When you order a burrito at your local fast food chain, you are well-aware that you are blowing off your diet. I’m not saying that is a bad thing; maybe it’s your birthday or any happy occasion, or you’ve had a really stressful week and in the mood for Mexican comfort food. I’m all for the occasional indulgence. (Note the word ‘occasional’.)
If there is no such reason and your conscience catches you in time, you may switch your order from a classic burrito to a burrito bowl. After all, without the wrap with its gluten and white flour, the meal is healthy now. Except it’s not. Many recipes include sour cream, sugary sauces, and fatty cheeses that can wreck your gut whether or not it’s wrapped in a tortilla.
Don’t despair of Mexican food, we all need the sporadic cilantro-and-chili fix. The solution is in your own kitchen. Burrito bowls are easy to make and versatile to suit your own tastes.
About the Ingredients:
Avocado has become a stereotypical health food for good reason, such as being incredibly high in nutrients like vitamin K, C, B5, B6, E, fiber, and contains more potassium than bananas. Also, the heart-healthy fats in this fruit aids absorption of other nutrients and antioxidants.
- Black Beans
Studies have linked this legume to protection against heart disease, inflammation, weight gain, some cancers, diabetes, and nutrient deficiencies. They are also versatile in recipes, naturally vegan, and allergen-friendly, so that’s a score for the gluten-freers!
This classic vegetable can lower risk for cancer and stroke due to their concentrated source of lycopene. On top of that, they are excellent sources of vitamin C, A, E, and B. That is why homemade Pico de gallo is a superior choice to store-bought salsas where the benefits of the tomatoes are diminished in the cooking process and tossed together with sugar and preservatives.
This is a popular herb in Mediterranean, Mexican, and Indian cuisine, but many are unaware of its incredible health attributes:
- High in antioxidants that protect the body from oxidative stress
- Improves sleep
- Lowers blood sugar levels
- Prevents UTIs
- Protects body from food poisoning
Like avocados, spinach is a typical health food that lives up to its fame. This leafy green is rich in anti-inflammatories, antioxidants, and flavonoids that defend the body from free radicals. Besides for that, it contains a smorgasbord of nutrients from calcium and iron to zinc and selenium.
Oh, turmeric, the powerhouse of good health. Where to begin? Recent studies have been equating the effects of curcumin, a potent compound in turmeric, to those of pharmaceutical drugs for the treatment and prevention of arthritis, cancer, diabetes, inflammation, and gastrointestinal disorders like IBS, Crohn’s and Ulcerative colitis. So don’t skip this spice in this dish!
Spicy Burrito Bowl
For the Pico de gallo:
- 4 tomatoes
- ½ diced red onion
- 1 minced jalapeno pepper
- 1 lime, juiced
- ½ lemon, juiced
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Mix the ingredients until combined. Cover and refrigerate until serving.
For the bowl:
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ red onion
- 1 red pepper
- 3 cups fresh spinach, chopped
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp chili flakes
- 1 cup corn kernels
- 1½ cups black beans
In a large saucepan, saute the onion in oil for three minutes on medium-low heat. Add the pepper for two more minutes, then mix in the spinach, cooking until just wilted. Lower the heat and add the spices, corn, and black beans. Stir and keep warm while you prepare the rice and guacamole.
For the turmeric rice:
- 3 cups cooked brown rice
- 3 tsp turmeric
- 1½ tsp sea salt
Combine the rice with the turmeric and sea salt until the rice is evenly coated.
- 2 ripe avocados
- 1 tbsp lemon or lime juice
- ½ tsp salt
- Dash of pepper
Scoop out the avocados into a large bowl and mash with the juice, salt, and pepper until smooth.
To serve: spoon the rice into the bottom of the bowl, add the bean mixture and top with Pico de gallo and guacamole.