Fresh Tex Mex Lunch Bowls (Vegan, gluten-free)

Fresh Tex Mex bowls make an easy, delicious lunch! Use fresh produce for these bowls…crispy romaine, sweet cherry tomatoes (I like the ones that are on the vine). Fresh produce and your toppings will make these bowls delicious! Use your favorite salsa and guacamole. If you like things spicy, add your favorite hot sauce. If you decide you need a bit more with your meal, add some organic tortilla chips or you can even bring wraps along with you and put your salad into wraps! You can also add some other protein of your choice or some cheese or dairy free cheese. Lots of options here. My recipe is merely the launching pad for you to use your own creativity!

Easy grab and go lunches can be a real lifesaver! They have seriously made my life so much easier.

You will need four 4 cup containers. I love Pyrex snap ware containers. They are made of glass and are easy to stack in the fridge. If you want to top your salad with salsa, you can either bring a jar to work or put your salsa in small containers. I used 4 oz. jelly jars.

Estimated nutrition information: 450 calories, 16 g protein, 20 g fiber.

These bowls are:

fresh and easy

easily customizable


full of fiber, protein, and healthy fats


Prep and cook 25 minutes.


1 cup dry red quinoa (can use regular quinoa)

1 can black beans, 15.5 oz, drained and rinsed

1-2 teaspoons chili powder (depending on how much flavor and spice you prefer)

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1-2 cups water

1-2 hearts of romaine (1 heart of romaine if large, use 2 if they are smaller)

1 pint cherry tomatoes

1 orange bell pepper

1/2 red onion


2 avocados or 4 individual servings guacamole

1 lime or 4 key limes

couple tablespoons cilantro

(optional) hot sauce


1. Cook your quinoa and beans. If your quinoa is not pre-rinsed, rinse it by putting it in a fine mesh strainer and rinsing it in the sink under running water. The package should say if it is pre-rinsed or not.

Instant Pot: To the Instant Pot, add one cup quinoa, one cup water, can of black beans (drained and rinsed), 1-2 tsp chili powder, 1/4 tsp salt, and stir. Secure lid and turn the valve to sealing. Set for one minute high pressure and let it release for 10 minutes. If the red indicator has not dropped, carefully move the valve to release. Wait for the indicator to drop and remove the lid. Fluff it with a fork and let it cool.

Stovetop: In a pot combine 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups water, can of black beans (drained and rinsed), 1 or 2 tsp chili powder, 1/4 tsp salt, and stir. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until liquid has evaporated (approximately 15-20 minutes). Let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and let it cool.

2. While the quinoa and beans are cooking, chop the red pepper, and red onion. Wash the tomatoes. Chop and wash the romaine lettuce.

3. When the quinoa and beans are done, remove the pot from heat, fluff with a fork and let it cool for a bit.

4. If using avocados, cut them in half. cut the limes, add salsa to small containers.

5. Assemble your four lunch bowls adding approximately 2 cups of romaine, one cup of quinoa and bean. 1/4 of the diced bell pepper, 1/4 of the tomatoes, 1/4 of the red onion. Add avocado or single serving guacamole and cilantro. Note, when adding avocado, place the cut side down. This will help it to not brown as much. (In my recipe testing, the avocado stayed nice until the 3rd day. On the fourth day it was brown. I scraped it with a knife.)

6. Serve with hot sauce if desired. Store in the fridge for up to 4 days after making them (total of 5 days).