Sunday is Mother’s day. I know this, because I have reminded Kiwi at least six times: “I hope the Bean is planning something spectacular for her mother. Her mother deserves it.” She really does.
In fact what this mother deserves, and wants more than a mimosa and a stack of pancakes, is a little break from the daily cooking grind. Yes, I live for cooking; I love food; and I spend most of my days, and nights when I can’t sleep, thinking about what I’m going to eat. But even this food-crazed mama needs a break every now and again.
Enter this week’s “in the door” recipe. Scratch that. This is so simple that it can hardly be called a “recipe”. It’s more of a concept: throw a bunch of things into a bowl; drizzle it with a zesty vinaigrette and use the word “burrito” to commend it to your family. And then watch them devour it while you paint your toenails. Ok, this is sounding super Meghan Draper. Dads can make this “recipe” too, of course. Lean in people…lean in.
The “recipe” stars quinoa, for which I apologize in advance. Quinoa needs publicity about as badly as Kim Kardashian’s baby bump. As in, I’m so over quinoa. But yet I’m not. Mostly because I have two massive bags of organic quinoa that I refuse to move with me to my new house at the end of June. But also because quinoa is admittedly deserving of its superfood status. You get all the fiber of brown rice and then some, plus a punch of complete protein, but without the arsenic. And it cooks up about three times as fast as brown rice. It’s hard not to like quinoa.
To assemble these burrito bowls at lightening speed, I make the quinoa in advance and reheat it when I need it. In fact, I quite often make a big pot of quinoa on Sunday night and use it throughout the week for salads, side dishes and these burrito bowls. (Who am I kidding? I am so NOT over quinoa.) The vinaigrette can also be made in advance–or not at all, frankly–a drizzle of olive oil, squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of salt will also work in a pinch. And the toppings? Scan the list of fridge contents and pantry staples in my “recipe” below and use what you have. And not what you don’t have. So simple.
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- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well with cold water
- 2 cups water
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon dried red chilies
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Chopped or shredded cooked chicken, steak or pork
- Cooked shrimp
- Canned black beans (Eden Organic has a great “Caribbean” flavoured version)
- Sauteed peppers and onions
- Chopped tomatoes or fresh/jarred salsa
- Chopped avocado or guacamole
- Corn (frozen or canned)
- Sliced black olives
- Chopped cilantro
- Sour cream
- Shredded cheese
- For the quinoa: combine rinsed quinoa and water in a small or medium pot. Cover, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. When water is boiling, reduce heat to low (do not remove lid!) and simmer gently until all the water has been absorbed, about 10-15 minutes. Remove lid and fluff quinoa with a fork.
- For the vinaigrette: shake all ingredients in a jar, or whisk them in a small bowl.
- To assemble: put a small pile of warm quinoa in the bottom of a shallow bowl. Drizzle with vinaigrette and then pile on chosen toppings.