I Am Mucho (Mexican Bowl Inspired By Cafe Gratitude)

Vegan Gluten-Free Mexican Bowl With Toasted Pepitas

One of my favorite meals to order at Cafe Gratitude is their Mucho Bowl which is a delicious, nourishing Mexican bowl. Upon our last visit, I paid close attention to the flavors so I could replicate it at home! The best part of it is the toasted pepitas which garnish the bowl and add a tasty crunch. Read on for the recipe!

Spicy Toasted Pepitas (Vegan and Gluten-Free)

Vegan Mexican Bowl with Pepita Topping and Cashew Cheese (Gluten-Free)

As I’ve mentioned before, I love recreating restaurant meals. I first started getting inspired to recreate restaurant faves after we would frequently dine in LA at the best vegan spots, then come home to SD and miss those places. I quickly realized I needed to learn to make these meals at home to tide me over until I was back in LA. Luckily, we have a Cafe Gratitude now in San Diego so I can go there for their unique, unreplicable items like their treenut cheeses and gluten-free baguettes with spinach dip. But for menu items like the Mucho Bowl and their Fiesta Potatoes which I blogged a recipe for earlier this year, it’s simple and easy to make at home.


Cafe Gratitude Inspired Mexican Bowl (Vegan and Gluten-Free)

This bowl is flavorful and so filling! I made it for dinner on Wednesday and I knew I had succeeded when Thomas went back for seconds! That’s always the sign of a good recipe to me :) I also had it for lunch yesterday and it kept me satisfied until dinnertime! It’s full of flavor but is easy to make when you take shortcuts like using premade pico de gallo, cashew cheese and guacamole making it the perfect weeknight meal!

Mexican Bowl with Toasted Pepitas (Vegan and Gluten-Free)

Serves 4


For the pepitas:
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 lime
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp cayenne

For the bowl:
1 cup brown rice, cooked according to package directions
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp water
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp cayenne
1 tbsp lime juice
Pico de Gallo (store-bought or homemade)
Guacamole (store-bought or homemade)
Cashew cheese (recipe)
1 can green chiles


1. Heat a pan over medium heat. Add pumpkin seeds and sea salt. Toast for about 5-6 minutes, until golden brown and puffed. Add spices and transfer to a jar. Set aside.

2. In the same pan, add the black beans, water, lime juice, and spices. Cook over medium heat until simmering until the black beans and water have thickened up. Mix well and remove from heat.

3. In a bowl, layer cooked brown rice, black beans, pico de gallo, green chiles,  cashew cheese and guacamole. Garnish with cilantro and the toasted pepitas. Drizzle with lime and serve!

Mexican Bowl with cashew cheese, pico, guacamole, rice and beans

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