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Quinoa and Brown Rice Black Bean Fiesta Bowl

Quinoa and Brown Rice Black Bean Fiesta Bowl by Picky Palate

I am so excited to start a new page on Picky Palate called “Skinny Palate.” You know how swimsuit season is right around the corner, eeek!! This will be a page where I post health conscious recipes that my husband and I are loving right now. The kids, well we are working on them, even if it’s one bite at a time. It’s a work in process πŸ™‚

A few weeks ago we went to a little cafe in Laguna Beach called Active Culture, you can see a collage I posted on Instagram HERE. They serve all sorts of wonderful healthy foods, yogurt and smoothies. I ordered what they call their whole bowl and I could not get enough of it. I went home and created my own version of their super healthy fabulous bowl. It’s not exact, but I enjoyed mine just as much.

Hope you enjoy friends! ….and no worries for those of you not into this, I have a killer cookie recipe coming up soon! It’s all about moderation right?!


To get started, cook your quinoa and brown rice. Do this in advance if you’d like, it will save you some good time. You’ll also need some finely shredded cabbage, thinly sliced and quartered cucumber and chopped tomatoes. You can even substitute for white rice in place of the quinoa and brown rice.


You’ll also need black beans, your favorite mild salsa (not pico de gallo), and 1 avocado peeled and diced.



Here are the spices I used to create the seasoning for the bowl. You can substitute all of these for a spice blend called Accent if you have that. A few less ingredients/steps. Otherwise, 1 teaspoon of each of these spices. I also added fresh ground pepper not pictured.


Love how colorful these spices are. So fragrant too!

Spicy Mustard

The sauce consists of brown or Dijon Mustard, plain greek yogurt, a few splashes of water and worcestershire sauce.


It will look like this. Brings great flavor to your bowl.

assembly 1

Time to layer your own bowl. Start with brown rice, some quinoa, a few spoonfuls of mustard sauce, black beans….

assembly 2

Β …cucumber, tomatoes, salsa, cabbage, your homemade spice blend and some diced avocados not pictured.

Quinoa and Brown Rice Black Bean Fiesta Bowl by Picky Palate

Ahhhh yah. After you take a photo for Instagram (ok, maybe that’s just me), stir your bowl all together and dig in! Stirring together allows the spices and sauces to integrate with the quinoa and rice.

Quinoa and Brown Rice Black Bean Fiesta Bowl by Picky Palate


Quinoa and Brown Rice Black Bean Fiesta Bowl


  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 2 cups uncooked brown rice
  • 1 cup Dijon or brown mustard
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon (of each of the following) celery seed, smoked paprika, curry powder, garlic salt, salt and pepper
  • 15 ounce can black beans, drained
  • 2 cups thinly sliced cabbage
  • 2 cups quartered and sliced cucumber
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup mild thin salsa (not pico de gallo)
  • 1 avocado, peeled and diced


  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions. Transfer to a large bowl. Cook brown rice according to package directions. Transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Place mustard, yogurt, water and worcestershire sauce into a small saucepan over medium low heat. Stir until warm. Remove from heat.
  3. Place celery seed, paprika, curry powder, garlic salt, salt and pepper into a small bowl, stir to combine.
  4. In each serving bowl layer the following: brown rice, quinoa, a few spoonfuls of mustard sauce, black beans, cucumber, tomato, a few spoonfuls of salsa, cabbage, a few pinches of seasoning and diced avocado. I like to stir my bowl all together to mix in the sauce and seasonings. You may find you enjoy more sauce and or seasonings in your bowl. Add what you like. I also prefer my bowl slightly warm.

Makes 6 Servings
Note: Instead of the seasonings that I have listed you can replace it with the spice blend “Accent” also known as “spike” I just did not have it so created something similar in my recipe.

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75 Responses | Comments RSS

  1. 1
    frenchpapilles says:

    Looks delicious ! And I totally agree with this mantra : “It’s all about moderation !”

  2. 2
    Tieghan says:

    That is my kind of bowl for sure!!

  3. 3

    Oh MAN heck yaaaaaa.

  4. 4

    Nice looking quinoa bowl! I am liking the use of the curry powder in this one!

  5. 5
    Maria says:

    We make a similar recipe all of the time. Perfect for weeknights!

  6. 6

    Looks great!!! And Skinny Palate is brilliant! Can’t wait to follow along. πŸ™‚

  7. 7

    Thank you for the recipe! I’ll be making this soon! We’re on the track to better eating around here, so this is sure to be a keeper!

  8. 8

    Yummy and healthy!

