Thursday, July 11, 2013

Home Grown Cantina

Welcome to the Festival of Food Carnival. This month, we celebrate Recipes from the Garden!  Hosted by Diary of a First Child and Hybrid Rasta Mama, you're welcome to join us next time, or if you have a previously published recipe you'd like to share, add it to the linky below.

What's not to love about a good cantina bowl? One of my favorite foods is Mexican-American and my favorite place to eat is Chipotle Mexican Grill. I know that Taco Bell has put out a pretty good imitation, and there have been many home recipes mimicking them both. I believe I have found the key to this specific flavor, however, and I have not only adapted the recipe to include more raw ingredients, I have dialed down the fat as well.

This is my healthy, more natural version of an already healthy and natural way of eating!

You may choose to add a seasoned beef or chicken, either tastes really nice. However, this recipe is meatless.

Notice my thick bed of lettuce in the above picture. This is one of those recipes where the fresher your ingredients, the better it will taste! Not all of my ingredients are grown at home, but most can be. Others can be found in your local farmers market. The few things that will need to be bought in the store can be bought raw and unprocessed. They are beans and brown rice, and of course some seasonings.

There are three layers to your cantina bowl (or burrito): Seasoned rice, black bean salsa and toppings.

Begin by cooking your beans. You will want to cook 1 cup of dry beans with however much water seems fitting. While it's true that you can buy canned beans, I prefer to cook from scratch. They do take extra time, but little work and canned beans contain some pretty ugly additives. I strongly suggest avoiding them. Simply cook the beans according to the package directions. They will take about an hour, two at the most. Cook them in the morning and allow them to cool. They will keep until you need them.

For the Rice
  • 2 cups dried brown rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 tps. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tomato, seeded and pureed
  • juice from 1/2 lime

Add all of the ingredients into a pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, or until rice is tender. Allow to cool

For the Black Bean Salsa
  • 3 large ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 ear of fresh sweet corn, kernels removed (1 cup of frozen)
  • 3 heaping tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro
  • juice from one whole lime
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. pepper

Chop all of the ingredients and toss into a large mixing bowl. Drain the black beans and rinse them. Gently fold them in. Allow the salsa to sit for a little while in the refrigerator. The longer it sits, the more the flavors will meld together.

Once the rice has cooked and cooled, and the salsa has had a chance to stew for a bit, put a cupful of rice in the bottom of a bowl and add some salsa. If you have meat prepared, you can add it as well. Finish with your toppings.

  • fresh lettuce
  • skim mozzarella cheese
  • Fresh chopped avocado

You may choose to add sour cream or a lime ranch dressing, but this is a very good start. Serve with corn chips or tortillas or eat it straight with a fork. I like to make a batch of rice and a batch of salsa and keep them in the refrigerator. Putting a bowl together for my lunch is then super easy and I can eat deliciously healthy all week long. In the summer months - with tomatoes, fresh lettuce, cilantro, onion and corn straight from my garden, wholesome home grown eating is simple but exciting!

Do you have a garden? Do you have a favorite recipe using whole fruits and vegetables?
Please take a moment to visit the blogs of our other Festival of Food participants. The links in this list will be live by the end of the day, as participants are all in different time zones.
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  1. I'm a big fan of Chipotle, too, and this bowl looks fresh and absolutely delicious! Thanks for sharing your recipes.

  2. That sounds so good! I love Chipotle, too, so this is right up my alley for an at-home treat.

  3. Wow! That is so summery looking and, is that your garden? It's amazing! Thanks for participating in the Festival of Food Carnival!