Vegetarian Chalupa Bowl

Vegetarian Chalupa Bowl

Vegetarian Chalupa Bowl
I adapted this south-central Mexican specialty from a pork-based slow cooker recipe to a quick vegetarian version. While I have made the original version, I find the beans-only version light, refreshing, and crave-worthy. It is well suited for both cooler weather and an appetite adjusting to warmer days and our bodies needing light fare. This is one of my family’s staples during the warmer months of the year. My kids especially like the build-it-yourself component of this meal, allowing for customization to one’s own taste (and as we know is sometimes the key with kids!). As a chakra balancing meal this Chalupa bowl energetically aligns all your energy centers so you'll feel rooted, be in a joyful flow, have confidence, be filled with gratitude and compassion, speak your truth, and trust your intuition. Since we always prepare our food with love for ourselves and our loved ones, you'll open up your Crown chakra- knowing there is more than just this material world.
    Cook Time
    25-30 minutes
    Meal Plan
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    This recipe has been added to your Meal Plan
    Cook Time
    25-30 minutes
    Meal Plan
    Add to Meal Plan:
    This recipe has been added to your Meal Plan
    • 3teaspoons canola, avocado or coconut oil, divided
    • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 1/2tablespoon chili powder (I use less, as my youngest does not love spicy)
    • 2 (15.5-ounce) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
    • 1 1 (4-oz.) can chopped green chiles
    • 1teaspoon sea salt
    • 1teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 (14.5 ounce) can vegetable broth
    • 4 large corn tortillas
    • 4cups chopped romaine lettuce
    • 1cup uncooked brown rice
    • 1cup vegan shredded Monterey jack cheese *
    • 2 tomatoes, chopped
    • 2cups your favorite salsa
    • 1cup plain plant-based yogurt
    • 2 avocados, pit removed and diced
    • 1/2cup chopped onion
    • Hot sauce and sliced jalapeño peppers, optional
    1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly oil (1 teaspoon) and salt tortillas; drape over an inverted small oven-proof bowl (like a cereal bowl). Place bowls on a baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes until crispy. Remove to individual serving plates.
    2. Prepare rice according to package directions; set aside and keep warm.
    3. While tortillas bake, heat 2 teaspoons of oil a large sauce pan. Add the garlic and chili powder sautéing constantly until garlic is golden but not browned about 1 minute. Add pinto beans and next 4 ingredients (through vegetable broth). Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes until bean mixture thickens.
    4. While the bean mixture simmers, assemble romaine evenly among the corn tortilla. Place condiments and rice on table.
    5. When bean mixture is done, bring to table and allow everyone to build their own Chulupa bowl according to their preferences; i.e. spoon some lettuce, then rice, followed by the bean mixture and whatever toppings your heart desires.
    Recipe Notes



    ROOT: garlic, pinto beans, tomatoes, salsa, onion

    SACRAL: canola, olive or avocado oil, plant-based yogurt, plant-based cheese (if using)

    SOLAR PLEXUS: brown rice, pinto beans, garlic, onions, corn tortillas

    HEART: romaine lettuce, avocado

    THROAT: It's Mexican, vegetable broth, tomatoes

    THIRD EYE: green chiles, chili powder, cumin, hot sauce and jalapenos (if using)

    CROWN: Made with Love

    *I try and stay as whole foods based as possible and like to make a quick Nacho Cheez as my cheese topping rather than the processed shredded version found at grocers.  Here is my recipe if you'd like to give this a try instead of the processed shredded cheese:

    1⁄2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
    1⁄2 cup flour (I use chickpea or almond to keep it gluten free)
    1 teaspoon sea salt
    1⁄2 - 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    1 cup water
    2 tablespoons vegan butter, optional
    1 teaspoon wet mustard

    Mix dry ingredients in a saucepan (yeast flakes through garlic powder). Whisk in water and cook over medium heat, whisking until it thickens and bubbles. Cook for 30 seconds, then remove from heat. Whip in butter (if using) and mustard.


    You could also add a cup or two of diced tomatoes (or Pomi diced tomatoes) to the bean mixture for additional flavor.

    The true Mexican Chulupa dish calls for deep frying a thin layer of masa that has been pressed around a small mold. I am not a big fan of deep frying, as it is not healthy, as well as it is messy. My solution was to come up with a baked version we can all easily prepare in our American kitchens, but you could also use taco salad shells to save even more time. These are still fried, but if you are in a pinch and your family prefers them, by all means make the substitution!

    I personally eat the dish without the corn tortilla, adding some extra rice instead. This would be a great option if you are avoiding corn. You can also leave the rice out if staying lower-carb and have as a salad.

    I prefer to make my own salsa. It’s worth the extra 10 minutes. If you’d like to give it a try here is my quick version:
    Mix all the following ingredients together- 2 tomatoes, diced; 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil; ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped; 1 clove garlic, minced; ½ teaspoon sea salt; juice of 1 fresh lime; ¼- ½ jalapeno- minced (seeds removed)- optional


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