  9. 9
    Carol says:

    This sounds fantastic, Jenny. I just tried quinoa and love it….I can’t wait to try this recipe.


    PS. LOVE the idea of “Skinny Palate” too! πŸ™‚

  10. 10
    Kristen M. says:

    This looks fab! I am always up for a bowl recipe especially when it involves quinoa. “Skinny Palate”…LOVE IT! I look forward to seeing more of these recipes from you.

  11. 11
    Jessica says:

    Looks wonderful! I’m going to make this tonight! Will you pretty please publish the nutritional values of all the meals that are going on Skinny Palate?!

  12. 12

    This looks absolutely delightful!

  13. 13
    Brianna says:

    Yum! I love southwestern style meals. Grey won’t eat any traditional Mexican food ie: enchiladas, burritos, etc. Bbbbuuuutttt if I make a “bowl” somehow he is fine. Haha. I did this with your enchilada bake! He totally loved it.

  14. 14
    Kelly says:

    WOW the flavors in this look amazing!! I can’t wait to try this! πŸ™‚

  15. 15

    I am all about skinny recipes right now…trying to lost the last of the dang baby weight!! This looks so fab πŸ™‚

    • 15.1
      Jenny says:

      Haha! Me too, these last x amount of pounds do not want to leave my body for some reason. Probably all the baking I do. Oh well, lol!!

  16. 16

    Yum, this salad looks fresh and very appetizing !

  17. 17

    Skinny Palate is such a cute idea! Love the look of this healthy and tasty sounding bowl!

  18. 18

    Found your blog via pinterest and I’m glad I did! My wife brought home quinoa from the grocery store and I’ve never prepared it before. Looking forward to using it for the first time in this recipe!

  19. 19
    deedee says:

    This looks heavenly. Printed out the recipe and will be making it this week!!

  20. 20
    marla says:

    Such a delish and healthy meal ~ would love this bowl for lunch or dinner today!

  21. 21
    Mindy says:

    This looks super yummy and it’s gluten free!

  22. 22

    So pretty! And I love this new series! So perfect this time of year! I cant wait to try what you make πŸ˜€

  23. 23

    Looking forward to skinny palate!! I love ALL of your recipes πŸ™‚

  24. 24
    Chris Bennett says:

    Thanks for creating”Skinny Palate”……looking forward to more recipes and of course…..cookies in moderation. …LOL…!!!!

  25. 25

    You pulled me in for good with the seasonings and mustard! Yum!

  26. 26

    I love that you’re creating skinny palates! Haha, for all I know, I need to kick my butt in gear for my wedding & honeymoon right after. Perfect timing, Jenny πŸ™‚ this looks like a super great alternative to those takeout Mexican joints!

  27. 27
    Andrea says:

    Ok I have cooked the quinoa and rice. Got my black bean, sauce, spices and veggies ready. Going to mix it all up tonight after the girls get home from Taekwondo and have a delicious, healthy dinner. Can’t wait!

  28. 28
    Dana says:

    Skinny Palate sounds fantastic! I’m always on the lookout for healthy but yummy recipes. I’ve never used quinoa before, but I love black beans and rice. Can’t wait to try this!

  29. 29
    Gaby says:

    this is my kinda meal!

  30. 30

    Ole! Adding this to the weekly menu!

  31. 31

    This looks like it is -packed- with flavor. Yum!!

  32. 32

    OH MY GOSH you do not even know how excited I am about you starting Skinny Palate!!! I love your blog and I’m going to love having skinny versions of your recipes! πŸ˜€

  33. 33
    Bekka Sue says:

    LOVE that you’re doing healthy recipes now!
    I would love to see your take on healthy breakfast hot cereal like oatmeal, grits, polenta, bobs red mill’s 10 grain hot cereal, baked oatmeal and more ((:
    looking forward to your next recipe!

  34. 34

    Moderation is SO key. Love this, Jenny!!! Maybe I can (finally) lose those last 5 lbs of baby weight. =)

  35. 35
    Jennette says:

    Skinny recipes are exactly what I want! This looks great and I cant wait to see more! Thank you!!! πŸ™‚

  36. 36
    Pam says:

    I love quinoa and cook with it a lot. Our family is vegetarian so it is good to see different recipe ideas…. going to be trying this out on the weekend.

  37. 37
    Deann says:

    This looks delicious!! I really appreciate you sharing your choice of spices as we don’t use Accent around here.. we’re really against MSG.
    Can’t wait to try this recipe!

