Veggie burrito bowls

Veggie burrito bowls

My fiancé and I are trying to ‘eat clean’ for a little while – probably just a week, maybe two if we get into the swing of it. Eating clean can mean different things to different people – some people give up all grains, all dairy, etc. We’re taking it to mean only whole grains, nothing containing preservatives or other unpronounceable ingredients, no processed foods (within reason – it may be physically possible for us to churn our own butter, but that’s not going to happen), etc. It’s going well so far (today is Day 3), though I’m missing being able to have Quorn for protein – I don’t eat it anywhere near every day, but it’s an easy evening meal when you don’t have much time.

What I figure is, after a week without processed foods, I’ll be more aware when I begin to eat them again, and although I fully intend to introduce Quorn and some other processed foods back into my diet after this week is up, I might be less willing to reintroduce crisps, chocolate etc. That’s the plan anyway! Who’s taking bets?

Veggie burrito bowls

So this meal comes out of a desire to ‘eat clean’ while still eating good stuff. There’s nothing processed involved – just rice, black beans, cherry tomatoes, peppers… I didn’t even use tinned tomatoes because they contain an ‘acidity regulator’. For all I know, this might be entirely natural and fine to eat, but I thought it was better to be safe than sorry. Can you tell I have no idea what I’m doing here?

As you can see, we haven’t given up cheese – but we’re sticking to plain old cheddar (the ingredient list just consists of ‘mature white cheddar cheese’) rather than more processed cheeses like cream cheese or my beloved Boursin.

Veggie burrito bowls


If you’re into clean eating, do you used tinned tomatoes? Do you eat cheese and whole grains, or have you cut them out completely? I’d love any pointers or recipe ideas, and please feel free to tell me what I’ve done wrong (but make sure you’re nice about it or I might cry a bit).

Veggie burrito bowls
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main meal
Yield: 2
  • 100g brown rice
  • 1tbsp sunflower oil
  • 3 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bell pepper (I used green, but any colour will do)
  • ~12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1tsp hot chilli powder (adjust as desired!)
  • 1½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 x 400g tin black beans, drained (240g when drained)
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 40g cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
  1. Boil the brown rice according to the instructions on the packet.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large, deep frying pan, and cook the onions, garlic and pepper over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes, along with the chilli powder and paprika, and cook for a few more minutes. Squash the tomatoes a little with your spoon to release their juices. Add the black beans, and season to taste.
  3. When the rice is cooked, drain it and add it to the bean mixture. If the mixture seems a little dry, add a dash of water (you might not need it - it will depend on a few things, e.g. how much liquid your tomatoes released).
  4. When the mixture is hot and well combined, serve topped with the grated cheese and fresh coriander - I popped mine in the microwave for about a minute to melt the cheese.



  1. says

    Good for you guys! It takes a lot of dedication and awareness to do a cleanse of sorts. I’ve long wondered if eliminating dairy would have a positive effect for my body…but have never had the willpower to try for any length of time, haha.
    The processed foods is tricky, but again, really admirable! I love Quorn, too :)
    Eager to see what kinds of helpful advice you might receive! Though I wouldn’t say you’re ever doing anything *wrong*, no matter what someone else’s experience might be. Everyone’s bodies, diets and preferences are different, and what works for one person may not work for someone else. Just do what feels right for you guys!
    Christy@SweetandSavoring recently posted…My Life Experiences: Looking Back with AppreciationMy Profile

  2. says

    If this is what eating clean looks like, I’m in! That looks delicious. I could never give up cheese, but it is nice to cut out processed foods once in a while – I always feel healthier when I do. It’s so hard to resist when the treats make the rounds at the office though!

