In the mood for something Mexican, but wanting to keep the calorie count down, I tried making Chicken Burrito Bowls for the first time. The family loved it, as they could custom design their toppings to suit their tastes.
I sautéed marinated chicken and served it over white rice with a mix of both canned and fresh veggies. My only regret is that my cilantro was a little too wilted to use. Other than that, the results were great!
Chicken Burrito Bowls
- 3-4 chicken breasts, chopped into bite-size pieces
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground chili powder (I use Indian chili powder because it’s hotter)
- 1 Tbsp taco seasoning
- ½ tsp Adobo
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 can corn, drained
- 1 can black beans, drained
- 1 can carrots, drained; or 4 carrots, peeled and cooked until tender
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- hot, cooked white rice
Combine cumin, chili powder, taco seasoning, and Adobo seasoning in large bowl; add chicken pieces and set aside while you prepare vegetables and make rice.
In a large skilled, saute garlic for one minute. Add in chicken pieces, sautéing until cooked through, about 5 to 7 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer chicken to bowl.
Add drained black beans to skillet, mixing well into remaining cooking juices.
To prepare burrito bowls: Spoon rice into bowl, top with chicken, spooning accumulated juices over rice. Top with black beans, corn, tomatoes, red onion, and cilantro. Serve immediately.
Unlike most teens, my sons love Brussels sprouts, probably because several years ago we had a family Brussels sprouts challenge. I bought the vegetable every week during the winter and challenged myself to prepare them a different way each time. In the process, we came across some magical mixes.
A surprising hit was this mixture of sautéed Brussels sprouts and buttered rice. The two flavors complement one another beautifully in this delicious dish.
Sautéed Brussels Sprouts & Buttered Rice
- 2 cups uncooked rice
- 3.5 cups of water
- 1/2 stick butter or margarine
- 1 10-ounce package shaved Brussels sprouts
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1/2 stick butter or margarine
- sea salt to taste
To prepare buttered rice, place rice, water, and butter in sauce pot; bring to boil, reduce, and simmer for exactly 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a separate skillet over medium heat, saute onion in melted butter until beginning to caramelize, about 15 minutes. Add in Brussels sprouts and stir until tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Season with sea salt.
Transfer sautéed Brussels sprouts to buttered rice and mix well. Serve hot.
Continuing my trend of eating healthfully and using up leftover wine, I created this delicious curry dish featuring fresh shrimp, spinach, and carrots. Though it takes a few moments extra to peel and grate the carrots, their rich flavor is worth the extra trouble.
Cooking tip: use Gulf shrimp, not farm raised. Serve the curry over hot, cooked jasmine rice.
Thai Yellow Curry Shrimp with Spinach & Carrots
- 1 pound Gulf shrimp, peeled
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1-inch-piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ yellow onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and grated
- 3 small Yukon Gold potatoes, chopped
- 1 Tbsp Mae Ploy Yellow Curry Paste
- dash of cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 14-ounce can coconut milk
- 1 10-ounce bag fresh spinach
- hot, cooked jasmine rice
Rinse peeled shrimp and set aside.
In a large Dutch oven, sauté onion, carrots, and potatoes in oil, ginger, and garlic until tender. Stir in yellow curry paste and dash of cayenne pepper (add more if you want the curry spicier).
When thoroughly mixed, add white wine and coconut milk. Blend well. If you prefer a thinner sauce, add ½ to 1 can of water. Stir in shrimp.
When shrimp are pink, add spinach and stir until wilted. Serve immediately over hot cooked rice.
If you’re like me, I’m always looking for new ways to prepare ground beef – because it’s one of the less expensive meat choices and it cooks up quickly.
The strangest mix of ingredients make up this dish, but they all work really well together to make a quick and flavorful meal.
Thai-Like Ground Beef & Cabbage
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 tsp – 1 Tbsp Thai red curry paste
- 1 9-ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 1 13.5-ounce can coconut milk
- zest from 1 lime
- juice from 1 lime
- ½ head of cabbage, thinly sliced or 1 14-ounce bag of shredded cabbage or Cole slaw mix (without the dressing)
- fresh cooked white rice
In a large skillet, cook ground beef with garlic cloves and onion. When onion is tender and beef is cooked through, add red curry paste; mix well.
Add tomato sauce, fish sauce, coconut milk, and lime zest and juice; stir until well blended. Add cabbage and cook until tender and heated through.
Serve over hot, white rice.
Our doctors tell us over and over to eat healthfully. One part of that is eating fresh. Here’s a low-fat, lots-of-veggies, quick-fix dinner that’s full of flavor.
Spicy Teriyaki Chicken Buddha Bowl
- 2 cups white or sushi rice
- 3.5 cups water
- 4 chicken breasts, cut into 3 pieces each, flattened
- 2 Tbsp Sriracha (more if you want it spicier)
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 2 Tbsp Mirin
- 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
- 3 carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
- 3-inch piece of daikon, grated (optional)
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
For marinade: Combine Sriracha, soy sauce, honey, and Mirin. Place chicken pieces in marinade.
While chicken is marinating, combine rice and water in medium saucepan and bring to a boil; cover and simmer exactly 20 minutes. Set aside.
To prepare chicken: Heat vegetable oil in large skillet. Add garlic and sauté 2 minutes. Remove chicken from marinade and add to skillet; discard marinade. Cook chicken, turning occasionally, until cooked through, about 15 minutes. While chicken is cooking, boil or steam broccoli and carrots; drain.
To assemble: Place a serving of rice in bowl, top with broccoli, carrots, daikon, and chicken. Top with sesame seeds, if desired. Serve hot.
When I lived on the Texas-Mexico border, my dear friend taught me how to make Spanish-style rice from her home country – El Salvador. Like traditional Mexican rice, this dish complements Mexican food like tacos and enchiladas very well.
Salvadoran rice differs, however, from the El Chico mainstay in that it has no tomatoes or chilies. It has a much milder flavor, which complements Enchiladas Verdes perfectly.
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/2 c. white onion, chopped
- 1/2 c. bell pepper, chopped (green or red)
- 3 carrots, peeled
- 2 c. rice
- 3.5 c. chicken broth or water
Heat vegetable oil in large skillet; add onion and peppers and sauté until tender. Add in rice and stir to blend. Using a potato peeler, shave strips of carrot into skillet on top of rice, stirring to blend. (Don’t worry if you cannot use all the carrot.)
Add in broth, stir, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for exactly 20 minutes. Season with sea salt and serve.
Sometimes a little jazzed-up rice goes better with a meal than plain white rice – especially if there’s no fancy sauce with the entree.
Here’s a tasty rice side dish with Arabic flavors that pairs nicely with baked chicken or fish. It has an elegant presentation, so it’s perfect for serving when you’ve got guests.
Saffron Rice with Pine Nuts & Currants
- ½ cup pine nuts, lightly toasted in olive oil
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- Half a yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 c. uncooked white rice
- 1 tsp saffron, soaked 15 minutes in hot water
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 c. currants or golden raisins
- 3.5 c. water or chicken broth
- zest from 1 orange
In a medium-sized saucepan, sauté the pine nuts in a dash of olive oil until lightly browned. Set aside.
Add the butter and oil to the saucepan. When the butter is melted but not browned, add the chopped onions. Sauté until translucent but not browned. Add in the rice, saffron, garam masala, and salt, and sauté briefly to activate seasonings. Mix in currants. When throughly blended, add water and bring to a boil; cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
When rice is tender and cooked, add in orange zest and adjust salt if necessary. Serve warm.