A Minimalist Dinner Recipe
Hi readers and listeners! Today we are featuring a minimalist dinner recipe from our friend and listener, Cristin of The Slutty Food Blog! These burritos bowls are delicious, simple, easy, and can be made vegan or Paleo. Thanks for sharing in the yumminess, Cristin!
Hey everyone! Cristin here from Slutty Food Blog to share with you one of my favorite, most flexible recipes – what I like to call Better Burrito Bowls! ‘Better’, because I do think they are better than Chipotle’s burrito bowls! Don’t get me wrong – I love Chipotle just as much as the next person, but with a little bit of effort, you CAN make them better at home.
These burrito bowls are also very flexible, because no matter what kind of diet you are following, or how good or bad you feel like being on a particular day, you can make these burrito bowls to fit your mood. Also, if you find joy in the slicing and dicing of all the things in the kitchen like I do, you can make everything homemade; or, if you are super busy and need mealtime to happen quickly, you can also make this fast!
Make it Paleo! Use cauliflower rice, or whatever Paleo-friendly rice you prefer. Grill up some chicken or steak using //this Paleo-friendly marinade// to amp up the protein content – I would recommend two chicken breasts or one flank steak for the recipe below. Omit sour cream, cheese, and black beans.
Make it vegan! Omit sour cream and cheese. Omit any butter recommended for rice preparation, and use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.
Make it vegetarian! Prepare as directed below, using vegetable stock for the rice.
Make it fast! Buy frozen prepared brown rice, or minute rice. Heat/cook as directed on the package, and flavor as directed below with lime juice and cilantro. Buy pre-sliced fajita veggies from your produce department, and cook and season as directed below. Buy prepared pico de gallo and prepared guacamole from your produce department. Buy pre-shredded cheese.
And of course, my favorite way – Make it slutty! Prepare as directed below, including ALL of the “if desired” toppings. ☺
What I truly love about this recipe is that it is GREAT for work lunches. If you can take an hour on a Sunday to cook a batch of something delicious, you’ll be fed for a few days at least – so this makes the perfect meal prep recipe. This recipe in particular makes enough for 4 lunch-sized burrito bowls (which I would say is maybe just over half the size of a Chipotle burrito bowl – which letsbehonest is TOO BIG). You can very easily double it to make more, or even 1.5x it to make just a little more. And obviously you can go the other way and halve it so that you only have dinner for two!
Better Burrito Bowls
Cilantro Lime Rice
1 cup dry California brown Basmati rice (we like Lundberg), or other brown rice, prepared according to package directions (see note)
Chicken or vegetable stock to prepare the rice (see note)
1 large handful minced cilantro
1 lime, cut in half
1 large red bell pepper, sliced into strips and then in half again
1 large green bell pepper, sliced into strips and then in half again
½ red onion, sliced into strips
Taco or fajita seasoning
Other Bowl Components
1 can black beans, not rinsed or drained
1 recipe pico de gallo (try my recipe //here//)
1 avocado, cubed; cubes tossed in lime juice to keep from browning
Guacamole for topping, if desired (try my recipe //here//)
Sour cream for topping, if desired
Shredded cheese for topping, if desired
1. Prepare brown rice according to package directions. This typically takes 40-50 minutes, so this is plenty of time for you to get everything else ready! When the rice is finished, season very liberally with salt and stir to combine. Taste to see if it’s salty enough. Then add in the cilantro, and squeeze one half of the lime over the rice. Stir to combine. Taste to see if it’s cilantro-y or limey enough for you. I like a lot of lime, so if you’re like me, you’ll probably end up squeezing the other lime half over the rice as well. Keep warm.
2. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Spray liberally with cooking spray, or drizzle sparingly with a light flavorless oil of your choice. (I use coconut oil spray, and probably spray 2 layers all over the pan.) Add the peppers and saute for about 5 minutes to give them a head start over the onions. Add the onions. Season with 1-2 teaspoons of taco or fajita seasoning, as your palate desires. Stir to combine, and as the vegetables soften, turn the heat down to keep them from burning. You want them to be like fajita veggies – not too soft, but not too crisp either. Keep warm.
3. Pour the black beans into a small saucepan and warm over low heat. Keep warm until ready to assemble bowls. Note that when assembling, you should use a slotted spoon to drain the beans before adding to the bowl.
4. When everything is finished cooking, begin to assemble your burrito bowls. Spoon ¼ of the rice, ¼ of the beans, and ¼ of the sauteed veggies into a bowl. If preparing for lunches at work, stop there. You’ll want all the warm stuff in one bowl, and then you’ll pack the cold toppings in other bowls to take with you to work. If you’re preparing this to eat immediately, you can proceed with topping as you desire. Then feel free to stir it all up and shovel it in your mouth toute suite.
Regarding the rice/stock :: for whatever reason, brown rice always takes more liquid than what is called for on the package, at least for me. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve got a gas stove that cooks hotter than electric, or maybe I don’t know what a simmer is, but in general, this particular brand of brown rice (Lundberg) takes a little more stock than the package calls for. For 1 cup of dry rice, I use 2 cups of stock (the package calls for 1 1/2 cups of stock). Speaking of the stock – the recipe is good with chicken OR vegetable stock, I’ve made it both ways. I prefer stock over broth, as it’s more flavorful.