Black Bean Falafel Bowls with Cauliflower Turmeric Rice and Pickled Onions

Black bean falafel bowls with cauliflower rice and pickled onions

These bowls are such a lunch game changer.

They were created with my friend in mind, who just started a bowls-only instagram account (shout out to @excitabowl!) which reminded me of how much I love a bowl of food for lunch.

Like any good bowl, this meal has a lot of components, but the great thing is that you can make all the components ahead of time and they last the whole week in the fridge! I made all these parts on a rainy Sunday, and got to enjoy a delicious lunch all week. They’re so good that I made a point of showing off my lunch to everyone eating around me (sorry, coworkers)!

Black bean falafelsLike any good falafel bowl, these start with turmeric rice. To keep things light I made cauliflower rice, and seasoned with turmeric and Trader Joe’s new mushroom umami spice mix. It’s sooo good – it enhances the flavour of the entire bowl! I’m obsessed (and super sad there is still no Trader Joe’s in Canada!) On top of that rice are my favourite black bean and quinoa falafels, along with quick pickled red onion, shredded kale, and a dollop of hummus.

These bowls are so full of flavour you’ll be looking forward to lunch!

Makes enough for 4-5 servings

1 cup cooked and cooled quinoa (make sure it’s cool!)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup roasted pumpkin seeds
5 cloves garlic, skin removed and crushed
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp tamari
1-2 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped
1 tsp nutritional yeast

Turmeric Cauliflower Rice
1 head cauliflower
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
2-3 tsp turmeric
1-2 tsp Mushroom Umami spice mix (if you don’t live near a TJ’s, you can season with salt)

Quick Pickled Onions
1/2 red onion, sliced
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup vinegar
2 tsp sugar

For the Bowls
Shredded kale


First, make your falafel. Cook quinoa and let cool at least a few hours (or do this the day before).

Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread out black beans on parchment paper and roast until cracked and dry, about 15 minutes. Set aside and increase oven temp to 375.

In a food processor, combine black beans with pumpkin seeds and garlic. Pulse until crumbly. Add salt and spices, quinoa, tomato paste, tamari, chipotle pepper, and nutritional yeast and pulse until a dough forms.

Form into 15 small falafel and transfer to baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes, carefully flip, and bake another 10-15 minutes.

While the falafel cooks, make the cauliflower rice. Chop the cauliflower into florets, transfer to your food processor, and pulse until crumbled. Heat some oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add diced onion and garlic and cook until just fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Add cauliflower rice and stir. Season with turmeric and mushroom umami spice mix (or salt) and cook, stirring, for about 8 minutes, until cauliflower is just warmed. Can be stored in the fridge up to a week.

Next, make the onions. Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Cook until onions soften, 4-5 minutes. Season with salt and let cool. Can be stored in an airtight container up to a week.

To put the bowls together, spoon some cauliflower rice into a bowl. Top with shredded kale, 3-4 falafel balls, some pickled onions, and a healthy dollop of your favourite hummus.

If you’re making these for a weekday lunch, keep all the components separate in the fridge. To take to work, put everything except the falafel in the same container – then heat at work and throw it all together!

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