Weeknight Black Bean Taco Bowl Bar

Black Bean Taco Bowl with rice, smoky black beans, avocado, salty Cotija cheese, sour cream, fresh tomato, and bright cilantro.  This Black Bean Taco Bowl Bar lets everyone fills their bowl with any of the toppings they want!  Perfect for kids.  #tacos #tacobowls #healthyfood  #dinner #healthydinner #familydinner #kidsdinner #blackbeans #vegetarian

Imagine this… Your spoon scoops up fluffy rice with smoky black beans, creamy avocado, salty Cotija cheese, cool tangy sour cream, fresh tomato, and bright cilantro.  Then you look at your child scooping up a giant spoonful of rice and a lone black bean, while simultaneously shoving cheese into her mouth with her other hand.  Ahhhh, family dinner ;).

Sound familiar?  Well, then this Weeknight Black Bean Taco Bowl Bar is just for you!  You can make the beans and rice on the weekend and reheat on the weeknight.  Then, everyone fills their bowl with any of the toppings that suits their fancy.  You can load ’em up and the kids can pick and choose. 

Black Bean Taco Bowl with rice, smoky black beans, avocado, salty Cotija cheese, sour cream, fresh tomato, and bright cilantro. This Black Bean Taco Bowl Bar lets everyone fills their bowl with any of the toppings they want! Perfect for kids. #tacos #tacobowls #healthyfood #dinner #healthydinner #familydinner #kidsdinner #blackbeans #vegetarian

Black Beans are Sooooooo Good for You!

Black Beans are pretty amazing in terms of health benefits.  They have a whopping 15g of protein and 15g of Fiber in 1 cup!  It’s recommended that Women get 25g of Fiber daily, but most women aren’t getting this much in their diet.   When I checked my daily fiber intake, I was only at about 15g and was really surprised!!  Track your Fiber for a day or two and see how you stack up. 

Black beans are a great source of Fiber, especially if you’re eating a gluten free diet and may not be getting fiber from grains.  Try my Huevos Tostadas, Easy Brazilian Black Beans or Chickpea & Black Bean Cakes with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce or my Creamy Cajun Beans & Cauliflower over Quinoa for other great ways to enjoy black beans!

Black Beans with spoon for Black Bean Taco Bowl with rice, smoky black beans, avocado, salty Cotija cheese, sour cream, fresh tomato, and bright cilantro. This Black Bean Taco Bowl Bar lets everyone fills their bowl with any of the toppings they want! Perfect for kids. #tacos #tacobowls #healthyfood #dinner #healthydinner #familydinner #kidsdinner #blackbeans #vegetarian

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  But, I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

PREP-AHEAD TO MAKE YOUR BLACK BEAN TACO BOWLS

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are the steps you prepare in the day(s) in advance and store in the fridge as your meal Kit… (See the recipe below for more details) 

For Dry Black Beans start this 1-2 days prior to when you want to eat…Measure out 1 cup and strain them under water. Then pour into a bowl, cover with water so that the water is about 1 inch above the beans. Place in the fridge overnight.

Dry Black Beans soaking in water for Black Bean Taco Bowl with rice, smoky black beans, avocado, salty Cotija cheese, sour cream, fresh tomato, and bright cilantro. This Black Bean Taco Bowl Bar lets everyone fills their bowl with any of the toppings they want! Perfect for kids. #tacos #tacobowls #healthyfood #dinner #healthydinner #familydinner #kidsdinner #blackbeans #vegetarian

Dry Black Beans soaking in water for Black Bean Taco Bowl with rice, smoky black beans, avocado, salty Cotija cheese, sour cream, fresh tomato, and bright cilantro. This Black Bean Taco Bowl Bar lets everyone fills their bowl with any of the toppings they want! Perfect for kids. #tacos #tacobowls #healthyfood #dinner #healthydinner #familydinner #kidsdinner #blackbeans #vegetarian

You can definitely use canned black beans as well, just rinse them off under water and follow the same instructions in the recipe.

Mince the garlic, chop the cilantro, slice the scallion thin.

When you’re ready to cook the beans (this can be done up to 5 days in advance and even frozen up to 4 months in advance), drain them and give them another rinse. Pour them into a pot and add 1 cup water, along with the minced garlic, 1/2 cup cilantro, chili powder, cumin, and salt.

