Sunday, April 22, 2012

Chipotle at Home

This weekend has gone by so fast. I can't believe I only have two more weeks left in my sophomore year of college! This semester has been all about seeking joy, and it has turned out to be a beautiful one. But I'm ready for summer. There is so much to do with our pending move to Texas, and I know August is going to be here before we know it, so I'm going to enjoy as much of my time off as I possibly can.

Because it's just that time of year, my boyfriend and I had the opportunity to go see Mahler's 3rd symphony this afternoon. I have been to a few symphonies in my life, but this one held me completely spellbound for the entire two hours. There really aren't words. It was lush, vibrant, emotive, full of energy...suffice to say it was simply glorious. I feel blessed to live in a community that supports such a comprehensive dedication to the arts.

Oddly enough, when I got home I was craving Chipotle. But since neither of us felt like going out to eat, I decided to make my own version at home.

Vegan Mexican Rice Bowl

1/2 cup brown rice
1 cup water
2 ripe avocados
1/2 red onion
1 small tomato
1/2 lime
a handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper

2 onions
10-12 mushrooms
2 bell peppers
2 cans of beans (black and pinto work well)
1 container of firm tofu (optional)
1/2 tsp red pepper
1 tsp garlic salt
1 head of lettuce
1 jar of salsa, preferably fresh
cilantro to season

Place water in a sauce pan, bring to a boil, and add rice. Cook according to package instructions. Meanwhile, slice the avocados and place in a medium bowl, mashing until smooth. Chop the red onion, tomato, and cilantro. Add to the avocado mash and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper and the  juice from the lime. Place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Slice all the vegetables into bite sized pieces. Heat oil over medium heat in a nonstick skillet. Saute onions and pepper until caramelized. Add mushrooms and cook for a few minutes more. Meanwhile, slice the tofu into small cubes and press between a towel. This technique takes a lot of the water out of the tofu and makes for a much firmer and more flavorful bite. Rub the cubes in the red pepper and garlic salt and place in a smaller skillet with 2 tablespoons of oil. Cook over medium heat until cubes are golden brown on all sides. By this time, the vegetables should be nice and soft. Add the beans and season with salt and pepper. Cook a few minutes more or until most of the liquid has been absorbed.

To assemble the bowls, put about a 1/2 a cup of rice on the bottom and drizzle with lime juice. Next comes the lettuce, tofu, vegetable mixture, and finally the guacamole and salsa. Season with a little cilantro and serve.

Yield: approximately 6 servings

Yum! Now onto banana ice cream for dessert. Make sure to check out my new recipe page for links to printable recipes!

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