Mexi Bowls

When you're a homesick Texan, easy Mexican dishes are something that you need to have tucked up your sleeve. 

Solid Mexican food is seriously hard to come by in the Mid-West, unless you're at Pancheros. But if you're looking to avoid the drunk, downtown goers in line, you'll be looking for a while. So when the going gets tough, you make your own! 

This is the easiest most versatile dish in my rolodex...not that I actually have a rolodex. Does anybody remember those, before everything was digital? I am obsessed with putting things from pen to paper, maybe I should get one. Anyways, back to the food. 

This is pretty much your home version of your favorite local Mexican grill. If we are going to break it down, here's the steps: 

  1. Pick you meat: chicken breast, chicken thigh, ground turkey
  2. Pick your peppers & onions
  3. Pick your depth: black beans, pinto beans, rice
  4. Pick your toppings: taco sauce, guacamole, queso, shredded cheese, tomatoes, salsa cilantro, jalapeños, etc. 

Sautee up peppers and onions. Even though I prefer multicolored peppers, this girl is on a budget so green peppers it is. 

Toss in the meat - I went ahead and crockpotted the chicken thighs, but you can dice up the chicken or brown ground turkey on the stove top.

Add in the rice, beans, & sauce. I usually let this cover and simmer until the rice is cooked (of course I use the 5 minute quick rice), this lets the flavors blend together. Ethan loves him some taco sauce - there's never enough. 

Once it is all cooked together, the fun has just begun! Guacamole, salsa, shredded cheese, and if you want it...even more taco sauce! 

Want a less carb-y version? Skip the rice and/or beans and throw over some greens! Want to add more flavor at ease? Stop by your local Mexican grill and pick up their queso and/or guac!

When life hands you avocados, you make guac! 

Taco Salad

I want tacos but I also want abs. Insert taco salad. 

Being a Texas girl, I am always down for some Mexican food. Now I haven't ventured much past the local Chipotle in Iowa City, but I think it is safe to say that there is no place that can compete with some of the Mexican & Tex-Mex places down in the dirty D. Taco salads are an easy, healthy go to for me and its about the only way I can get Ethan to eat a handful of leaves. 

Prep prep prep it up! Another perk is how cheap ground turkey is, we choose 93% lean to eliminate the fattiness but you could also use ground beef or even chicken! Chop up your veggies, I went with bell peppers & onions. Last but definitely not least is the guac! Chop up cherry tomatoes - some in quarters and some finely chopped. 

Place a little EVOO in two pans both at medium heat. You could cook both your meat & veggies together, but I like to keep them separate so that I can sneak some more veggies without picking them out :) 

Season the veggies with salt, pepper, garlic powder, etc and cover while sirring occasionally until they are at your preferred doneness. We add taco seasoning to our ground turkey - for a less of a sodium attack just add your own seasonings (the kind that aren't pre packed). 

The fixins: your lettuce of choice (Ethan is strictly romaine - I'll go for both), salsa, taco sauce, guac (simply just avo, lime, tomatoes, garlic powder), and black beans. 

Take a few minutes to line up this beauty or simply dump it all into a bowl. Top with salsa, guac, lime juice, etc and you're golden! 

Ingredients

  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 1/2 large onion
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • Fixins:
    Guacamole (or homemade with 1/2 avocado, 1/2 lime 3 cherry tomatoes diced, pinch of garlic powder - mash and you're golden!)
    Black beans
    Salsa
    Taco Sauce
    Anything else you want!

    Directions

  • Chop bell peppers & onions
  • Heat two pans to medium/medium high heat and add 1 TB olive oil in each pan
  • Once pans are warm add ground turkey in one and the chopped vegetables in the other
  • Season both the meat & veggies - cover the veggies and keep the meat uncovered - stirring both occasionally
  • Mix and match your flavors to get to your taco salad perfection.

Doesn't hurt when you have leftovers to look forward to for lunch. Nothing better than coming back from a workout to a plastic bowl of deliciousness. 

I mean, I could always go for some queso but this will do.