Ladies’ Night Idea: Quinoa Burrito Bowls

Last night, my friend Liz came over, and we made quinoa burrito bowls. It was so damn delicious and super easy, and a nice change from pasta. Here’s how to do it:

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First, make a batch of quinoa as instructed, and add in a bay leaf as it simmers. When it’s done, give it a few fluffs, then let it cool partially. When it’s no longer steaming, add a glug of olive oil, some fresh lime juice, salt and some chopped cilantro. That will be your base.

From there, it’s entirely up to you what toppings go in your burrito bowl. You could add shrimp or chicken…sautéed peppers and onions, feta cheese, etc. We chose simmered black beans (quick recipe below), fresh salsa (I cheated and bought it from my local grocery store), sweet corn salsa (recipe below), sour cream, sharp grated cheddar, guacamole, and some chopped lettuce. It was perfect, and so filling, despite being vegetarian (and gluten-free!).

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The only rule here is no measuring — just taste as you go. We basically just threw cilantro, lime, salt, garlic, and onion into everything. It seems like a lot of chopping, but you can take as many shortcuts as you want and buy pre-made everything, or pick and choose. The whole thing comes together as the quinoa cooks and then cools, so you’re looking at 30 minutes in the kitchen, tops.

Simmered Black Beans

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 white or yellow onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 can of black beans
salt and pepper to taste
dash of cumin
dash of chili powder 

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium high heat. Add the onion and pepper, and sauté for about 3-4 minutes, or until they start to soften. Throw in the garlic, stir around for 30 seconds or so, then dump in the can of black beans (with the liquid), season with salt and pepper, and add the spices. Let it simmer as the quinoa cooks, ~15 minutes.

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Sweet corn salsa

1 bag of frozen sweet corn, thawed (I actually zapped it in the microwave and it worked perfectly).
1 jalapeño, seeds removed, minced
juice of 1 lime, or to taste
a bit of red onion chopped, to taste
handful cilantro chopped, to taste 

Combine everything in a bowl. Taste, adjust, give it a stir, and set it aside.

Lastly, make your favorite guacamole recipe (Liz made ours with a little bit of everything; garlic, red onion, tomatoes, salt, cilantro, and lime juice). Chop some lettuce, grate some cheese, throw a spoon in the sour cream container. Bring everything to the table and assemble your bowls. The bigger the better!

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