Burrito bowls have become a popular option on many restaurant menus. They consist of white or brown rice and any combination of black or pinto beans, shredded cheese, tomato salsa, veggies, sour cream, guacamole, and freshly grilled meat, chicken, or fish. More simply put, a burrito bowl is a deconstructed burrito minus the tortilla and served in a bowl. Since burrito bowls don’t include a tortilla, they are considered a healthier option for many people, especially those who are avoiding gluten.
There are as many recipes for burrito bowls as there are cooks. That’s what make them so fun to make. They can be an “everything but the kitchen sink” meal or “let’s use up what we have in the fridge”.
Following is a recipe I made using what I had on hand. I only had a can of kidney beans, so I used that instead of black or pinto beans. Since I love Montreal® Steak Seasoning, I have been using it on roasted new potatoes roasted veggies. It was delicious on chicken, giving this recipe more of a kick. You can customize your burrito bowl to suit your own personal preferences. If you don’t like a particular ingredient, leave it out.
Chicken Burrito Bowl Serves 4
For the burrito bowl: 1 cup uncooked rice (white or brown) 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts Montreal® Steak Seasoning, to taste 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed 1 cup tomato chopped 1 cup red, green, or yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped ½ cup red onion, chopped 4 green onions, thinly sliced 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced 1 ripe avocado, pitted, peeled, and chopped In a large saucepan, cook rice according to package directions. In a small saucepan, bring salted water to a boil. When the water is at a rolling boil, add corn and cook for about 1 minute. Drain and set aside to cool. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place chicken in a baking dish and season to taste with Montreal® Steak Seasoning. Roast chicken for about 30 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breasts registers an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Remove chicken from the oven, cool, and cut into bite-size pieces.
Arrange ¼ rice, chicken, corn, kidney beans, tomato, bell pepper, red and green onions, avocado, and jalapeño equally among 4 salad bowls.
For the garnish: 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped Your favorite Mexican cheese, to taste Sour cream, to taste Your favorite salsa, to taste
Garnish to taste with cilantro, cheese, sour cream, and salsa
Shopping for jalapeños: Select firm, plump chiles with shiny skin and a fresh smell. Do not buy wrinkled or soft chiles. Also, if the skin is mushy towards the stem end or if the skin is soft or brown, the chile will be inferior.
Storing jalapeños: Refrigerate in plastic bags for up to 1 week.
Shopping for cilantro: These leaves have a lively, pungent fragrance, which some describe as a mix of orange and sage. Cilantro is the name given to the lacy, green leaves of the coriander plant and is best purchased fresh. Select leaves with a bright, even color with no sign of wilting or yellowing.
Storing cilantro: Cilantro will keep 1 week in a plastic bag when refrigerated. To help prolong the life of cilantro, place it in a glass of water, stems down, cover with a plastic bag, secure the glass with a rubber band, and refrigerate. Change the water every two days.
Shopping for onions: Onions should be dry, firm, and shiny with a thin outer skin. Do not buy onions that have sprouts. They will taste bitter. The neck of an onion should be tightly closed. Do not buy onions that have dark patches, soft spots, or black mold. Storing onion: Onions should be stored in a cool, dark, dry, well-ventilated place. Do not store onions and potatoes together. Potatoes give off moisture that can cause onions to spoil. Shopping for chicken: Chicken should feel cold to the touch when it’s in the supermarket cooler. Grocery stores do from time to time have trouble with refrigeration, so never purchase a chicken that feels warm. Always check dates on packages. If the chicken has reached its “Sell-By” date, cook or freeze it that same day. Never purchase product that has passed its “Sell-By” date.
Storing chicken: After purchasing, go directly home and put your chicken immediately into the refrigerator. If you’ve purchased fresh chicken, it is best to use it within 1 to 2 days.
Carol Ann Kates is the award-winning author of cookbook, Secret Recipes from the Corner Market and Grocery Shopping Secrets. She’s an expert in how to shop, select, and store produce for maximizing home cooking outcomes and minimizing time and money spent. As a former supermarket and deli operator, Carol Ann shares grocery-insider wisdom—the same expertise you used to receive when patronizing a mom-and-pop establishment. Contact her at CarolAnn@CarolAnnKates.com and explore her website, www.CarolAnnKates.com.
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