Vegan BBQ Bean Bowls

Bowls are my jam. Whether it is a Buddha bowl, burrito bowl or the newly discovered barbecue bowl…I am ALL IN!!

They are a delicious way to pack your plate full of delicious vegetables and grains, cooked in a variety of ways and with whatever herbs & spices you have on hand, and it’s all in one little bowl so you can dig right in. It’s a perfect way to entertain a crowd because there’s something for everyone.

Whenever it comes to beans, I prefer to use dry beans. It does take a little more time to soak or quick boil them before you can even start the cooking process, but if you have a slow cooker one batch of beans can become 2 or 3 meals. I cooked 3.5 cups of dry pinto beans for this recipe but you can do more or less depending on how many people you need to serve.

This meal seems like its time consuming but that’s just because there are three separate components to the dish. Where the beans are concerned, the slow cooker does most of the hard work, all you have to do is saute the onions, corn, bell pepper and garlic in a deep pot and then add the beans. To get a yummy and completely vegan barbecue sauce, I recommend you do it yourself if you can. All you need is tomato paste, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, spicy paprika and a dash of hot sauce. Simmer it for about 10 minutes and you’re good to go.

The slaw is the first thing I made because I like to give it plenty of time so all the flavors swirl and mingle together. Shred or thinly slice the carrots, cabbage, red bell pepper, celery and cucumber into a mixing bowl. The mixture I prefer to use for my slaw is vegan yogurt (plain) two types of mustard, turmeric, garlic granules, apple cider vinegar, black pepper and a dash of salt. Let it sit for as long as you can until you’re ready to serve.

The cornbread is easy and optional. The reason mine came out a little darker is because I used whole wheat flour with the cornmeal and a tablespoon of brown sugar. A cup of whole kernel corn will add a nice hint of freshness and it’s a great compliment to the beans. I used Arche brand veg egg for the binder and unsweetened almond milk to make it vegan.

You can enjoy as little or as much as you want in a bowl but I think the cole slaw adds a nice hint of freshness that brings the whole bowl together nicely.

Add an ice cold brown ale or a tall iced tea and you can have a summer vegan barbecue bowl anytime you want it! Best of all, we were able to eat the beans for lunch the next day. Re-purpose the leftovers by adding tortilla chips, jalapeno peppers and salsa for a quick Tex-Mex style lunch!