Before we begin, I want to state that I’ve referred to this as a “Brazilian Bowl” because it’s inspired by one of the dishes from Sage Organic Vegan Bistro in Los Angeles. Sage’s lunch menu lists the Brazilian Bowl as “kale, black beans, plantain, guacamole, jalapeño, pico de gallo, leeks and crimini mushroom, served with rice or quinoa“. I love anything with avocado and/or plantains, so I was like “GIMME”.
Elementally speaking, half of the ingredients in this bowl are more Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, or Peruvian (o hai quinoa!) and the only “Brazilian” ingredient would be the black beans – kinda. That is, if you prepared them in the style of feijoada, Brazil’s national dish. So really, it’s more like a “Latin American Bowl”, with bits and bobs from several Spanish-speaking countries.
Regardless, this is a 100% plant-based (vegan!) entree that has a ton of protein and healthy fats, and nutrients like lycopene from the tomatoes and vitamin C from the lime juice. Not only is it super nutritious, it’s filling and you can prepare most of the components in advance and just throw everything together when you’re ready to eat it.
A Few Liberties That I Took
- I prepared my beans in a style inspired by Cuban Moros y Cristianos.
- I used long grain white rice instead of brown rice or quinoa because I already had a bunch prepared and I’m lazy.
- I forgot to add kale and jalapenos because I was hungry when making this today, and it was still delicious.
Not-Quite-Brazilian Bowl (Inspired by Sage Vegan Bistro)
1 cup cooked rice (you can use brown rice or quinoa)
1 15 oz can organic black beans, drained and rinsed
1 4.5 oz can of diced green chiles
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 cup water
1 T coconut or avocado oil
8 oz crimini mushrooms, sliced
2 ripe plantains
1 T coconut oil
pico de gallo (recipe here)
Preheat your oven to 450F. Slice off the ends of the plantains and use your knife to cut a slit down the length of the fruit. Plantain skin doesn’t come off as easily as a banana’s does, but you can peel off the skin in the same way. Slice the peeled plantain at a diagonal, about 1/2″ thick. Toss in melted coconut oil, lay on a baking sheet, and bake for 15 minutes, turning once halfway through, until plantains are golden brown and very tender. To caramelize them a little more, I sometimes finish them off in a nonstick pan, browning both sides.
In a separate pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until translucent, about two minutes. Add garlic, then add drained beans, chiles, and cumin. Add water and a sprinkling of salt, cover, and lower the heat to a simmer. Gently cook for about 10-15 minutes until the beans have softened but still hold a little bit of shape – add water to keep the beans from sticking to the bottom. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
In another pan, saute the sliced mushrooms in coconut oil until soft, add salt to taste.
To prepare the bowl: add 1/2 cup of rice to the bottom of a bowl. Add a layer of beans, layer of mushrooms, top with pico de gallo and avocado, then garnish with a few (or many) slices of plantain.
- To make it truer to the Sage Cafe version, after sauteeing your mushrooms, use the same pan to saute some torn lacinato (dino) kale. Add the kale in another layer.
- To make it heartier, add diced roasted sweet potatoes.
- To make it spicier, add pickled jalapeños as a garnish.