Happy Monday, friends!
Did you know that February is National Chocolate Lovers Month? Yeah. I’m just finding this out today, and I’m usually disappointed when I find out about food holidays towards the end of the celebration period. However, I’m pretty much always “celebrating” chocolate, so I’m not too disgruntled about the 24 days of National Chocolate Lovers Month that have already passed.
Now, you may be wondering why I’m going on about chocolate when today’s post clearly does not contain a chocolate recipe. Well, I’m quite certain that there’s no shortage of chocolate recipes out there, and I thought a healthy recipe would be a nice way to offset all that Valentine’s chocolate and other celebratory chocolate treats.
So put aside the chocolate for a while, and feast your eyes on this Copycat Qdoba Burrito Bowl.
If you’re not familiar with Qdoba, it’s a Mexican grill that specializes in giant, delicious burritos. For those who like to opt for a healthier alternative when eating there, Qdoba also offers the Naked Burrito Bowl– A burrito minus the tortilla, served in a bowl. That’s what we’re makin’ today.
What I love about the Burrito Bowl is that it’s fresh and filling. It can be made without the fatty ingredients like meat and cheese, and it’s still just as satisfying.
In addition to being healthy and satisfying, this meal is also cheap to make. Rice: cheap. Beans: cheap. Tomatoes, onions, and limes: cheap. And you can beef this bowl up to your heart’s content. Pile on as many ingredients as you can fit in the bowl. Just like when you order the meal at Qdoba, you can add chicken, beef, cheese, more veggies, sour cream, queso dip, guacamole, more sauces and salsas. All these would, of course, add to the cost and caloric content of the meal, but you’ve got freedom. It’s your Burrito Bowl; make it however you like!
Another bonus of this recipe is that it makes lots of salsa, so you have plenty for dipping chips.
Pico de Gallo Salsa Ingredients:
(Salsa recipe makes about 3 cups, leaving extra for serving with chips.)
- 1-1/2 c. red onion, chopped (about half a medium onion)
- 3 c. roma tomatoes, diced (about 4 to 5 tomatoes)
- juice of 2 limes
- 1 bunch cilantro, chopped (about 1-1/2 cups)
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- diced jalapeños, optional (I don’t use them because I have zero tolerance for heat.)
- salt and pepper to taste
Burrito Bowl Ingredients:
(for 4 servings)
- 2 c. uncooked rice (+ water for cooking)
- 3 Tbs. fresh cilantro, chopped
- juice of half a lime
- 1 can (15 oz.) pinto beans– Do not drain and rinse.
- 1 can (15 oz.) black beans– Do not drain and rinse.
- Lettuce (Amount depends on how much lettuce you like. For a generous amount of lettuce, use about 2 cups for 4 servings. Also, pick your favorite kind of lettuce; I love using a spring mix.)
- Optional toppings: Cheese, sour cream, chicken, beef, pork, guacamole, grilled veggies
- Cook the rice according to package directions (or in a rice cooker) with 3 Tbs. chopped cilantro and the juice of half a lime (and water, of course).
- While the rice cooks, heat the beans, and prepare the salsa ingredients. Pour all the contents of each can of beans into a small saucepan, and heat them on medium.
- Chop the onion and dice the tomatoes. You can either do all the chopping yourself and just combine the salsa ingredients in a bowl, or you can roughly chop the ingredients and pulse them all in a food processor for a few seconds. The option you choose depends mostly on how coarse you like your salsa. I like to chop a little and let the food processor do the rest, but it really takes only a few seconds in the processor if you do a little chopping.
- Stir together all the salsa ingredients in a large bowl, and add salt and pepper to taste. Some suggest letting the salsa sit in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to a couple hours before using it, but I think it tastes great immediately.
- When the rice is done, assemble your Burrito Bowls. Start with rice in the bottom of the bowl, then top with lettuce, beans, salsa, and any other ingredients you’re using.
- Recipe yields 4 servings; store the remaining salsa in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week.
So, I hope you’re celebrating National Chocolate Lovers Month, but I also hope you’re balancing out your chocolate intake with a good amount of healthy foods. Bon appetit!
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