Bring the beans up to a boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer, cover and let cook for 60 minutes.  NOTE, for canned beans you can reduce this time to 20 minutes.

While the beans are cooking, make the rice. Rinse the rice under water in a strainer until the water runs clear. Add to 4 cups of water with a pinch of salt and bring up to a boil. Turn the water down to a low simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes. 

ASSEMBLE YOUR BLACK BEAN TACO BOWL BAR 

When you’re ready to eat, reheat the beans and rice if you’ve made them ahead.  Dice the avocado and the tomato. Get the sour cream and cotija cheese, extra cilantro leaves, and tortilla chips ready.

Serve the the rice in bowls with beans on top. Let everyone top them with whatever they want! Enjoy!

ENJOY!

😍 Carrie

Black Bean Taco Bowl with rice, smoky black beans, avocado, salty Cotija cheese, sour cream, fresh tomato, and bright cilantro. This Black Bean Taco Bowl Bar lets everyone fills their bowl with any of the toppings they want! Perfect for kids. #tacos #tacobowls #healthyfood #dinner #healthydinner #familydinner #kidsdinner #blackbeans #vegetarian

Black Bean Taco Bowls

Black Bean Taco Bowls have fluffy rice with smoky black beans, creamy avocado, salty Cotija cheese, cool tangy sour cream, fresh tomato, and bright cilantro.  This Black Bean Taco Bowl Bar lets everyone fills their bowl with any of the toppings that suits their fancy.  You can load 'em up and the kids can pick and choose.  #tacos #tacobowls #healthyfood #healthydinner #familydinner #kidsdinner #blackbeans #vegetarian

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword black beans, dinner, easy dinner, family dinner, tacos, vegetarian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Dry Bean Soaking 8 hours
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

  • 16 Black Beans, dry soaked in water or canned
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 cup Fresh Cilantro
  • 2 Scallions
  • 2 cups Rice, uncooked
  • 1 cup Sour Cream
  • 1 cup Cotija Cheese
  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 Tomato
  • 1 cup Tortilla Chips

Instructions

Prep-Ahead Instructions

  1. For Dry Black Beans start this 1-2 days prior to when you want to eat...Measure out 1 cup and strain them under water.  Then pour into a bowl, cover with water so that the water is about 1 inch above the beans.  Place in the fridge overnight.

    Dry Black Beans soaking in water for Black Bean Taco Bowl with rice, smoky black beans, avocado, salty Cotija cheese, sour cream, fresh tomato, and bright cilantro. This Black Bean Taco Bowl Bar lets everyone fills their bowl with any of the toppings they want! Perfect for kids. #tacos #tacobowls #healthyfood #dinner #healthydinner #familydinner #kidsdinner #blackbeans #vegetarian
  2. Mince the garlic, chop the cilantro, slice the scallion thin.  

  3. When you're ready to cook the beans (this can be done up to 5 days in advance and even frozen up to 4 months in advance), drain them and give them another rinse.  Pour them into a pot and add 1 cup water, along with the minced garlic, 1/2 cup cilantro, chili powder, cumin, and salt.

  4. Bring the beans up to a boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer, cover and let cook for 60 minutes.

  5. While the beans are cooking, make the rice.  Rinse the rice under water in a strainer until the water runs clear.  Add to 4 cups of water with a pinch of salt and bring up to a boil.  Turn the water down to a low simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes. 

  6. While the beans and rice are cooking (or warming back up), dice the avocado and the tomato.  Get the sour cream, cotija cheese, extra cilantro leaves, and tortilla chips ready in bowls with spoons.

  7. When the beans and rice are done, serve the the rice in bowls with beans on top.  Let everyone top them with whatever they want!  Enjoy!

 

 

10 Easy Summer Dinners

Chicken & Cherry Tomato Pasta in a skillet on counter. One of 10 Must-Try EASY Summer Dinners!

It’s SUMMER!!  That means it’s time for Easy Summer Dinners!  Not sure about you, but we’ve been thrust into 90 degree days here in NY/NJ and I’m now sweating in places that no one should be sweating :/  But I’m NOT complaining because I will take this over freezing cold weather any day!  Are you with me?  Ok, then I’m guessing you’re also looking for some delicious, healthy, but most importantly, EASY Summer Dinners!  

I hear ya!  Busy Summer weeknights or hot Summer weekends need easy, prep-ahead, and deliciously fresh and healthy dinners.  So, here are 10 of my favorite Talking Meals Easy Summer Dinners!

