Vegan(ish) Mexican Sweet Potato Grain Bowls

We are back with another fun vegan(ish) recipe! We say vegan(ish) because we did add cheese to this recipe, but it can easily be omitted or substituted with a vegan alternative. One of the keys to eating vegan is attempting to reject the traditional concept that a meal needs to be “a protein, carb, and veggie”. It’s easy to feel stuck trying to fit that mold. Instead, we try to focus on changing the terminology to eating “plant-based”, where a meal can be made up of a bunch of different vegetables. This recipe has a bunch of different veggies and proteins that we bring together with a kick-ass, cilantro lime vinaigrette. These bowls are filling and really tasty; so much so that we promise that when you eat it you won’t be missing the meat.

Vegan(ish) Mexican Sweet Potato Grain Bowls

Makes: 4 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients for the Bowls:

  • 2 medium-large sweet potatoes, scrubbed and chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups mixed grains (we used brown rice and farro but use what you have)*
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained, patted try with paper towel
  • 1 tbs chili-lime seasoning (Tajin), divided
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 4 cups arugula
  • 1 avocado, quartered
  • 1/2 cup cotija cheese (you can leave this off if you want the recipe totally vegan)
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for the Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • juice of two limes
  • 1/2 cup packed cilantro
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Lay the sweet potatoes on a cookie sheet. Drizzle with 2 tbs olive oil and 2 tbs of the chili-lime seasoning. Toss to coat. Lay in a single layer and bake in the oven until tender, about 30 minutes.
  3. While the sweet potatoes are cooking, cook the grains. Heat 3 cups of water to a boil and add the grains you are using with a pinch of salt. Cook until tender, about 30 minutes.
  4. Prepare the chickpeas by laying them on a second cookie sheet. Drizzle 1 tbs olive oil and the remaining 1 tsp chili-lime seasoning over top. Toss to coat and lay them back in a single layer. When the sweet potatoes have cooked for about 20 minutes, add the chickpeas to the oven. Cook for the remaining 10 minutes with the sweet potatoes.
  5. While the chickpeas are cooking, prepare the dressing. Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a small blender. Blend until smooth and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. When the grains, sweet potatoes, and chickpeas have finished cooking, prepare the bowls for serving. Layer 1 cup arugula, 2/3 cup of the mixed grains, and 1/4 of the sweet potatoes in each of four bowls. Top each bowl with approximately 1/4 cup chickpeas, 1/4 of an avocado, a few slices of red onion, and 2 tbs of crumbled Cotija. Divide the dressing among the bowls and serve immediately.

**You can buy frozen, pre-cooked brown rice or quinoa and save a step by just reheating to serve.

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