Southwestern Veggie Bowl with Black Bean Hummus


I’ve been kinda going through a recipe rut lately.

Usually, inspiration kinda just comes to me— whether I’m at the grocery store, or looking through my fridge, or reading other friend’s blogs— recipe ideas just kinda flow in from my daily habits. I think that’s how most food bloggers work. I mean, it’s probably why we all got started in the first place, creativity just comes pretty naturally in the kitchen.

But recently, I’ve found myself a little less inspired to think out-of-the-box with food, still enjoying my time cooking, but relying mostly on old favorites instead of jumping straight into new, creative ideas. And to be frank, it feels pretty odd (slash terrible) to hit a wall creatively. I mean, come on, food bloggers aren’t supposed to get into a recipe rut! Right?!?

Wrong. We’re only human. I’m only human. And sometimes, that’s a tough thing to grapple with. Especially when the food blogging world looks so perfect and polished and pretty.

So I’m trying to remind myself that, at some point or another, we all have to go through something like this. Nothing comes easy and sometimes we need to give ourselves a little time and patience when it comes to our passions. Yeah, I know, easier said than done.


Southwestern Veggie Bowl with Black Bean Hummus {vegan, gluten free} // pumpkin & peanut butter


So as a way to rekindle those creative juices in me, I’m going back to basics (cue barefoot contessa music hehe). I’m trying not to get bogged down by all the amazingly creative content I read everyday in the blogging world, and instead, I’m reminding myself why I’m here with you guys today.

I’m here because I love to cook.

And sharing this love of cooking with you lovely people everyday is basically the coolest thing in the world. Well, maybe besides going to outer space, but still pretty freakin’ cool 😉

The more I remind myself of that, that reason I’m here creating and experimenting and photographing and writing, the better it feels to be honest and vulnerable and simple.

Speaking of simple….


Southwestern Veggie Bowl with Black Bean Hummus {vegan, gluten free} // pumpkin & peanut butter

Southwestern Veggie Bowl with Black Bean Hummus {vegan, gluten free} // pumpkin & peanut butter


Today’s recipe is super simple. As I reflect back on some of the recipes that sparked my initial love of cooking, mexican food always comes to mind. Burrito bowls and tacos were some of the first “recipes” I ever made, and going back to my “roots” feels pretty darn good today.

Instead of your typical beans or protein, I’m sharing a simple, creamy black bean hummus topping for your southwestern veggie bowl. This hummus is SO easy to throw together and is packed with flavor. Plus, I bet you have most of the ingredients lying around your house (I sure did).

Once that 5-minute black bean hummus is whipped up, all you need to do is cook up some brown rice (or quinoa will do), sauté some peppers and onions, and layer it all together with some fresh cherry tomatoes and creamy avocado.

Voila! A simple, delicious, nutritious burrito-style veggie bowl.


Southwestern Veggie Bowl with Black Bean Hummus {vegan, gluten free} // pumpkin & peanut butter


So I’m going to keep on keepin’ on— finding inspiration from simple recipes like these that remind me why I love cooking and creating SO much. Especially in today’s crazy food world, I guess it’s kind of good to take a step back to basics every once in a while. Hopefully I’ll get out of my funk soon!

What about you? Have you ever gotten into a recipe rut? How did you find your inspiration again?


Southwestern Veggie Bowl with Black Bean Hummus

Serves 1-2
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 20 minutes
Dietary Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish


  • 1 cup short grain brown rice, cooked
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup red and orange peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1 Small yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin

for the black bean hummus

  • 1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup salsa
  • 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1-2 teaspoon lime juice
  • 3-4 tablespoons water


black bean hummus inspired by cookin' canuck's 5 minute black bean dip


Step 1
Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil into a large skillet and add in thinly sliced yellow onion. Sauté for a few minutes, until onion is just starting to turn golden. Add in the red and orange pepper sliced and sauté for 5-6 minutes or medium heat, until veggies are tender.
Step 2
Make the black bean hummus by placing all ingredients into a food processor or high speed blender EXCEPT water: black beans, garlic, cilantro, cumin, salsa, and lime juice. Blend for 1 minute. Stop and scrape the bowl, then add in 2 tbsp of water and blend again for 30 seconds. Add in any additional water, if needed, and puree for an additional 1-2 minutes until it's reached your desired consistency.
Step 3
Start to layer your bowl! Begin with 1 cup of brown rice. Top with peppers and onions, avocado, tomatoes, and a big scoop of black bean hummus. Top it all off with some cracked black pepper and freshly chopped cilantro leaves!