  38. 38
    Deborah says:

    I’m loving the new skinny section -I surely need it!! Baby weight be gone! πŸ™‚

  39. 39
  40. 40
    Kathy says:

    Yum! I enjoy dinners like this. Not sure about the rest of family, though! I have really become a fan of quinoa lately!

  41. 41

    I love a fiesta bowl and it’s been a while since we had some. Perhaps for dinner tonight πŸ˜€

  42. 42

    Yummy!! I also like taco salad. Sort of almost the same. No quinoa, no mustard sauce, no spice on top. πŸ˜€

  43. 43
    Emily K says:

    Love the new page idea!! Woot woot!

  44. 44

    I can totally get behind the Skinny Palate idea! This bowl, it looks fantastic!! πŸ™‚

  45. 45

    FABulous recipe!! Anything with avocado and quinoa mixed together? You’ve got me. And I love the idea of a Skinny Palate page. πŸ™‚

    I’d love for you to come share this recipe over at Thank Goodness It’s Quinoa, a bi-weekly link party celebrating all things quinoa. I know our readers will fall in love with this recipe, just as we have!

    Hope to see you there:

    Happy Friday!


  46. 46
    Helene says:

    I am impressed by this salad and want to make it. Summer is coming and it’s time to be back on the right track πŸ™‚

  47. 47

    […] Quinoa and Brown Rice Fiesta BowlsΒ Β Β  I love how colorful this meal is — and the kiddo will like picking out ingredients to add […]

  48. 48

    […] Tuesday:Β  Quinoa and Brown Rice Fiesta Bowls […]

  49. 49
    Rebekah says:

    I made this and my husband and I loved it. The flavor of the “sauce” is pretty strong but we enjoyed it. My three boys did not. WAH! Trying to get them used to different foods and it will happen one day.

  50. 50
    Robyn says:

    This looks wonderful! We are dairy free. Do you think I could sub mayo for the yogurt?

  51. 51

    Such a great idea for a weeknight meal – these bowls look so scrumptious, Jenny!

  52. 52

    This looks healthy – but mostly delicious!

  53. 53
    Heather says:

    You’re in Orange County too?!? I’ll have to make this and try out the place in Laguna Beach and compare……have you ever been to Las Brisas? They have some killer steak nachos, I’d love to figure out how to replicate the sauce (hint hint, lol)….steak nachos definetly aren’t “skinny”, but man oh man they are tasty! And a real kid pleaser πŸ™‚

  54. 54
    Sue says:

    We also are dairy-feee. I mashed the avocado and used in place of the yogurt in the sauce. Worked beautifully!

  55. 55
    Julie says:

    Yum! I’ve been a black bean kick lately so I will have to add this to my list. Thank you and I love your cookbook!

  56. 56
    Jen Roper says:

    Hi Jenny! Do you have any ideas on a substitution for the Greek yogurt? I’m a vegan and don’t do anything dairy. Thank you! πŸ™‚

  57. 57
    Sydney says:

    Thank you for the wonderful recipe!
    I made it last night for work lunch today.
    To make it a little more time and cost saving, I used taco seasoning powder instead of the indivisual spices and salsa to give it that Maxican flavor and also made Guacomole instead of avo slices.
    Because I took it to work for lunch, I did not want to carry two containers separating the quinoa/rice and salad mix, so after laying all the ingredients on top of the brown rice/quinoa I layed the bed on cabbage and added on the guacomole and yoghurt dressing on the top so that the bottom layer does not get mushy and soggy. I also added a few pieces of chicken breast for extra protein, Tuna should be a good one as well.
    All in all, it was super yummy! A little goes a long way so I will be cutting back on the portion size from tomorrow, today I take it indulgence! πŸ™‚

  58. 58
    Christine Gillis says:

    Any idea what the nutritional info would be for this recipe? I do WW and would live to know the points.

  59. 59
    Chandra says:

    Hi there, great recipe except for the Accent spice….this is straight MSG! Yes, Monosodium glutamate! Very frustrating to go buy this spice and get home only to discover what it truly is! Please remove this Accent from the recipe!

  60. 60
    Nicole says:

    Hello, I loooooove Active Culture’s wholesome bowl and have tried to re-create the sauce as well! Did you ask them for their ingredient list or how did you come up with this recipe? It tastes pretty similar but I think I used the wrong kind of mustard! oops!

Jenny Flake

Welcome to Picky Palate, my online kitchen! You'll usually find me with a cookie in one hand and a salad in the other. It's all about the balance :) The recipes you'll see are my creations. The Picky Palate Cookbook is now available. Enjoy!