For some reason I’ve really been craving Mexican lately. The flavours of Mexican food are so delicious and fresh; at the moment I just can’t get enough! I did have Mexican twice last week while I was out, but for some reason I was still craving it.
The problem I find with Mexican food when you go out to eat it is that often it’s more fast food joints, which are really delicious, but just not quite fresh enough for my liking. I love having healthy options, and although there are some really unhealthy options when it comes to Mexican, healthy options do exist too! If you don’t add all the cheese and sour cream, Mexican food can be quite good for you.
So I decided that I would cook up some burrito bowls for a weeknight dinner this week. I have made them in the past, but this time I decided that I was going to make it from scratch and try something new. Normally I would use a Mexican spice mix instead of making it myself because it is nice and easy. But when I actually looked around for recipe ideas, I realised it’s not that much more difficult to make it yourself, as long as you have the spices on hand!
The main thing to get right in something like this is the protein, whether it is chicken, beef or vegetables. Once you have the Mexican flavour nailed in this element, all you have to do is chop up some salad vegetables, along with a couple of Mexican accompaniments, and you have yourself a delicious Burrito bowl! You can pretty much get everything organised while the chicken is cooking away, and so it means that the recipe ends up being quite quick to make! All I added was a bit of mashed avocado with lime, chilli flakes and fresh lime juice at the end and you have a delicious, healthy weeknight meal! The way you cooked the chicken also made for a delicious, spicy tomato sauce which you could mix through the vegetables to get the flavour throughout the salad.
A little warning, the chicken sauce is quite spicy, and so is not for the faint hearted! It has a delicious kick though so if you can take true Mexican heat I would use all the spices in the recipe! If you aren’t a fan of spicy food you could cut back on chilli powder (even if you halved the chilli powder I think this would still give you enough of a kick if you aren’t into chilli).
Chicken Burrito Bowls
|Adapted From||Half Baked Harvest|
|Preparaton Time||20 minutes|
|Cooking Time||25 minutes|
· 500 grams of chicken breast, chopped into smaller pieces and seasoned
· 1 can of diced tomatoes
· 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
· 1 tablespoon of chilli powder
· 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
· ½ teaspoon of cumin
· ½ teaspoon of salt
· ½ teaspoon of pepper
· ¼ teaspoon of cayenne
· A pinch of onion powder
· 1 brown onion, sliced finely
· 1 red capsicum, sliced
· 250 grams of mushrooms, sliced
· 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
· 4 handfuls of fresh lettuce leaves
· 2 cucumbers, finely diced
· 3 large tomatoes, finely diced
· One lime, plus one half for squeezing
· One ripe avocado
· Chilli Flakes
1. Heat a large frypan over a medium-high heat and add one tablespoon of coconut oil.
2. Add the onions, mushrooms and capsicum to the skillet, and stir-fry for 3 -5 minutes, or until the vegetables begin to soften. Once cooked, remove from the fry pan and set aside.
3. Add the rest of the coconut oil to the frypan, and add the chicken. Brown the chicken on both sides, which should take about 5 minutes.
4. Once the chicken is browned, add in the tomatoes, tomato paste, chilli powder, smoked paprika, cumin, salt, pepper, cayenne and onion powder. Bring everything to a boil, ensuring all the spices are mixed through and the chicken pretty much covered by the sauce.
5. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the chicken in the sauce for 10-15 minutes, or until it shreds easily. I covered my chicken for about 5 minutes to speed up the process.
6. Meanwhile, chop up and put into bowls your lettuce leaves, cucumber and tomato. Cut 4 pieces of fresh lime and set aside.
7. Into your bowl of tomatoes, squeeze a bit of lime juice over the top and stir to combine.
8. Get your avocado and scoop the contents into a bowl. Squeeze the remaining juice from the half a lime over the top, and using a fork mash the avocado into a spreadable consistency. Set aside.
9. Once cooked through, take the chicken off the heat and shred using a couple of forks. Get your onion, mushroom and capsicum mixture and stir into the chicken to combine.
10. To serve: place all the bowls out on the table with spoons. Using large bowls people can add whichever salad vegetables they want and then put a scoop of the chicken into the bowl. Top with avocado and a dash of chilli flakes to taste.
And that’s all there is to it! It is truly a really easy recipe to make and a perfect weeknight dinner! It also makes for great lunches the next day because all you need is some salad to go along with the delicious chicken mixture. You could also modify this recipe to use tortillas or tacos, and just use the same ingredients as the filling! You could also make burritos with the chicken, and just add some beans and rice! Once you have the chicken down pat you can really add it to any sort of Mexican dish! And I have to say it was worth making the spice mix from scratch, because that chicken was absolutely delicious! It had such a kick to it, and the sauce was so thick and completely coated the chicken and vegetables.
This burrito bowl recipe is perfect for a healthy choice during the week, as it really is chicken and salad when it comes down to it. But the chicken mixture made it so much more delicious and interesting. It proves that not only can you have a healthy, delicious salad for dinner, but also that Mexican food does not need to be unhealthy! You can go beyond the fast food version of Mexican, which we are all too familiar with, and make healthy choices! As much as I love a good nachos covered in cheese and sour cream, its nice to eat healthy during the week. And you know I am always on the hunt for quick, simple and delicious healthy recipes for my weeknight meals! Trust me when I say this has been one of my favourites so far!
What do you like to cook during the week? Would you try this recipe?
Until next time, happy cooking!