Dinner for One: Vegan Latin Bowl


Dinner for One

I love my friends and my family and my dude, but sometimes it’s really nice to have no one talk to me for a few hours, you know? It’s nice to just be in silence with some beer and paint my nails.

Non sucky dinners for one are good examples on how to date yourself. Yes, yourself. Date nights with yourself. Do you have them? You totally should, they’re the best. For me they usually involve a pair of pjs, an episode or two (or three) of Nashville (currently obsessed), cold cereal, sometimes takeout, but more recently? This bowl.

Dinner for One

I’ve posted about Dinner for One before (here and here) and can’t really should do more. I love ’em.

This bowl is inspired by a dish I get at my local vegan restaurant. They call it the Brazilian bowl but there’s really nothing Brazilian about it so I renamed it. It’s a little bit less inaccurate now.

My favorite part is the brown rice made like Mexican rice. It’s flavorful and tomato-ey and oh just so awesome.

Dinner for One

There’s sweet plantains that work lovely with the tart, wilted Swiss chard.

The warm tomatillo salsa adds another sort of big step to this recipe so if you’re in the mood for something that’s under 20 minutes, then you can just trade it out for another salsa that’s living in your fridge. The ugly (but delicious) scoop of black beans is offset by drop dead gorgeous slices of watermelon radishes. #balance

What’s your “date for one” routine? Do you have one? Do you dream of having one?

Dinner for One

Dinner for One: Vegan Latin Bowl

Serving Size: 1 bowl


Warm Tomatillo Salsa:

  • 3 to matillos, husks removed and tops trimmed
  • 1/4 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 lime
  • 1/2 serrano pepper, membrane and seeds removed
  • Handful cilantro
  • Pinch of salt

Spanish Brown Rice:

  • Olive oil
  • 1/4 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup brown rice
  • 3/4 vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • Pinch ground cumin
  • Pinch salt

Rest of the bowl:

  • 1/2 brown plantain, sliced into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • Salt
  • Two leaves of swiss chard, stems trimmed and discarded
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • Scoop of black beans, warmed


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a cast iron skillet. Place the tomatillos trimmed side down. Roast for 10-15 minutes, until slightly sizzling and lightly golden brown. Transfer to the jar of a food processor, along with yellow onion, juice from 1 lime, serrano pepper, handful of cilantro and a few pinches of salt. Blend until pureed and set aside.
  • To a small pot, heat a few teaspoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Place the garlic atop and cook until fragrant, an additional minute. Pour in the rice, vegetable stock, tomato paste, cumin and salt; mix until completely combined. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, or until the liquid is dissolved and the rice is completely cooked.
  • In the cast iron you used to roast the tomatillos (we're about minimal clean-up in these parts), heat a few teaspoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the slices of plantain, a pinch of salt and cook on both sides for about 1-2 minutes, until slightly golden brown. Remove and set aside. Add the swiss chard, red wine vinegar and a pinch of salt. Cook for about 1-2 minutes, until wilted.
  • To assemble the bowl, add the rice to the bottom of a bowl, top with the slices of plantains, wilted swiss chard, scoop of black beans, few slices of radishes and a spoonful of tomatillo salsa.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @acozykitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #acozykitchen
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Leave a Reply

  • Reply karen April 22, 2013 at 12:30 am

    what in the fresh hell?! Watermelon radishes??? *dies*
    those things are gorgeous! how does the taste compare to red radishes?

  • Reply thecitygourmand April 22, 2013 at 12:52 am

    On the previous comment…how adorable indeed! Dinner for one is totally a bowl of comfort food, the telly on and chocolate at hand haha

  • Reply Domonique April 22, 2013 at 12:54 am

    This looks ridiculously good πŸ™‚ Need to try for sure!


  • Reply Natashia@foodonpaper April 22, 2013 at 3:39 am

    I love those moments to myself, can’t get enough of them! That brown rice alone looks delicious.

  • Reply Abby @The Frosted Vegan April 22, 2013 at 3:45 am

    Love tne quality for one meals! Mine is usually a loaded baked potato!

  • Reply DessertForTwo April 22, 2013 at 5:25 am

    I’m all about the Dinner For One. It feels so great to cook exactly what you want, no apologies. In my case, that means no meat and I don’t have to feel guilty that I didn’t make my manly husband any meat, because it’s just me!

  • Reply Tieghan April 22, 2013 at 5:46 am

    Ok, I love this! The rice, the plantans, the salsa! I love that is is only for one, because honestly I am the only one in my family that would eat this! They are all afraid of anything with out cheese! LOL

  • Reply Heather @ A Sweet Simple Life April 22, 2013 at 6:15 am

    Love dinner-for-one nights. I usually make veggie quesadillas and homemade salsa. I’m going to have to try these bowls though. And the radishes are so pretty!

  • Reply Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) April 22, 2013 at 6:50 am

    Gah!! This looks SO good. I tend to be a little bit more pathetic when it comes to dinner-for-one meals (think cereal, or a TJ’s tikka masala–or a simple pasta). Looks like the perfect comfort meal.

    I just went out for Mexican on Friday night and I had the most delicious fried plantains with crema, and this post is bringing back memories.

    PS. Totally know what you mean about just needing time to chill and relax alone (I’m so like that). Luckily MY dude (who lives with me) gets that and tends to let me be when I need that time..haha

  • Reply loryn April 22, 2013 at 6:52 am

    my favorite thing about baseball season is that i can plan on certain nights to date myself. Myself and I are looking very forward to thursday night when world’s most lovable dude will be on a bro-date to the Yankees. whooo-eee.