 

 

1.  Chicken Chimichurri Rojo

Chicken Chimichurri Rojo on a plate with cup of chimichurri. It is broiled or grilled Chicken topped with a cool, fresh, tangy, and incredibly full-flavored!  The Rojo comes from the addition of red pepper.  All of the ingredients simply get blended in a food processor so it could not be easier!  #chicken #chickenrecipes #chimichurri #easychicken #easydinners #dinner

Most people have had Chimichurri, but how about Chicken Chimichurri Rojo? It’s a perfect Summer dish because you can simply grill or broil the chicken then top with this make-ahead cool, fresh, oh-so-delicious Chimichurri Rojo. The Rojo comes from the addition of red pepper and combined with the other ingredients, this sauce is cool, tangy, sweet, savory and incredibly full-flavored!  All of the ingredients get blended in a food processor so it could not be easier! With garlic, parsley, cilantro, lime, vinegar, and red pepper, this is one easy sauce that delivers BIG flavor!

 2.  Garlic & Lime Shrimp Recipe with Tzatziki Sauce

Garlic and Lime Shrimp with Tzatziki Sauce over Quinoa on plate. The Shrimp is simply sauteed with minced garlic, olive oil, and lime for big bold flavors. The Tzatziki Sauce is bright and cool with creamy yogurt with fresh cucumber, lime, garlic, and scallion. #shrimp #easydinner #dinner #seafoodrecipes #shrimprecipes

This Garlic and Lime Shrimp with Tzatziki Sauce combines big bold flavors with cool, refreshing flavors. The Shrimp is simply sauteed with minced garlic, olive oil, and lemon for big bold flavors. You can also marinade the shrimp in the garlic and olive oil and then grill, squeezing the lemon over after grilled.  The Tzatziki Sauce is bright and cool with creamy yogurt with fresh cucumber, lime, garlic, and scallion. A perfect combination and so easy to pull together!

 3.  Chicken & Cherry Tomato Pasta

Chicken and Cherry Tomato Pasta with basil and parmesan on a plate with skillet in back. It's easy and so delicious! #pasta #tomatoes #easydinner #dinner #easyrecipes #healthydinner #chicken

A perfect Summer pasta dish.  Sometimes less is more and this Chicken & Cherry Tomato Pasta with Basil, Garlic, and Parmesan Cheese is just that…more, as in you will WANT MORE! It has a garlic-y backdrop with sweetness from the natural sugars that are released from the cherry tomatoes. Then you get freshness from the basil, salty and nutty flavors from the Parmesan and a hearty bite from the chicken and pasta!! It’s simply divine!

 4.  Mediterranean Flank Steak with Kale Cauliflower Rice

Mediterranean Flank Steak with Kale & Feta Cauliflower Rice is a delicious Mediterranean-inspired recipe with a flavorful garlic-oregano-rubbed flank steak on top of delicious cauliflower “rice”.  To finish it off, a cool and bright Lemon & Garlic Yogurt Sauce.

Mediterranean Flank Steak with Kale & Feta Cauliflower Rice is a delicious Mediterranean-inspired recipe with a flavorful garlic-oregano-rubbed flank steak on top of delicious cauliflower “rice”. To finish it off, a cool and bright Lemon & Garlic Yogurt Sauce. Mediterranean cuisine is filled with fresh and natural ingredients, both of which hold true in this meal. The simple rub for the flank steak lets the meat be the hero. The salty, texture-filled, Kale and Feta Cauliflower Rice seriously tastes just like rice filled with flavor. This is a must-try dish!

5.  Lemon Dill Chicken & Asparagus

Cooked Lemon Dill Sauce Chicken and Asparagus in pan on stove. It has chicken in a light and creamy sauce flavored with garlic, lemon and fresh dill. It's loaded with fresh asparagus. #springrecipes #dinner #easydinner #healthydinner #lemon #asparagus #chicken #glutenfree #easyrecipes

Creamy, bright, herby, and lemony, this recipe screams SUMMER! Lemon Dill Sauce Chicken and Asparagus is Dill-licious! (yep, I just did that!) This is such an easy one-pan skillet recipe. It has seared chicken in a light and creamy sauce delicately flavored with garlic, lemon and fresh dill. Then it’s loaded with fresh and bright asparagus. Yum!

