easiest meals 101: the burrito bowl

I know it's been almost a month since my last post.  So happy St. Nicholas Day! We've had visitors, have been out of town, and a small bout with anxiety.  Work with doTERRA has been picking up, Tom is extremely mobile, and finals have begun for Alex.  Advent is about halfway through, so all of the Christmas prep is under way, but mostly spiritually and mentally at this point.  I am trying to make things easier as we get ready for not only the holidays, but our big trip up north and then down south over Alex's Christmas break.  So that means pre-made hummus, lunch meat, smoothies, soups.  The stuff I can pull out but still make a decent meal or snack with.

I/we love Mexican food, real or Tex-Mex.  I love Chipotle, and if it's still diseased, I still love the concept.  I like to make various combinations of a dish in one meal; it allows me to be creative with flavors and smells and textures.  I also love (ha, so much love) being able to make an actual meal with the random ingredients in my fridge, pantry, and spice drawer (read: creative ease).  All this to say, I love burrito bowls. We started making them about a year ago, when we were [wait, we still are; let's not kid ourselves] on a tight budget and trying to use up what we had at home before making a grocery run.  I've made these for a few guests, and they were a hit.  Alex and I make these about once every week and a half or so, and any leftovers are tomorrow's burrito bowls, or breakfast tacos with eggs and tortillas.

You can honestly use anything to substitute any of the layers.  I'll give a breakdown of what we usually have, and what you can have if you've got to sub.

alrighty folks, from the bottom up:

  • Grain(ish sort of carb thing)
  • Protein
  • Veggies
  • Dairy

Grain

If I have chicken broth, I'll cook the rice, chickpeas, or quinoa in it.  Occasionally, I'll saute the onions and toss them in while the rice is cooking!  Sooo delish.  If I'm cooking the chickpeas, I add the onions regardless, and sometimes red pepper flakes.

Protein

Lately it's been this smoky chicken recipe.  I've been out of coriander, so I'll use red pepper flakes.....def not the same thing...but it gives it the extra kick.  Other times it's this pork recipe with Costco or Trader Joe's precooked BBQ pork.  Even other times,  it's shrimp, or fish, or ground beef cooked with onions, garlic, and taco seasoning.  If it's a Friday, and we have no food of the sea, we eliminate this protein altogether.  #nomeatfridaysforthoseCatholics  [which also looks like "nom eat fridays" which works too]

Veggies

Many options here.  Use all or one or none.

1) canned corn - (if I have these other ingredients) 1 can of corn, half a red onion diced, chopped cilantro, 1 can of black beans, juice of one lime, salt, then mix.

2) sauteed onions

3) salsa - (typically) 4-6 fresh chopped or diced tomatoes, 1 diced bell pepper, juice of one lemon, 1 diced red onion, 1 diced habanero, salt, then stir and let sit in fridge for a bit.  [the other day I used 2 drops of lemon oil because we were completely out of any fresh citrus.  It was just as good, ONLY it didn't have the extra juiciness a fresh lemon lends]

4) guacamole - (typically) 2-5 avocadoes, 2-3 green onions, a handful of chopped cilantro, the juice of 1-2 limes, red pepper flakes, 1 chopped jalapeño, salt, all mashed and stirred together.

5) chopped lettuce and/or chopped cilantro for garnish and extra oomph.

Dairy

So sometimes we have sour cream, and that goes on top.  We might mix it with TJ's habanero sauce (THIS IS NO TABASCO; USE AT YOUR OWN RISK IF YOU WANT FIYAAAA), and dump it on.  If we only have yogurt, we'll do the same as above, or blend it with adobo chilis.  Just dreamy and creamy.  If the flavors are right, we add shredded cheese.

So all, crack open a Corona (or what ever psuedo Mexican beer you like to drink), shove a lime in there, and dig in to your bowl.  A major party in your mouth.  Like the generous St. Nick, be gracious and invite friends over to join you in this easy feast, just have them bring dessert!  Sometimes something simple and easy is all we can offer, but it's the gift of self and friendship that matters more.  <3