    • says

      Ooh quinoa would be a good substitute. I’m guessing no chickpeas allowed either? I reckon if you just amped up the toppings you’d get just as much enjoyment even without the beans – some fresh tomato on top, maybe some avocado? :)

  3. Shannon C says

    For me, when I do my “clean eating” , it would be no to cheese, but yes to tinned tomatoes – the opposite of you! But am a little sensitive to dairy so that’s mainly why. Anyway, the burrito bowl looks delicious and I bet the fresh tomatoes make it even better. Good luck!

    • says

      Ha well tbh I’m just making it up as I go along ;) my rule seems to be, if there’s anything weird sounding on the label, don’t eat it! But yeah I’d usually view tinned tomatoes as far healthier than cheese, I just can’t give up my cheese! ;)

  4. says

    Hi Becca! This looks fabulous! I saw this recipe on Meal Planning Maven’s FB page. Good for you guys for making a conscious effort to eat clean! I would never be able to give up cheese..never. I don’t believe in omitting any food in my diet…everything in moderation is my motto. Cheese can easily fit into a well-balanced meal. Same with whole grains. I guess I’ve been brainwashed in school about all the benefits of eating whole grains ;).

    • says

      Thanks for stopping by :) Yeah I know some people think that all grains, even whole grains, are terrible, but I’ve never quite understood why!

  5. Rush says

    I absolutely love this. I’m glad I found your post because I’ve recently been altering my diet as well, but for a more permanent life style change, and not just a week. Like you, I’m still trying to figure out what is clean and what isn’t. Sometimes it almost feels like nothing is 100% okay to eat. Just today I was reading that there are fruits, like apples, that if not bought organic will introduce at least 3-5 different types of toxins into your body. I live in a country where Organic food is not as readily available (especially when it’s imported, like apples) as it is in the states, so certain lifestyle changes can be really challenging.

    But I love Mexican and Mexican inspired food and although some diets denounce grains and legumes, I am in love with Mexican cuisine simply because it utilises it so much. So I look forward to trying this burrito bowl, I’m sure it’ll be good.

  6. says

    Definitely going to try this recipe – delicious AND guilt-free! I look forward to trying it…I’m currently attempting to eat a better, cleaner diet and struggling to find interesting meals. This will help motivate me a lot!

  7. Yu Huo says

    It looks delicious, and much reminiscent of my veggie chilli. My stalwart carnivore husband loves the veggie chilli, and to both of our surprise, it turns out he prefers brown rice and whole grain pasta to the refined version. Result! This goes to show: taste, test. Delicious things will out themselves.

    One thing I will suggest:

    With your lovely concoction, mix in light lettuce leaves, sliced fine. Little Gem, Romaine, Oak Leaf, even Iceberg or Napa cabbage– anything. don’t worry if your beans are still hot. Steamed lettuce is absolutely lovely. This is a great thing to do with leftovers, or for a pack lunch.

    • says

      Ooh that’s an interesting idea! I don’t often cook lettuce but it actually sounds like it could work :)

      • Yu Huo says

        It totally does! In China, vegetables are rarely eaten raw. Try cooking all kinds of things you wouldn’t normally cook. Stir-fried cucumbers with black beans is amazing.

  8. Sharon says

    An acidity regulator is an additive they would use to keep the acidity of the tinned tomatoes high enough so they are safe to be stored in a can. So when I can my own tomatoes, I may add lemon juice to boost the acidity of low acid tomatoes. It could be that they added acetic acid (vinegar is about 5% acetic acid). However, I understand why this unspecific ingredient would turn you off. Try looking at other brands of tinned tomatoes. Some will specifically list the acid (citric acid is common, which is what is in lemon juice), and some will be canned without additional acids at all.

    This burrito bowl looks great! Healthy and yummy. I would definitely add some avocado and (homemade) salsa! Maybe a bit of Greek yogurt, too!

