When I first saw this contest on Chelsey’s blog I thought I should try and enter. I don’t whip up things in the kitchen as often as I’d like to and it seemed like a perfect opportunity to try something out.

Then I realized that my favorite recipes aren’t really “recipes” at all. I’m all about throwing things together that I already know I love. While I’m inspired by numerous recipes I find online (hello, that’s what Pinterest is for!) I often find myself leaning back on old favorites.

So here is my entry for the Cooking Creations contest courtesy of Appliances Online and Clean Eating Chelsey.

While I think this is the prettiest thing I have ever made, it wasn’t hard to do at all. I’m pretty impatient in general, let alone when I’m hungry so I like making things in advance. On the weekends I like to dice up my veggies for the week, precook some grains, and organize my fridge so that everything is easy to see and find.

And burritos are pretty much my favorite thing ever. When I went gluten-free I could never really find a good replacement for my beloved flour tortillas. But burrito bowls take all of the worrying out of that.

The first thing I like to have on hand is salsa. Pico de gallo is pretty darn simple. I make enough to last throughout the week.

Apparently I was hungry when I was making this, because I’d normally chop the pieces a lot smaller. But if you like it thick and chunky this is definitely the way to go!

Pico de Gallo

2 medium tomatoes
1/2 medium onion
1/4 cup cilantro
1/2 jalapeno
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Dice tomatoes, onion and jalapeno. Add remaining ingredients and store covered in the fridge.

How simple is that for a “recipe”? You can technically make it even easier and use salsa from a jar for your burrito bowl.

If you thought ahead as to what you want you can cook up a batch of beans (or open a can, just make sure to drain and rinse well) and decide what sort of grain you want. Quinoa, millet and brown rice are my favorites. If you don’t have to be gluten-free you can try barley, couscous or even wheat berries as well.

If you’re like me, you don’t always anticipate what you’re going to want to eat. This is why I love parboiled brown rice, it only takes 15 minutes to cook on the stove. Gives me plenty of time to saute some bell pepper and for Aubrey to have his beloved chicken.

Sorry for the dark picture, I was more interested in feeding my grumbling stomach than making it pretty. ;)

I started out my burrito bowl with a bed of romaine lettuce, which is my favorite green. You can use spinach, kale, or even iceberg if that’s what you prefer. While the darker greens have more nutrients, iceberg is still lettuce and has a great water content to help fill you up.

Then I added brown rice and some canned pinto beans that I made sure to rinse really well to lower the sodium content.

I added some tortilla chips around the side for dipping, but I wouldn’t suggest doing this. The hot rice and beans made the lettuce wilt (which was good) and the bottom of the chips soggy (which was very bad).

I topped my bowl with pico de gallo and a bell pepper that I sauteed in a little olive oil until it started to blister and brown up.

Deep Dish Burrito Bowls

Bed of greens (romaine, spinach, kale, iceberg, etc.)
1 cup cooked grains (brown rice, quinoa, millet, etc.)
1 cup beans (or tofu or meat if you desire)
Toppings: salsa, yogurt, guacamole, steamed or grilled veggies, really go crazy here!
Sides: Cucumber slices, tortilla chips, really whatever you like.

Directions: Dump in bowl, dig in.

When I made it again later in the week I already had the beans and rice ready to go. All they needed was a little zap in the microwave to come back to life. I skipped cooking the bell pepper and just ate it raw instead. I used a mixture of salsa and Greek yogurt as a dressing and kept my chips on the side this time.

A filling and delicious mess for dinner sounds good to me! I think guacamole would make a great addition as well. You can dress it up or dress it down, but in the end this is one of the easiest things I have ever made.

What is your go-to meal when you want food NOW?