Thursday, July 25, 2013

Spanish Rice Bowls

Long story short, after an amazing wedding weekend, Jeff and I started the long trek back to Boise and found ourselves in planes, trains, and automobiles for much longer than originally expected. We were blessed to be sitting on a Delta flight at LaGuardia in New York, waiting to take off, when the Southwest flight crash landed one runway away from us. The result was a four hour delay, three hours in the air, and a very hungry duo arriving in Minneapolis for our layover. When two foodies are trapped on a plane with no entertainment, the conversation quickly turns (repeatedly) to what we'll eat next. My number one craving?A rice bowl from Baja Fresh. There was hope that I might find something similar, but when we arrived in Minnesota, all the restaurants were closed, so we stayed hungry and daydreamed about rice bowls the rest of the way home. The decision of what to make for our first home cooked meal was an easy one, and extremely delicious.

Spanish Rice Bowls 
Makes 4 large servings (6 for smaller appetites)

For the rice, adapted from Simply Recipes:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups brown rice
1 onion, minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1-8 ounce can tomato sauce 
1 tablespoon Sriracha or favorite hot sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and rice, and stir until coated with oil. Cook, stirring repeatedly, until onion is soft and rice has browned.

In a large pot, bring chicken broth to a simmer. Add tomato sauce and stir. Add rice mixture, hot sauce, salt and pepper, and stir. Cover and cook until rice is cooked and liquid has absorbed. I cooked mine with the lid on for 20 minutes, then removed the lid and cooked, stirring often, for another 10-15 minutes.

For the rest:
1 1/2 pounds raw chicken breasts or tenders
4 bell peppers, thinly sliced
1 can low sodium black beans, heated
2 avocados, diced
2 cups cherry tomatoes, diced
1 lime, quartered
2 tablespoons olive oil 
1/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
Favorite hot sauce

In your large pan from the rice, heat olive oil and add the chicken and peppers (many have to do two batches). Cover and cook until chicken is no longer pink. Remove chicken and set aside. Keep cooking peppers uncovered on medium heat until they start to brown and caramelize. When the chicken is cool, slice or shred it and return it to pan with peppers.

To assemble your plate, spoon rice into your bowl, followed by beans, chicken and peppers, tomatoes, avocado, cheese, and hot sauce. Squeeze the lime wedge on top and consume!


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