The last couple of months have been wild. From getting news about illnesses to social distance from our friends, family, and work, we are now adapting to the new routines while we hope for everything to be over soon. Quarantine has been a challenge because our daily schedules changed utterly, and we have a lot of time at home and no clues of what to do to get distracted.
Let’s face it, the first days were quite easy, and we were super enthusiastic about doing new things or fixing stuff we needed at home, but now it has been two months, and most of us already ran out of ideas. Things are getting extraordinarily dull, and we need to get action as soon as possible.
What can we do? I was thinking about that when I realized that I needed to try something that made me feel better while being at home. I haven’t seen my family in a while, and I guess most of you haven’t as well, so I came up with the idea of trying to recreate the flavor of my favorite homemade food more easily.
(Let’s mark the word easy; I’m definitively not a chef) And I did it! Surprisingly, it tastes fantastic! This recipe is entirely foolproof and will bring that delicious Latin flavor to your kitchen in no time. I promise you, after eating this, you will feel like someone hugged you and gave you energy.
What is This Mexican Inspired Bowl?
It’s a food bowl (like those sushi bowls you see on Instagram) but full of Mexican inspired ingredients. That delicious Mexican rice, a bit of guacamole, some tortilla chips, some spicy chicken (You can skip if it you’re vegetarian or vegan), and some beans. And that’s all! You will have all the yumminess from your favorite Mexican dishes in one plate, and is super easy to make!
Ingredients: (For two servings)
- One cup of rice
- One can of black beans
- Two boneless skinless chicken breast
- Tomato paste or sauce
- Tortilla chips
- Salt and pepper
Let’s Get Started:
1. Cook your rice as you normally would (you can even use leftover rice) once if fully cooked, stir fry it on a frying pan with some olive oil. If you like it, you can sauté some onion and garlic before pouring the rice on the pan. Once your rice is starting to golden, add one tablespoon of your tomato paste/sauce and make sure to stir well until all your rice has a pinkish color. Then, set it aside.
2. Boil your chicken breasts in some salty water until they are cooked through. Once they are ready, shred them using two forks (That is the easiest way). Once you have all your chicken shredded, start sautéing it with some butter on a frying pan. Add some soy sauce and some minced garlic. When you see your chicken beginning to have a golden color, add another tablespoon of tomato sauce/paste, and some minced jalapeño (Be careful with the jalapeño if you don’t like the heat!) Mix everything and set the chicken aside.
3. Open your canned beans and pour them in a pot. Add half a cup of water and start boiling them until they are very soft, wait for most of the water to evaporate and then add a tablespoon of tomato paste/sauce. Once you see it’s starting to look like a puree, blend it using a food blender or a food processer. Your bean spread is ready so that you can set it aside.
4. I used store-bought hard tortilla chips, but if you only have soft tortillas, you can cut them into triangles and put them into a baking dish. Bake them at 350 degrees F for 6 to 9 minutes (flipping them halfway through) until they have a golden color and are crispy. One tortilla will end up making six triangles, so I usually cook four tortillas.
5. Then it’s guacamole time! Chop the tomato, onion, and avocado into small cubes. If you use a food processer, be careful not to over mix, I usually just mash everything using a fork. Squeeze some lime juice over the guacamole and mix well, so the avocado doesn’t turn brown. Add some freshly chopped cilantro, and you’re ready!
6. Now it’s time to assembly. Grab a bowl and pour your rice at the bottom. Then start adding the chicken, guacamole, beans, and tortilla chips as you like. I usually arrange them in a fancy way so I can take a good picture of it (Anything for the gram, right?) you can also add some sour cream or cheddar cheese if you feel like it. It is now ready to enjoy!
Yes, I know that some of you may think this is not traditional Mexican food, but it’s an excellent approximation to the flavor, and it’s straightforward to make! I know that all of this will be over soon and I will have the time to enjoy the real stuff once I get to see my mom and grandma again, but for now, this does the work and makes me feel much better.
Give it a try, and you will see how a warm plate of food packed with some homemade flavors will make you feel happy, or simply get distracted while preparing a delicious meal for your family. Make it with your kids, and indeed they will be glad to help you. The rest, you know, stay at home and be safe! Buen Provecho!