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Quinoa and Brown Rice Black Bean Fiesta Bowl

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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 🙂

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

 …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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76 Responses | Comments RSS

  1. 51

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

  2. 52

    This looks healthy – but mostly delicious!

  3. 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 🙂

  4. 54
    Sue says:

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

  5. 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!

  6. 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! 🙂

  7. 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! 🙂

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. 60

    […] Quinoa and Brown Rice Black Bean Fiesta Bowl […]

  11. 61
    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!

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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!