Brazilian black bean stew is piled atop fluffy rice and served with savory tofu bacon and orange wedges to create these flavorful and hearty protein-packed vegan bowls.
Some cuisines are known for being super vegan-friendly. Brazilian is not one of them. When I lived in Philadelphia, I got sucked into visiting a popular Brazilian restaurant several times. Servers walked around offering big hunks of meat to anyone and everyone. I had to politely wave them away. Know what though? I loved the salad bar at that place. It had, like, everything good you could possibly imagine at a salad bar. I remember there being polenta involved, and really tasty asparagus. So as long as I could keep my distance from the big hunks of meat, I didn't mind going there too much.
There's always potential, even among the most seemingly non-vegan friendly of cuisines.
Feijoada, for example, is a super meaty Brazilian bean stew. Brazilian pork and beans. Most recipes call for several kinds of meat. But I realized recently that even if you take away all of that meat, there's still plenty of substance to the meal. Stewed black beans, lots of spices, sometimes greens, and it's all served up alongside some rice with a few orange wedges. Perfect vegan bowl material if you ask me, so that's what I went and did with it.
Black beans, even on their own, have a pretty heavy smoky flavor to me, so some subtle seasonings were plenty here, but just for fun, I replaced the bacon with tofu bacon. It's a bowl meal, so why not go all out and throw everything in there? You can skip the tofu bacon if you aren't into that, but either way, I promise this is an easy and super delicious meal.
Vegan Brazilian Black Bean Bowls
For the Brazilian Black Beans:
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 3-14 oz. cans black beans, drained (don't rinse)
- 1 ½ cups vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 tsp. ancho chile powder
- 1 tsp. ground coriander
- ½ tsp. dried thyme
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- 1 small bunch kale or collard greens, stemmed and torn into bite-sized pieces
- salt to taste
For the Bowls
- 6 cups cooked rice
- 4 scallions, chopped
- 1 batch tofu bacon
- 2 oranges, sliced
Coat the bottom of a large pot with oil and place over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute more, until very fragrant.
Add beans, broth, vinegar, bay leaves, paprika, ancho chile powder, coriander, thyme and pepper. Stir a few times to incorporate. Raise heat to high and bring to a simmer. Lower heat and cover. Allow to simmer 30 minutes. Uncover and add greens. Allow to simmer about 10 minutes more, until greens are fully cooked and the beans have formed a thick stew. Remove from heat and season with salt to taste. You can adjust the spices here as well if you like.
Divide rice into bowls. Top with beans, tofu bacon and scallions. Serve each bowl with a couple of orange slices.