One of my favorite meals to make at home is a rendition of Chipotle burrito bowls, but instead called grain bowls. Grain bowls are all the rage nowadays with the foodie crowd, and I have to admit I am totally on board with it. First of all, they are extremely simple to put together; just a base of grains, a layer of your choice of protein, fat, or both, and all the vegetables your heart desires. Second, grain bowls are portable and taste great at any temperature, making access to a microwave unnecessary. Finally, they are endlessly customizable so you can use nearly any number of ingredients to make a fresh, tasty meal that does not bore you to eat. This recipe is for a decidedly Mexican inspired meal, but feel free to play with your choice of grains, seasonings and toppings to change things up.
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, pounded thin
- 1 cup (dry) brown rice
- 1 15 oz. can of black beans
- 1 bell pepper, sliced into medium strips
- 1 medium onion, sliced in half, and then into half moons
- 2 medium avocados, diced
- 1 T cilantro
- Juice from 1 lime
- 2 romaine lettuce hearts, shredded
- 1 T cumin
- 1 T paprika
- ½ T chili powder
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- Salsa of choice, plus hot sauce to serve
- Cook the rice according to package directions. When the rice is done, toss in the cilantro and lime juice, stir to combine, and cover the pan to keep warm.
- Lay the chicken on a cutting board, and cover with a piece of plastic wrap. Pound with the bottom of a heavy pan, rolling pin, or meat tenderizer if you have one, until the chicken is about ½ inch thick. Season all of the chicken with the dried spices, and salt and pepper. Grill over high heat, or in a very hot skillet, until both sides are nicely browned and the chicken is cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Set aside to rest.
- Meanwhile, add the onions and bell pepper to a hot skillet, the same one you cooked the chicken in if you did not use a grill. Season with salt and pepper, and let the vegetables cook just until they get some color, but still have crunch. Remove from the heat, and keep them in the pan to stay warm.
- To a bowl, or plate of your choice, create a layer of rice, followed by chicken, then the sauteed vegetables, and finally lettuce and avocado. Top with hot sauce and salsa, if desired. Serves 4.
Nutrition: 1 Serving