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! 

After this we're getting pizza

Pizza is a major major priority, so when there was a weekend together for the first time in FOREVS a pizza night was the obvious answer. However when the decision to make pizza is made then pizza is the only thing on the brain...so it's necessary to fill the time with something else. We decided to get a little active and go hiking...(thanks sister for the bomb water bottle). 

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We were off to the Coralville Reservoir - Woodpecker Trail - Linder & Squire Points area. I've been wanting to try this area out for some time now and an 80 degree weather day was agreeing with us. 

The hike was amazing, there were little pockets that looked out onto the lake - which we turned into adventure opportunities. There are also little "workout pods" throughout the hike so we got to sneak in some abs, pullups, etc. After skipping some rocks and Ethan climbing a tree, we called it good and headed back to make the za! 

We already decided on our go to for two pizzas - one massive original cheesy pie as well as a smaller bbq chicken. 

This was the third time that we have made this pie, its pretty basic. 
1. Make it huge
2. Cover with freshly shredded provolone & mozzarella
3. Bake it hot (520 for 8 minutes to perfection). 

Every time we have attempted to make it, it just keeps getting better and better. This time, we used all bread flour and let it rise in a warm oven for 3 hours. The dough consistency was PERFECT - Ethan thinks it was due to when he fermented the yeast it melted right into the beer. The dough was airy and bubbly but held it's density from the bread flour. Also cheesy goodness always wins. 

This bad boy came to fruition after I made bbq chicken thighs in the crockpot last week. The flavor was so on point that we knew it would be even better on a pie, and let me tell y'all its easy as pie (sorry...I had to). We threw an onion, chicken thighs, chicken broth, and bbq sauce (we've been hooked on Cookies bbq) and let it cook on high for 3 hours. I typically cook everything on low for about 6, but we were in crunch time. We stuck with our typical pizza sauce, just not as much, topped with sliced mozzarella ball, shredded chicken & onions and a little shredded mozzarella (leftover from the first pie). This sucker took about 8 minutes too and then topped with some more bbq sauce and fresh basil...from our tree that Ethan is doing a damn good job of keeping alive. 

We were in full agreement that these were our best pizzas to date...but I think we say that every time. At this point, I'm unsure if its factual or if we are just that infatuated that we fall back in love over and over again. Either way, I'm okay with it. As always we polished these off followed by pints of Ben & Jerrys and 2 glasses of wine (Ethan had milk...ew) because...

Calories don't count on the weekend...right?