Brazilian-Style Power Bowls

Brazilian-Style Power Bowls

We eat bean and rice bowls almost once a week. This is, in part, because my husband is Brazilian and these are some of his favorite foods, but it’s also because of the flexibility it allows for everyone to make their bowl their own. (Check out my blog post about each family member “building” their own meal.) One of my sons loads up on the collards, while the other reaches for the sweet potatoes. I love mine with just a little rice, some beans, a ton of both vegetables, and then topped with a little crumbled feta (the contrast between the sweet of the sweet potatoes and the salty of the feta gets me every time).

Watch Jessica make these power bowls on Facebook Live.

Brazilian-Style Power Bowls

Prep + Cook: 30 minutes, Makes 6 servings

1 1/2 cups white or quick-cooking brown rice

1 large or 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces (about ¾ lb.)

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

3/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

30 oz. reduced-sodium canned black beans, drained and rinsed, or use 3 cups homemade black beans

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1 bunch collard greens or kale (about ¾ lb.)

1/2 tsp. minced garlic, (about 1 clove)

1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese(optional)


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cook the rice according to the package directions.

Place the sweet potatoes in a medium bowl and toss with 1 Tbsp. oil and ¼ tsp. each of the salt and pepper. Spread them evenly on the baking sheet and roast them for 15 – 20 minutes, until they are fork tender (it is ok if the oven hasn’t fully preheated yet).

In a medium saucepan, heat the beans and 1/4 cup water over a medium-low heat. Add the garlic powder and ¼ tsp. salt and pepper.

Cut off the stems of the collard greens (or kale), leaving the leaves intact. Pile 6 – 8 leaf-halves on top of each other and roll them tightly. Thinly slice the roll so that you form long ribbons (called a chiffonade), about ¼ inch thick. Repeat with the other leaves and set them aside.

In a large skillet, heat the remaining oil over medium-high heat until it is shimmering but not smoking. Add the garlic and stir for 20 – 30 seconds until it is fragrant.

Add the collard greens (or kale) and stir well, coating them in the oil. Sprinkle with ¼ tsp. salt. Reduce the heat to medium and stir frequently until they are bright green, about 3 minutes. Remove the greens from the heat, taste for seasoning, and add more salt, if desired.

Serve all the components family-style so that everyone can make their bowl to taste, topped with feta, if desired.

Do Ahead or Delegate: Cook the rice, peel, chop, and roast the sweet potatoes, chiffonade the collard greens or kale, peel the garlic, crumble the feta if using and refrigerate.

Scramble Flavor Booster: Use up to 2 tsp. of minced garlic. Add ½ – 1 tsp. ground cumin or chili powder to the potatoes before roasting them. Serve with hot sauce, such as Tabasco.

Tip: Smaller = Faster. If you need to cook something quickly, from veggies to meat, cut it into smaller pieces. The smaller the pieces, the faster it will cook!

Nutritional Information Per Serving (% based upon daily values): Calories 438, Total Fat: 7g, 11%; Saturated Fat: 1g, 6%; Cholesterol: 0mg, 2.5%; Sodium: 316mg, 13%; Total Carbohydrate: 78g, 26%; Dietary Fiber: 17g, 68%; Sugar: 1g; Protein: 18g

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