    • says

      I’ve never used coconut oil so I can’t say for sure, but if that’s your usual cooking oil then have a go and let me know how it works! :)

  9. says

    Becca you do not need to *churn* your own butter. Dump some heavy cream into a food processor and whirl til it’s butter. Pour off butter “milk”. (My cat loves that stuff.) I add some crunchy sea salt to mine at this stage to make sel du mer beurre. You could probably add any flavorings you want. So much better than store bought. Keep in the fridge but it won’t last long you’ll eat it on everything.

  10. says

    I made this for my family today and they loved it! We added a little lime to the rice and a sprinkle of cayenne on top and it was wonderful. I never would have thought to add cherry tomatoes but I have tons from our garden and it was a great addition. Thanks for the recipe! Even my toddler ate it :)

  11. Rubi says

    Only thing I would substitute out would be the cheese with “Tillamook Sharp Cheddar Cheese”. It’s much healthier then any other cheese I have ever had. You would just have to grate it at home :) I love the recipe though!! I have been a vegetarian all my life. I always try to create new recipes to keep myself excited about eating healthy and clean. Right now I’m doing red lentils and brown rice diet for 2 weeks! complete protein, fat, fiber and carbs and everything you need to detox and reboost your system. I’m taking probiotics, multi-vitamin and fish oil every morning as well.

  12. Julie Miller says

    I have literally just finished eating my first ever bowl of veggie burrito. It was heavenly, just my type of food. I topped with the cheese and coriander as suggested but also added some sliced avocado, a drizzle of lime juice and a splash of tabasco. I will be making this on a regular basis. You must give it a try, it’s so easy too. No culinary skill required.

  13. Katharine in Brussels says

    Thanks for this, my family loved it! I garnished the coriander on top with a few slices of scallions and some lime juice–the lime juice really put it over the top. My beans were bland so I put in some hot sauce, just a litt,e and even my toddlers were gobbling it up. I also stirred in some Quorn pieces (chick’n) to increase the protein and reduce the carbohydrate proportions. It was super. We will be doing this again!

  14. Lisa says

    The whole black bean collection looks great and I’m dying to try this one, but where are folk in the uk buying their black beans from?
    I live in Edinburgh and have checked local supermarkets and have not found them, unless I’m looking in the wrong place. There is a specialist chili shop I know stock them, but it’s not the most convenient place. Any help?

  15. says

    Wow this looks sooo mouth watering, gonna try it very soon! not a fan of black beans so I might use cannelini beans. I fancy adding some fresh lime juice and a touch of sour cream on top too.

  16. Jennifer says

    I made this tonight…it got rave reviews, and i sent the recipe to my sisters and friends interested in cooking. Probably one of the best burrito bowls I’ve tasted. I added some left over chopped chicken, and a little cumin (love cumin). It put the left overs in whole wheat tortillas, and wrapped them for lunch tomorrow! Seriously, great eats! Making your veggie filled black bean soup tomorrow! Thanks for the recipes!

  17. Sandy says

    I made this for lunch today! I grilled shrimp to go with it and added green beans my mom had cooked but forgot the cheese because I was rushing this morning. It was delicious :) Thank-you for another great recipe, I would definitely make this again.

  18. Meg says

    This looks delicious! I am making this for dinner tonight. It’s perfect for Sunday dinners as I everything I need is in my fridge and pantry. Quick and easy!


  19. says

    I made this for lunch today with a few substitutions and added vegan chorizo. I loved it but my husband thinks it will be much better in a tortilla. We’ll be giving that a try when we heat up the leftovers. I hope it’s okay… I put my version with my pics on my blog and gave you full credit for the original dish and a link back to the original recipe. I bet this would also be good with quinoa instead of rice. Thanks for an awesome dish!
    gloria kersh recently posted…Chorizo Burrito BowlMy Profile

  20. Kate says

    I’ve been looking for a recipe to make Chipotle at home. Some Daiya to make it vegan is the only thing I’d change. Can’t wait to try it.

  21. jo says

    doubled this for my family of 4 and it’s great. this is the 3rd recipe I’ve tried from your site and they are all good.

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