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Vegan Southwest Bowl

Roasted cauliflower, black beans, red rice, and guacamole served in a bowl with a lime wedge and garnished with cilantro

This vegan southwest bowl is healthy, flavorful and fairly easy to put together. The combination of rice, spiced cauliflower, black beans, and guacamole is sure to please. I prefer to make red rice (arroz rojo) for this bowl – but you can substitute with other rice recipes, if desired, such as lime and cilantro rice.

Consider serving this southwest bowl with Siete Foods almond flour tortillas; heat them up first in a cast iron or non-stick skillet. Or – if you feel especially ambitious – serve with homemade tortillas such as my Gluten-Free Vegan Tortillas or the Potato Hummus Flatbread recipe in my cookbook.

Air Fryer

One of my sons surprised me with an air fryer for Christmas. I’ve been experimenting with it and I must say it works better than I expected! If you have an air fryer I suggest using it to make the cauliflower for this recipe. If you don’t have one don’t worry, you can roast the cauliflower instead.


Method Overview

Don’t be put off by the length of this recipe. Each part of this vegan southwest bowl is easy to make.

  • Prepare red rice
  • Air fry or roast cauliflower
  • Heat up black beans with spices
  • Make guacamole

Roasted cauliflower, black beans, red rice, and guacamole served in a bowl with a lime wedge and garnished with cilantro
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Vegan Southwest Bowl

This combination of red rice, spiced cauliflower, black beans, and guacamole is sure to please.
Course: main course
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: corn-free, gluten-free, nut-fee, plant based, soy-free, vegan, wheat-free
Servings: 4
Calories: 330kcal

Equipment

  • large covered skillet for cooking rice
  • air fryer – or parchment lined baking sheet for cooking cauliflower
  • small saucepan for preparing beans

Ingredients

Red Rice

  • 1 cup dry white basmati rice
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 pinch of cayenne , optional
  • 1-1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup salsa ; use a flavorful salsa for best results –– mild, medium, or spicy

Cauliflower

  • 1 medium-large head of cauliflower , cut into bite-sized florets
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika , or sweet paprika

Black Beans

  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, unsalted , do not drain the liquid in the can and do not rinse
  • 1/2 to 1 jalapeño pepper ; remove stem and seeds, then mince
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

Guacamole

  • 1 -1/2 avocados
  • 1 lime , juiced
  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves , minced
  • 1 small red onion , diced
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Instructions

To Make Red Rice

  • Rinse the rice using a fine mesh strainer. Leave it to drain, shaking occasionally.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat with a bit of onion. When it begins to gently sizzle, add the remaining onion and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, or until softened.
  • Add the drained rice to the skillet and cook for a few minutes, while stirring, until the rice becomes fragrant. Turn up the heat, if necessary, so the rice sizzles a bit.
  • Add the salt and spices. Stir, and cook for another 30 seconds.
  • Remove the pan from the heat for a couple of minutes to let it cool down; slowly stir in the broth and salsa.
  • Put the skillet back over medium-high heat. When it just reaches a lively simmer, give it a stir, then shake the pan so the rice spreads out evenly. Cover the pan and adjust the heat to the appropriate low setting so the rice continues to gently simmer.
  • Cook the rice for 15 minutes, stirring once midway through. After stirring, give the pan a shake so the rice spreads out evenly, and cover. Do this step quickly so the temperature doesn’t drop.
  • At the end of the cook time, taste the rice to check the consistency. If it is chewy instead of al dente, add 2 tablespoons of broth, shake the pan, cover, and cook for a few more minutes.
  • When the rice is cooked al dente, remove the skillet from the heat but leave it covered until ready to serve.

To Make Cauliflower (No air fryer? See roasting instructions below)

  • Cut the cauliflower into bite-sized florets. Wash, drain, and pat dry.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, mix the salt and spices together. Add the cauliflower florets and toss until evenly coated.
  • Preheat the air fryer to 400ºF.
  • Air fry for 18 to 20 minutes; flip the cauliflower, using a soft spatula, every 5 minutes so that it cooks evenly.

To Make Black Beans

  • Put the beans into a small saucepan. Add the jalapeño, salt, and spices; stir.
  • Warm up over low heat, then briefly mash the beans using a potato masher. Cover and remove from heat.
  • A few minutes before serving, uncover the pan and stir. Cook over medium-high heat, while stirring, until the beans are hot and the mixture has thickened.

To Make Guacamole

  • Put all of the ingredients into a small bowl.
  • Mash everything together, using the back of a fork or potato masher, until it's at desired consistency. I prefer to leave the guacamole a bit lumpy.

Notes

To Roast Cauliflower
  • Preheat the oven to 425ºF. 
  • Cut the cauliflower into bite-sized florets. Wash, drain, and pat dry.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, mix the salt and spices together. Add the cauliflower florets and toss until evenly coated.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Arrange the florets on the baking sheet in a single layer. Roast for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through.
 
 

Nutrition

Calories: 330kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 8.5g | Saturated Fat: 1.5g | Sodium: 312mg | Potassium: 901mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 870IU | Vitamin C: 90mg | Calcium: 90mg | Iron: 3mg

Vegan Southwest Bowl Serving Suggestions

Feel free to tweak the recipe to make this healthy bowl your own! Here are some ideas for optional ingredients.

  • Serve with tortillas or flatbread
  • Garnish with cilantro and lime wedges
  • Serve over a bed of greens

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