Farmer’s Market Burrito Bowl

This dish seems to be inspired by a few different things.  It’s like fifty percent summer farmer’s market, fifty percent Chipotle, and fifty percent Sandra Lee’s Semi-Homemade.  I didn’t do the math, but I think that works.

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I was honestly just in the mood for Mexican food today.  I wasn’t thinking too hard about it.  Just got that spicy-zesty vibe coasting in on the heat waves today or something.

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But what happened when that vibe came in contact with the plethora of juicy looking produce at the market… (and the fact that I realized I also had crazy amounts of quinoa stocked up from a recent Costco run)… was a really fresh combo that spins off nachos, burritos, and taco salad.  The words “muy delicioso!” come to mind as I’m scooping it into my mouth.

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I’m always a fan of delicious food, but it probably won’t surprise you that I’m also a fan of budget-friendly, easy-to-make-ahead, weeknight meals.  If they come out looking a bit gourmet… well, I’m not about to complain.

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And I promise… this may have lots of veggies and be really healthy… but it doesn’t like being called a salad.  This one is a bad boy at heart.

Let’s fiesta.

Farmer's Market Burrito Bowl

In order of appearance:

½ small yellow onion, diced

1/3 large red onion, diced

1 small chili pepper, medium to low spice variety

2 medium-sized hatch chilies

1 yellow bell pepper

1 green onion stalk, chopped

3 medium-sized red tomatoes, diced

Half cup cilantro, loosely packed - finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

½ tsp. each chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin powder, 

¼ tsp. each dried oregano, salt, pepper, paprika, and cayenne pepper (or more to taste)

1 15-oz can hot chili beans in sauce

2 packages 90-second microwavable quinoa and rice with garlic (or cook about 2 cups quinoa and rice)

1 avocado, diced

7-10 Large tortilla chips per plate

1 head Romaine lettuce, chopped

1-2 T. non-fat plain Greek yogurt per plate (optional)

¼ c. Mexican-style shredded cheese per plate (optional)

3 oz shredded or chopped grilled chicken breast per plate (optional)

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Prep the first three ingredients and transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

Cut the top off each hatch chili and the yellow bell pepper, then cut each in half and place cut side down on a baking sheet.  Place an oven rack near the top of the oven.  Turn on the broiler and put the baking sheet on the top rack for 2 minutes.  Check peppers for blackening and loosening of the skins.  The chilies will probably be done before the bell pepper, so be sure to remove them when they are done and continue baking the pepper, checking every minute.

Note: When broiling anything in the oven, you really need to set the timer and/or stand right in front of it.  Don’t walk away… things can catch fire quickly under the broiler!  

When the peppers are all lightly blackened and the skin is puckering, turn off the broiler and set aside to cool.

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Meanwhile, prep the green onions through cilantro, placing in a medium bowl.  Reserve a handful or two of this mixture for garnishing.  Mince the garlic and add to the bowl.

When the peppers are cooled, peel the skins off – they should come off easily, but parts of mine didn’t… so I just left a little bit on!  Didn’t hurt a thing.  Dice up and add to the medium bowl with the green onions and tomatoes.

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Sauté the first bowl with red and yellow onions in 1 T. canola oil over medium heat, about 3-4 minutes.

Add the bowlful of tomatoes, etc., plus all the spices, and cook 2-3 minutes longer until everything is slightly softened and heated through.

Cook the quinoa and rice separately and add to the cooked veggies.  Taste test for spice-perfection.

Finally, arrange tortilla chips around the edges of the plate.  Place a cup or two chopped Romaine in the center.  Put down a layer of beans and then a scoop of the quinoa + rice mixture on top of that. 

Garnish with chopped avocado, fresh tomato, cilantro, green onion, and lime juice.  If using, place chicken, cheese, and Greek yogurt (or light sour cream) around the outside.  Serve immediately!

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