Peony 'Sarah Bernhardt'

Peony 'Sarah Bernhardt'

Monday, June 29, 2015

Summer Cooking Part 1: Burrito Bowls

Good afternoon gardeners!
Portland has taken a turn for the HOT and it does not appear we are cooling down any time soon. This week in the 90s, potentially 100 degrees. I don't know about you, but I want to spend as little time in the kitchen with the hot stove as possible. And in my tiny house the main room is living room, dining room, my office and kitchen all wrapped into one. During the summer, if the stove is on I have turned the house into an unwelcome sauna in a matter of minutes.

I am going to bring you a new series of summer cooking features that have no or minimal stove use to help inspire you during these hot summer days. On this week's menu is:

Watermelon Salad
Greek Finger Food
Sesame Chicken Salad
Savory Blueberry Salad

Today, let's start with burrito bowls. So simple, delicious and healthy. I usually always keep most of these ingredients on hand because every week we eat some version of tacos, taco salad, quesadillas, burritos or burrito bowls. At the beginning of the week, on a cooler morning I cook a pot of brown rice for the week. Once that is complete, there is no further stove cooking! Just warm up the beans and rice in the microwave for a minute when you are ready to prepare and eat. If you are willing to do a little more stove cooking at the beginning of the week you can sauté up some veggies while the brown rice is cooking. Too hot? Skip that step!

This recipe is super improvisational, though I hope also inspirational! Pile all the ingredients up in a bowl in this suggested order.

1. Start with a base of greens-lettuce, spinach or mesclun mix

2. Warmed up brown rice. (When I cook the brown rice I usually add a pinch of taco seasoning or a vegan bouillon cube to spice it up)

3. Next add some beans: refried, black or pinto beans are my favorites.

4. Sprinkle on some cheese: grated cheddar or jack, crumbled queso fresca or cojita.

5. Optional veggie mix: This week I lightly sautéed fresh corn, red bell pepper, walla walla onion and garlic. Some other favorite combos are wilted spinach & garlic, broccoli & yam, or carrots & cauliflower.

6. Finish with toppings: avocado, olives, green onion, radishes, sour cream, salsa, hot sauce, lime wedges. Go crazy!

7. Optional serve with tortilla chips.

So easy, so fresh, and simply delicious for a summer meal that keeps the kitchen from heating up.

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