  • Reply Adi April 22, 2013 at 8:22 am

    Yum! I love dinners that you can eat in one bowl – so comforting. This is pretty much everything I want right now.

  • Reply Sophie April 22, 2013 at 9:57 am

    Where did you find watermelon radishes? How facinating/pretty/I’m sure delicious! I had never heard of them before. This looks so good… especially the Spanish brown rice. Right up my alley!

    I had Dinner for One last night… it ruled. An Audrey Tautou movie, gin, and I always eat leftovers and toast when I’m alone. So I had a toasted everything bagel, and I found leftover fajita filling that I heated in a tortilla with a slice of American cheese… which meant it tasted JUST like Taco Bell. Yummm.

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme April 22, 2013 at 4:22 pm

      I found them at Whole Foods! And everything bagels are my everything. πŸ™‚

  • Reply Kitty Quintana April 22, 2013 at 10:21 am

    This looks to pretty to eat, but for me it’s perfect!

  • Reply Tina April 22, 2013 at 10:33 am

    Dinner for one is sounding so luxe to me. Will never get that in my household πŸ™
    This looks amaze balls n those radishes- OMG. Well done A

  • Reply lynn @ the actor's diet April 22, 2013 at 11:14 am

    this looks great – but I want to know where the place you get it is too!

  • Reply Anne @The Cooking Campaign April 22, 2013 at 11:34 am

    This looks so interesting! I definitely understand wanting a little alone time.

  • Reply Nicole Meyer April 22, 2013 at 11:35 am

    I love this! I do enjoy a good dinner alone! My hubs was gone for a week last month and I made simple veggie pasta dishes or big crazy anything goes salad. I ate dinner in front of the tv, drank mocktails and watched Dallas πŸ™‚ A couple years ago I got totally obsessed with the old series on dvd and the new series isn’t to shabby either.

  • Reply Marie @ Little Kitchie April 22, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    What a beaut! I love treating myself to a fabulous dinner for one every now and then. Going to save this for my next night like this πŸ™‚

  • Reply Iris @cookie Chanel April 22, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    It’s not nearly as sophisticated as this, I’m more of a honey bunches of oats Greek yogurt cereal kind if girl. But I think I’m going to give it a try, you had me at plantains!

  • Reply Kris April 22, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    NASHVILLE! The best soap opera ever. can’t stop won’t stop.

  • Reply Megan @ Hint of Vanilla April 22, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    Date nights for me are usually spend lying on the couch with my cat, watching a good movie or maybe an old Disney classic, and eating a big bowl of mac and cheese, finished off with some freshly baked chocolate chip cookies!

    If I’m wanting something a little more than mac and cheese, I go to my fave Indian restaurant, which is conveniently one block away from my house. I eat more curry than I should and brew myself some of my fancy teas (like salted caramel or toasted marshmallow!)

  • Reply Eileen April 22, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    Eating an amazing meal all by yourself is definitely one of the best things. This bowl looks great! I love the big pile of greens.

  • Reply Jayne April 22, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    I really like the contrast in every component of this bowl! Tomatoey rice for the win. That pairs well with every thing on this planet.

  • Reply Angela Walley April 22, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    Love the idea of being inspired by recipes from local vegan restaurants! My date for one routine is usually breakfast-style. I’ll let hub sleep in and take some time to catch up on my favorite blogs, make a bowl of cereal, and take in the morning nice and slow.

  • Reply Tracy | Peanut Butter and Onion April 23, 2013 at 5:00 am

    I love dinner for one nights… you are free to make, eat and enjoy whatever you want!

  • Reply Gini April 23, 2013 at 8:13 am

    Two words: dee lish!

    My personal date night recipe is a brown sugar crusted salmon with hot steamed rice, and a quick butter sautΓ©e of whatever veggie is hanging out in the fridge. Heaven.

  • Reply Bernadette @ Now Stir It Up April 23, 2013 at 11:05 am

    I love dates with myself. Sometimes being by myself is the perfect solution to a hectic day. Plus it always involves some sort of reality TV.

    This bowl looks great and I LOVE the watermelon radishes!

  • Reply Nicole April 24, 2013 at 9:24 am

    This looks so good! I think I’d add some avocado too.

    My date night is pretty much reality TV that my husband refuses to watch, like Real Housewives (must be OC or Beverly Hills). I’d be in PJ’s and would either be drinking some herbal tea or some champagne depending on my mood. I always go really simple on food when I’m alone, like avocado toast & eggs, or beans on toast, or really anything with toast.

  • Reply Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar April 24, 2013 at 10:45 am

    I’m totally digging this! Yum!

  • Reply Connie April 24, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    you had me at fried plantains….

  • Reply Mallory April 26, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    I love all of the colors going on here. What a beautiful but simple dish!

  • Reply Veena May 8, 2013 at 9:27 am

    i am definetaly going to try out this recipe for sure…the brows rice color looks amazing..

  • Reply Anna June 5, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    I tried this recipe and the rice will definitely take longer to cook up, usually around 30-40 minutes. I also couldn’t find tomatillos at my store so I used poblano peppers and they were delicious for the salsa! Thanks for the idea!

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  • Reply IK August 8, 2017 at 3:57 am

    Thank you for sharing this really yummy and healthy vegan recipe.

    For people who want to adopt a vegan lifestyle, there is a good guide to start: