Fresh and Tasty Brown Rice Bowls
These fresh and tasty brown rice bowls are super delicious, packed with protein, and loaded with fresh toppings!
Okay, Oregon locals, who here loves Cafe Yumm? A friend recommended them to me right after we moved here, and it took me a long time to finally try them out. I was pretty skeptical about their whole concept, until I tasted my first Yumm Bowl and it was love at first bite. If you’re not local and haven’t tried them, they are bowls with brown rice and black bean at the base, smothered with an amazing and flavorful sauce, then topped with a protein (I always choose chicken) and fresh toppings like tomato, avocado, grated cheese, sliced olives, sour cream, and salsa. They’re healthy and fresh and delicious, and are totally filling while still feeling light. Once we discovered how good they were, my husband and I couldn’t get enough and visited Cafe Yumm for lunch at least every other week. Pretty soon, though, the cost of all those bowls started to add up and our bank account wasn’t very happy. We decided to try our hand at making them at home, and came up with this fun copycat recipe. I’m still working on the sauce a little bit, because it doesn’t taste EXACTLY like the Cafe Yumm sauce, but it’s super delicious all the same!
We make these brown rice bowls at home at least once a week (and sometimes as often as 2-3 times per week) and we love them every time! They’re so fresh and filling, and it’s easy to customize them depending on what I have in the house. I’ve made them with barbecue chicken, taco-seasoned chicken, rotisserie chicken, and grilled chicken, and they’re delicious each way. I always have cooked chicken in the freezer, and I like to make a big batch of brown rice and portion it out into meal-sized servings, then freeze it. I also buy cans of olives and black beans in bulk just to have them on hand for these bowls. Having the two main ingredients already cooked, and keeping most of what I need on hand really helps to make these bowls quick and easy to prepare. I definitely recommend using brown rice, because it adds some great texture and doesn’t get soggy with all the toppings. We like ours with black beans, but you could easily substitute any beans you like. The most important part is to pile on the fresh toppings! My favorite way to serve them is with avocado, tomato, olives, sour cream, salsa, and grated cheddar cheese. Soooooo delicious!
Brown Rice BowlsPrint Recipe
for the sauce:
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- 1 cup canned garbanzo beans drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast I used this brand
for the bowls:
- cooked brown rice I like to use this recipe
- black beans drained and rinsed
- protein of your choice chicken, tofu, steak, etc.
- fresh toppings: tomato avocado, chopped olives, corn, cilantro, grated cheese, sour cream, salsa, etc.
- To make the sauce, add the oil, almonds, beans, and coconut milk to a blender and blend until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy. Refrigerate for one hour or until ready to use. To make the bowls, layer about 1/2 cup of brown rice in the bottom of a bowl. Top with 1/4 cup black beans, then spread a generous layer of sauce on top. Top with protein and fresh toppings of your choice, then enjoy.
It is looking so delicious, Alicia! I've tried brown rice bowls in a restaurant but never had an opportunity to try at home. Your recipe would save my time.