy yummy Creamy Lime Chipotle Dressing all over the top of your Power Bowl and dig right in!
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Mexicano Power Bowl
For the base
- 3-4 cups cooked brown rice or quinoa or grain of your choice* I used Lundberg's Wild Blend
For the veggies
- 2 cups baby greens or spring mix
- 1 cup corn kernels thawed, canned or fresh (drain well if applicable)**
- 2 medium carrots grated
- 1 small beet spiralized (or grated)***
- 1 medium tomato cut into 12 wedges
- 1 avocado sliced
For the black bean salsa
- 1 14oz can black beans rinsed and drained
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves finely chopped
- 1/2 small red onion finely diced
- 1 jalapeno pepper seeded and finely chopped
- 2-3 tbps lime chipotle dressing from below recipe
For the creamy lime chipotle dressing
- 1/2 cup non-dairy plain yogurt
- 1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 small clove garlic
- 3 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp salt I use Himalayan salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp chipotle powder or more or less to taste
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- Roasted Pepitas
- Corn Tortilla Chips
Cook the rice (or quinoa or grain of your choice) according to the directions on the package.
- Meanwhile, prep your veggies****, make the black bean salsa and lime chipotle dressing.
- To make the black bean salsa, rinse and drain a can of black beans and then place them in a medium bowl along with the chopped cilantro, red onion and jalapeno peppers. Set aside.
- Next, make the lime chipotle dressing: add all the ingredients to a small food processor and process until reduced to a creamy dressing, about 30 seconds.
- Add a few tablespoons of that dressing to the black bean salsa and stir to combine.
- To assemble the power bowls: Divide the rice (or any grain you chose to use) between 4 fairly large bowls. Top with spoonfuls of the black bean salsa, prepped veggies and choices of garnish. Drizzle with the creamy lime chipotle dressing and dig right in!
*You'll need approximately 1-1/2 cups dry to get the required amount of cooked grains.
**If using frozen corn kernels, there’s no need to cook the corn first, really; just leave it in the fridge to thaw overnight, or rinse it under cold running water until it's completely thawed and then drain it well.
***I find that spiralizing the beet as opposed to grating is a lot less messy since you don't need to touch it as much! No need to peel it, either: just clean it really well, trim off the ends and then spiralize or grate away. Leaving the peel will greatly help in keeping your fingers beet stain free.
****You might want to wait until the very end to slice your avocado and top your bowl with it, to avoid browning.