Tropical flavors - mango, avocado, citrus, and plantains - dress up simple black beans in a healthy, hearty one-dish meal... Tropical Buddha Bowls with Plantains, Black Beans, and Mango Salsa can be on your table in less than 45 minutes!
👩🏻🍳 Tamara Talks - Recipe Inspiration
I'm really not one to follow food trends, so I hate jumping on the buddha/burrito/hippie bowls "bandwagon." Alas, here I am. Tropical Buddha Bowls with Plantains, Black Beans and Mango Salsa happened, and I've got to convince you to give my off-the-beaten-path version a try. 🙂
If you've followed me for any length of time, you are aware that I live on the border in McAllen, Texas. Tropical fruit is plentiful, inexpensive, and delicious! Plantains, avocado, and mango make a regular appearance at Andersen casa, and I've combined them in a unique and healthy "buddha bowl" recipe. I have included mango salsa, fried plantains, sliced avocado, and black beans with a bit of citrus and chipotle. YUM!
🥘 What is a "Buddha Bowl?"
So, what's a buddha bowl? It's a loose formula rather than an actual recipe. They're typically colorful with bits of different ingredients arranged artfully in a deep-rimmed dish, and include a well-balanced mix of protein, carbs, and healthy fats.
At the risk of being "trendy," I started playing around with some of my favorite local, seasonal, and healthy ingredients. Living in south Texas' Rio Grande Valley, plantains, avocados, and mangoes are seasonal year 'round. Black beans are a natural pairing with them, and this buddha bowl has a decidedly south-of-the-border flair.
🍌 Featured Ingredient: Plantains
Plantains, also known as plátanos, are closely related to our beloved bananas. They are a staple source of carbohydrates throughout much of Central America, Asia, and Africa, and are treated in ways similar to potatoes, yucca root, taro root, sweet potatoes, etc.
A green plantain must be cooked prior to eating. The plantain will sweeten as it ripens, but it is not sweet like a banana.
Plantains are high in fiber, have more vitamins A and C than bananas, and are a rich source of B vitamins as well. They have adequate amounts of minerals like magnesium, iron, potassium, and phosphorus. For this recipe, select firm plantains that are beginning to ripen.
📋 Ingredients You'll Need
Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.
- lean bacon (optional) - I only include back about half the time... This is a great #MeatlessMonday meal. Just skip the bacon, and use a drizzle of olive or coconut oil.
- bell peppers - I like a mix of colors.
- ground chipotle or ancho powder - You can also mash a canned chipotle with its adobo.
- black beans -
- sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
- oil (for frying) - I use canola oil.
- plantains - Choose slightly under ripe plantains. Working with ripe plantains in this method is difficult.
- mango salsa
- Make the black beans.
- Make the mango salsa.
- Prep the garnishes.
- Fry the plantains.
- Assemble the "buddha bowls."
Make the black beans, cover, and reduce the heat to a very low simmer. Make the salsa and prep the garnishes. Set out serving bowls and eating utensils. You want to assemble the bowls while the fried plantains are hot. Fry the plantains (this is a two step process). Assemble the Tropical Buddha Bowls, pour a "cold one," and enjoy!
🧂 Useful Stuff
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If you're not ready to try fried plantains, but the flavors sound amazing, try Tropical Black Beans and Rice. You might also like my Tropical Pressure Cooker Fish in Banana Leaves (or Parchment). I promise this healthy recipe won't give you a buddha bowl tummy. 😆 Yes? No? Maybe so? I'd love to hear your thoughts!