 

 6.  Quinoa and Kale Salad with Roasted Chickpeas

Close up of bowl of Quinoa & Kale Salad with Roasted Chickpeas, Pomegranate, Feta, red pepper, and Creamy Lemon Dressing. #glutenfree #lunch #dinner #healthyrecipes #healthyfood #salads #quinoa #kale

This Quinoa and Kale Salad with Roasted Chickpeas and Creamy Lemon Dressing has everything you could ever want in a Summer dish. It’s fresh, light, and bright from the lemon dressing, kale, scallion, and red pepper. Then it’s hearty, nutty, and salty from the quinoa, roasted chickpeas and Feta Cheese. And then you get a burst of fresh sweetness from the pomegranate seeds. And all of the different textures will make your mouth so happy!

 7.  Craveable Curry Chicken Salad

Curry Chicken Salad on spinach with tomato slices. It has so many fantastic flavors and textures!  The chicken breast is simply roasted and mixed with a creamy sweet and savory curry dressing.  Red pepper gives you a fresh crunch, scallion gives a savory bite, and raisins give a burst of sweet.  #chicken #chickenrecipes #chickensalad #currychicken #mealprep #lunch #healthyrecipes

Craveable Curry Chicken Salad has so many fantastic flavors and textures! Use leftover chicken breast, buy a rotisserie chicken, or get cooked chicken from the Deli!   The chicken is mixed with a creamy sweet and savory curry dressing. Then you get a burst of freshness from the red pepper, a salty bite from the scallion, and sweetness from the raisins. Make this once and you will crave it again and again!

8.  Mexican Pasta Salad with Sun Dried Tomato Dressing

Close up of Mexican Pasta Salad in white bowl on counter with second bowl in upper left corner and tomato half on plate. This Creamy Mexican Pasta Salad has Sun Dried Tomatoes, Corn, Fresh Diced Tomatoes, Cilantro, and smoky Mexican spices. The dressing is creamy and smoky with lots of depth and a hint of sweetness from the Sun Dried Tomatoes that are blended in. Terrific as a side or mix in some chicken or beef and call it a meal!

Creamy Mexican Pasta Salad with Corn and Sun Dried Tomato Dressing is a fresh, creamy, and smoky dish that’s bursting with flavor and texture! First, you get creaminess and depth, as well as smokiness and and a hint of sweet from the sun dried tomato dressing. Then you get freshness from the tomatoes and a burst of sweet from the corn. Finally a bite from the scallion and cilantro. It’s the perfect comfort side dish or add beef, chicken or shrimp and call it a meal!

 9.  Zucchini and Chicken Rice Skillet

Zucchini and Chicken Rice Skillet is a creamy and flavorful recipe filled with different textures. It's also incredibly easy to make as it all comes together in one skillet.

Zucchini and Chicken Rice Skillet is a creamy and flavorful recipe filled with different textures. It’s incredibly easy to make as it all comes together in one skillet. Instead of roasting chicken, use leftover chicken breast, buy a rotisserie chicken, or get cooked chicken from the Deli!   The chicken is mixed with earthy mushrooms, aromatic onions and garlic, fresh and bright zucchini, and rice. The cream sauce is light and creamy, but there is actually no heavy cream at all; instead almond milk, broth, parmesan, and cornstarch create the perfect amount of creaminess. And it’s Gluten Free!

10.  Sunny Quinoa with Fried Egg and Veggie Medley

This 5-ingredient Sunny Quinoa with Fried Egg & Veggie Medley is simple, but incredible. The Veggie Medley is a trifecta of red pepper, zucchini, and sweet corn that are roasted on a sheet pan. Then on top of it all is a salty fried egg with a runny yoke that oozes out to bring a deep creaminess to the entire dish.

Hello, Beautiful!  This Sunny Quinoa with Fried Egg & Veggie Medley looks like summer in a bowl!  With only 6 ingredients, it’s so simple, but incredible because the combination of flavors is just perfect together. The veggie medley of corn, zucchini, and red pepper is bright and fresh and full of sweetness that bursts in your mouth.  And if you have never had a fried egg with the yoke oozing over your rice or pasta or, in this case, quinoa, you are missing out and have gotta try this. 😎 The yoke brings a natural creaminess to the dish that you just cannot get from anything else.

What are YOUR favorite Summer recipes?  Please share in the comments!

😍 Carrie