Plant Powered Viva Bowl


If you’re looking for a quick and easy plant-based meal, then look no further! This Plant Powered Viva Bowl is packed with good nutrition, loaded with flavor and ready in minutes. Inspired by southwestern fare, it features black beans, frozen sweet corn, sundried tomatoes, smoked paprika and red chili flakes. A little bit of sweet and a little bit of heat. In addition, fresh bell peppers, tomatoes, garlic, onion and lime juice add an additional boost of flavor and good nutrition. The bonus, this recipes uses ingredients that you can always keep on hand, like canned black beans, sundried tomatoes, frozen sweet corn and quinoa. So no matter how busy you are, you can throw together a healthy meal in no time.

What makes this recipe so flavorful?

Flavor is infused in every part of this recipe. And when it comes to cooking plant-based meals, that’s essential. This recipe starts building flavor by blooming the spices. Smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder and red chili flakes are gently sautéed, just until they are nice and toasty, which deepens their flavor and adds richness to the dish. Next, more flavor is layered by sautéing the shallot. garlic, sundried tomato, and red pepper, along with smoked sea salt. Lastly, after adding the tomatoes and black beans, a squeeze of fresh lime juice adds brightness and further enhances flavor.


Why use beans in plant based dishes?

Not only are beans a good source of plant-based protein, they are also high in fiber and b-vitamins, essential nutrients for gut health and energy production. Black beans are high in resistant starch and are a source of prebiotics as well. What does all of that mean - a happy and healthy gut. You see resistant starch acts like soluble fiber, passing through the stomach and small intestine undigested, eventually reaching the colon. This benefits the growth of “friendly” or favorable bacteria in the gut, helping keep “negative” bacteria in check. Friendly bacteria then digest resistant starches, turning them into short-chain fatty acids, notably butyrate, which is the preferred source of fuel for the cells that line your colon. This in turn increases absorption of minerals and reduces inflammation, lowering the risk of colon cancer. The other wonderful benefit of resistant starch is it helps slow digestion, promoting the feeling of being full longer with very few calories, and minimizing spikes in blood sugar. In a nut shell, beans can help decrease colon cancer risk and prevent chronic disease like diabetes.

What else makes this recipe special?

As I mention at the start of this post, this recipe is ready in minutes. To prep this dish, simply soak your sundried tomatoes in hot water, chop the onions, garlic, bell pepper and tomatoes, rinse the black beans and cook the frozen corn. Next, you sauté everything in a large non-stick pan, then combine it with cooked quinoa, spinach, fresh cilantro and a sprinkle of lemon juice. Easy. Breezy. Done.

In addition, to this recipe being quick, simple and delicious, it can also serve as a base for so many other meals. Use it as a base for a wrap, burrito, or a taco. Combine it with eggs and create egg muffins. Add it to broth and create a soup. Add cheese, or make a veggie cheese sauce, pair with your favorite tortillas and enjoy some nachos! Lastly, if you’re not feeling my meatless vibes, add chicken, shrimp or lean beef. So versatile!

Let me know what you think of this recipe by leaving a comment. I’d love it if you shared this with your family and friends as well. Make it, post in social media and tag @benutritionco on IG or FB.





Plant Powered Viva Bowl

Prep time: 15 mins       |  Cook time:  15 mins   |   Total time: 30 mins

Serves: 4


  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

  • 2 tsp smoked paprika, divided

  • 2 tsp garlic powder, divided

  • 2 tsp onion powder, divided

  • 1 shallot, chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped

  • 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped

  • 1 red bell pepper, un-seeded, chopped

  • 1/2 pint grape tomatoes

  • 1/2 cup sweet corn

  • 1-15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1/2 tsp smoked sea salt

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa

  • 4 cups baby spinach

  • 1/2 Lime, fresh squeezed

  • Fresh ground black pepper to taste

  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped for garnish (optional)



  1. Cover the sundried tomatoes w/ boiling hot water to soften (or soak in for a few hours)

  2. Drain and rinse the black beans

  3. Cook the quinoa (if not already cooked, according to package directions).

  4. Chop the shallot and dice the garlic.

  5. Chop the bell pepper

  6. Slice the tomatoes in half

  7. Cut the lime in half

  8. Rough chop the cilantro (if using)


  1. Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the crushed red pepper flakes and half the spices to the pan, or 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder and 1 tsp smoked paprika, and sauté for about 5 minutes.

  2. Add shallot to the pan and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until translucent. Then add the garlic and sauté for another minute.

  3. Add the bell pepper, sundried tomatoes and tomatoes and sauté about 10 minutes, until tender, stirring occasionally. Add 1/2 cup water to a separate small pot to cook the sweet corn, and bring to a boil.

  4. While the bell pepper mixture is cooking, add the sweet corn to the pot of boiling water and cook for about 5 minutes. Then drain the corn.

  5. Add the black beans, corn and other half of the spices to the pan and sauté for five minutes. Finish with fresh squeezed lime juice, from half the lime and top with chopped fresh cilantro (if desired).

  6. Combine with 1 cup baby spinach, 1/2 cup quinoa. You can also sprinkle on nutritional yeast for a cheesy boost of flavor. Enjoy!


Nutrition Info (per serving)

313 calories (54 from fat), 6g total fat, 54g carbohydrate, 12g dietary fiber, 13g protein