Burrito Bowl with Pickled Onions

Serves: 4   |   Meals:


  • ½ batch Black Beans* (or make the full batch for leftovers)
  • 1 batch cilantro lime brown rice
  • 1 batch quick-pickled onions
  • 1 batch cilantro hemp pesto
  • Optional additions: Fried eggs or scrambled eggs, toasted pepitas (green pumpkin seeds), crumbled Cotija or feta cheese, sliced avocado, handful of halved cherry tomatoes, hot sauce

Cilantro Lime Brown Rice

  • 1 ½ cups long-grain brown rice or brown basmati rice, rinsed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice (from about 1 lime)*
  • 1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice (from 1 small lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt

Quick Pickled Onions

  • 1 medium red onion, very thinly sliced
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup distilled white vinegar
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar or additional white vinegar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons maple syrup or honey
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional, for heat)

Cilantro Hemp Pesto

  • 2 cups packed cilantro leaves with tender stems (from 2 small bunches)
  • ½ cup shelled hemp seeds (hemp hearts)
  • Optional, for heat: 1 medium jalapeño, seeds and ribs removed, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, more if desired





    1. Prepare each component according to directions.
    2. When you’re ready to serve, divide the rice into bowls. Top with a generous portion of black beans, followed by some pickled onions and a dollop or two of pesto. Finish it off with any additions of your choosing.

Cilantro Line Brown Rice

    1. Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. Pour in the rinsed rice and drop in the bay leaf. Give the mixture a brief stir and let it boil for 30 minutes, reducing the heat if necessary to prevent overflow.
    2. Drain the rice, return it to the pot, cover, and let it rest for 10 minutes off the heat. Discard the bay leaf and fluff the rice with a fork.
    3. Add the cilantro, lime juice, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and stir to combine. Cover until you’re ready to serve.

Quick Pickled Onions

    1. Pack the onions into a 1-pint mason jar or similar heat-safe vessel. Place the jar in the sink, to catch any splashes of hot vinegar later.
    2. In a small saucepan, combine the water, both vinegars, maple syrup, salt, and pepper flakes. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer over medium heat, then carefully pour the mixture into the jar over the onions.
    3. Use a butter knife or spoon to press the onions down into the vinegar and pop any air bubbles in the jar. Let the pickled onions cool to room temperature (about 20 to 30 minutes), at which point they should be sufficiently pickled for serving.
    4. Cover and refrigerate leftover pickled onions for later. Quick-pickled onions are best consumed within three days, but they keep for 2 to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.

Cilantro Hemp Pesto

    1. In a food processor, combine everything but the olive oil (the cilantro, hemp seeds, optional jalapeño, garlic and salt). Process until the ingredients are very finely chopped, pausing to scrape down the bowl if necessary.
    2. While running the machine, drizzle in the olive oil. Continue processing until the mixture is well combined and almost creamy in texture. I designed this sauce to be quite thick; if you’d prefer a thinner sauce, drizzle in a bit more olive oil while running the machine.
    3. Use immediately or store in an air-tight jar in the refrigerator for up to 5 days (I believe it would freeze well for up to 3 months, but I haven’t tried). This sauce will turn a bit darker on top during storage, but it’s perfectly edible.