Mexican-style veggie bowl

Fresh Mexican-style veggie bowl recipe

I adapted this recipe from the veggie bowls (essentially naked burritos) served at a couple of different Mexican-style fast food places.  It’s a surprisingly filling lunch or dinner, and the components can be made ahead of time and assembled just before eating – I usually eat half when I first make it, and save half for the next day.  It’s delicious and fresh for Summer, or you might like to cook the tomato salsa (adding onion and mushrooms if you like them) to make a more warming meal in Winter.

Fresh Mexican-style veggie bowl

Serves 2-3


1 lime
2/3 cup rice (I like short grain brown rice)
2/3 cup black turtle beans (or kidney beans), soaked (or rinsed if using tinned)
1 vegetarian stock cube, vegetable or “chicken” flavour (e.g. Massel brand)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 2/3 cups (660mL) water (reduce to 1 2/3 cups/420mL if using tinned beans)
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 tsp ground coriander seeds
1 tsp sugar (optional)
1 cob of corn
1/4 cup fresh coriander, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
1/4 cup ranch or other creamy dressing

  1. Cook the rice and beans.  Put rice, beans, stock cube, cumin and water in a rice cooker (if you have one) to cook.  Otherwise, add them to a saucepan over high heat with the lid on.  Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to very low and simmer until all liquid is absorbed (about 15 minutes, but it will depend on the rice you used so keep an eye on it).  Turn off the heat and leave it to keep warm.rice with black beans
  2. Prepare the tomato salsa.  While the rice is cooking, chop tomatoes and place in a bowl with coriander and sugar.  Squeeze some lime juice over the top and stir to combine.  Set aside to marinate.fresh tomato salsa
  3. Prepare the corn and coriander.  Slice the kernels from the corn cob (try cutting the cob in half first so you can balance it on the cut end).  Chop the coriander and combine in a bowl with a squeeze of lime juice.corn and coriander
  4. Put it all together!  In 2 large bowls, layer rice and beans, tomato salsa (tip some of the juice over too), corn and coriander, and chopped avocado.  Drizzle over your dressing and enjoy!Mexican-style veggie bowl
  • I like to use the biodynamic short grain brown rice from Mrs Flannery’s health food store in Australia, that’s also where I buy the black turtle beans.
  • If you use dried beans, soak them for at least a couple of hours if possible, or overnight – you can soak and freeze beans and chickpeas in advance and store in the freezer until you’re ready to use them.
  • If you’ll be saving half, you can use storage containers instead of bowls in steps 2 and 3 to save washing up.
  • You can use tinned corn if necessary, but the fresh corn gives it a delicious crunch.
  • I omit the avocado if I don’t have a ripe one on hand.  If you like you can add grated cheese instead, on top of the rice layer.
quinoa with veggies

Hey, have you tried that quinoa stuff?

A work friend asked me if I’d ever eaten quinoa the other day.  I thought it was funny that she knew enough of my hippie leanings (and, okay, my love of food…) to pick me to ask about the latest weird wonder-food.

So, quinoa is one of those foods that’s supposed to be good for you.  I could go on about protein percentages and omega-3s, but the real reasons you’d be willing to pay the high price they’re charging for it are simple:

  • it’s easy to cook
  • it tastes good.

Plus, as an added bonus, you get to feel good about eating something that you know is supposed to be healthy, even if you can’t remember exactly why!

So, how to cook quinoa?  Basically like you’d cook rice (if you use the absorption method), but use less water.  A ratio of 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water or stock works best.  Bring it to the boil, cover and reduce the heat, and let it simmer until the liquid is absorbed.  Try not to overcook the bottom like my rice cooker does, it’s too expensive to waste like that!

Some people say that you should wash the grain before cooking to remove saponins (soapy compounds that make it taste bitter), but apparently some grain comes pre-washed.  It’s hard to tell if it’s been pre-washed, but if it seems to froth up when you add the water, you might want to tip it into a strainer and run some water through it before cooking.

Like many grains and seeds, it doesn’t taste like much on its own, so I usually add a vegetarian chicken-flavoured stock cube (Massel is a good brand in Australia) to the cooking water, and sometimes some rosemary too.  Throw some baked or steamed veggies on top, drizzle with dressing, and you’ve got a delicious meal!

Quinoa with veggies
Rosemary quinoa with baked pumpkin, cherry tomatoes and steamed broccolini


I’ll do a recipe post soon on the delicious quinoa and sweet potato burgers I had for lunch on the weekend.  Have you tried quinoa?  How do you like to serve it?

– Belinda

Welcome to Mainstream Hippiedom

Edward Abbey wrote, “do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am — a reluctant enthusiast… a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here.” (read the full quote on Wikiquote).

So here I find myself; with slight hippie leanings, and yet not quite prepared to “turn on, tune in, and drop out” (Timothy Leary) of my mainstream existence… yet!