Southwestern Veggie Bowl with Black Bean Hummus {vegan, gluten free} // pumpkin & peanut butter



Hi, I’m Liz and this is my food blog where I share my love of healthy foods and whole ingredients. You will find mostly vegetarian dishes, plenty of sweets, and lots of love from this little kitchen in Durham, North Carolina!


  1. I am definitely familiar with the good ol’ recipe rut. I have found myself in Trader Joe’s on a Saturday morning with absolutely no idea what I want to shoot that weekend 😉 Right now I’m in a writing rut…I have quite a bit of down-time at the moment, so I’m not really doing much (aka. I have nothing interesting to write about haha)

    Regardless of your recipe rut, these bowls look FANTASTIC. That black bean hummus is making me weak!

    • I’m glad I’m not alone!! Yeah, I’ve totally been there too with the writing rut— sometimes I feel like I bust out a post about absolutely nothing! So glad you like these bowls 🙂

  2. Oh girl, creative ruts are the WORST! The juice will come back though, it always does! Just keep your head up, be patient with yourself, and like you said, start with the basics again. They’ll inspire you 🙂

    These bowls sound SO delicious though, anything southwestern-inspired I am TOTALLY up for!

    • Thanks Lucia! You’re totally right— it’ll come with time. So glad you like them 🙂

  3. I am so glad I read this, Liz! I am totally in the same place right now and it is nice to hear that I am not alone 🙂 Plus, you’re totally right on about just loving to cook! That’s where it all starts and even though comparing yourself to other blogs is super easy to do, it’s good to go back to the basics and remember what you love and why you started this crazy amazing adventure in the first place <3

    • Thanks Maya! Yeah, that’s about where I’m at right now. But it’s been feeling pretty good starting back at simple… hopefully I’ll get my groove back soon!

  4. I love simple so I was thrilled to see this recipe. As far as your recipe rut goes I just love seeing great food and honest writing, I don’t need any fancy new ideas. I know I can always find good food and hearted words when I am on your site so keep it coming <3

    • You’re too sweet Kathryn! You’ve definitely been an inspiration as far as my writing goes— your posts are always so thoughtfully written!

  5. GIRL I love a good veggie bowl. Pretty much any food in a bowl = the best. And I hope you find your creativity groove again, it’s definitely a struggle for all bloggers so you’re not alone!!! <3 Can't wait to see what you bring next!

    • Aww thanks Erica! Yeahhhh the struggle is definitely real. But I’m so glad to hear I’m not alone in this!

  6. I think we’ve ALL been there! At least I know I sure have!! But as long as I focus on what I love and why I started in the first place, it always works out and the phase passes!!

    PS these bowls sound incredible!

    • Thanks Ashley! Yeah, that’s where I’m at right now— glad to hear I’m not the only one!

  7. Liz you are so awesome! A great idea I heard on a Food Blogger Pro podcast (the one with the couple from Not Without Salt) was to look for inspiration outside of food like heading to a museum. I find when I’m in a recipe/blogging rut being creative in a different way like crafting or painting helps to get me excited about being creative with recipes again and full of ideas. BTW I think these bowls look amazing, that black bean hummus is such a great belly-friendly take on a burrito bowl!

    • That’s such a great idea!! I’m going out of town this weekend so I think it’ll be nice to have a change of scenery, eat out at some different restaurants, and get some inspiration from new places! Thanks so much Brie!

  8. This looks and sounds absolutely delicious, Liz! I love southwestern flavors, so I definitely need to try that black bean hummus! Really like all the veggies and the addition of avocado too! YUM!

    • Thanks Joscelyn! It’s one of my favorite flavors too. That hummus is SO easy to throw together and super quick— definitely give it a try!

  9. That black bean hummus — oh my goodness it looks so fresh and delicious! I love healthy burrito bowls. They make the perfect, simple lunches or dinners. Can’t wait to try this out.

    • Thanks Kellen! They’re my favorite too. You’ll have to let me know what you think if you try it out 😉

    • I totally agree! Bowls are the best kinds of meals!

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