The star of these vegan buddha bowls are citrusy black beans. Layered with quinoa and roasted sweet potatoes then topped with avocado and cilantro, the end result is a nutrient-dense meal packed with flavor. These bowls are a satisfying, crave-worthy vegan meal.
Roasted the sweet potatoes. Heat the oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, toss the diced sweet potatoes with the olive oil, salt, paprika and garlic powder. Spread the sweet potatoes evenly over the baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and roast for 35-45 minutes, tossing occasionally to ensure even browning.
Make the citrus black beans. Heat a dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the oil and heat until it shimmers. Add the onions to the oil and sautee, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, 5-6 minutes. Add the garlic and sautee until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomato paste, chili powder, oregano, cumin, paprika, and pinch of cinnamon and work the spices and tomato paste into the onions and garlic until incorporated and fragrant.
Add the black beans and their liquids, bell pepper, and orange juice to the pot and stir until all ingredients are well mixed. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is absorbed, the sauce is thick, and the bell peppers are soft. Stir in the reserved orange juice and lime juice. Taste for seasoning and add salt to taste (canned black beans have a lot of salt, so you may not need any).
While the black beans simmer, make the quinoa.Place the quinoa into a sieve, rinse with cooling running water until the water runs clear, then transfer into a 2-quart saucepan. Cover with 2 cups water or broth and add ½ tsp salt. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed. Turn off the heat, and keep covered an additional 10 minutes.
Prepare additional garnishes while the quinoa and black beans simmer - slice onions and radishes, dice avocado, crumble the queso fresco, and chop the cilantro.
Compose the black bean buddha bowls. Layer the cooked quinoa, roasted sweet potatoes, and citrus black beans into bowls. Garnish to taste, and serve immediately.
The nutrition calculation for this recipe incorporates the black beans, sweet potatoes and quinoa, plus 1/4 avocado and 1 tbsp cilantro per bowl.
This recipe calls for using canned black beans and their liquid - this isn't a typo! The canning liquid contains starch, which will help thicken the beans and mimics the texture of scratch-cooked beans.
Hold off on seasoning with salt until the very end - the canning liquid contains quite a bit of salt, so you likely won't need to add any at all.
Need more spice? Use up to two teaspoons chili powder and/or add a minced jalapeno along with a portion of its seeds to the black beans in Step 3.