Monday, January 20, 2014

Delicious MexiBowls for Dinner

I'm not really all that good at improvising in the kitchen. I'm very competent at following a recipe, and over the years I've gotten better at making small substitutions or modifications... but I generally appreciation some structure and guidance to start with. That said, I do feel pretty footloose and fancy-free when it comes to Mexican flavors and seasonings. Of course, I use the term "Mexican" quite loosely, because my impressions of Mexican flavors come more from growing up in California than from years spent steeped in Mexican culinary traditions. 

Lately I've thrown together some damn tasty Dinner Bowls, loosely inspired by Mexican flavors:

This bowl contains pan-fried slices of White Seitan from Viva Vegan (my favorite seitan recipe of ALL TIME), some simple steamed broccoli, farro, and spicy refried beans cooked with plenty of garlic, salsa, and cumin. It was such a delicious dinner! Just writing about it makes me want to make this again.


For this dinner, I cooked up a can of black beans with some onions and garlic, cumin-coriander-oregano, and a ton of baby spinach. This saucy deliciousness was served on top of a big scoop of quinoa (delicately burnt by Yours Truly), and topped with a generous dose of guacamole and fresh herbs. I just made a simple guac with avocado and lime juice and white onion. Mmm. The avocados at our farmers markets have been amazing lately. My current favorite variety is called the "Gwen" avocado and it's smooth and creamy and perfect.


Just the other night I cooked up this super tasty dinner: First I cubed some winter squash and cut up some cauliflower and roasted them. Once cooked, I sauteed the veggies with my usual Mexi spices (cumin, coriander, oregano, smoked chili powder, salt and pepper). Meanwhile, I sauteed a huge bunch of kale with a little garlic, and cooked up some black beans with garlic, fresh salsa, spices and fresh cilantro. All together it was a huge, delicious mess! Full of savory flavor explosions!!


What I love about these bowls is that no two are ever alike, I can pretty much use whatever grains or veggies I've got sitting around, and the end result is guaranteed to be delicious and easy and nutritious. I'm also pretty comfortable ad-libbing my way around the kitchen with Italian flavors, but somehow I never seem to end up making Italian bowls... so maybe I'll set that as a challenge for myself! What are your most comfortable flavor combos to play with? 

5 comments:

  1. I've been getting back into bowls recently, I'm a bit obsessed with the roasted cauliflower soba noodle bowl from the PPK blog / Isa Does It right now. I think I'm gonna have to make your seitan, broc, farro, refried bean bowl soon, it looks super yummy.

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  2. I love pretty much anything with roasted cauliflower!! <3

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  3. You got such an awesome sear on that seitan! Come dinner time, I never have the patience for that, always fussing with the food, moving it around, poking at it, and preventing it from really getting evenly browned. Hey, as long as it's warm, it's usually good enough for me. I just need to be more discerning perhaps. ;)

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  4. I am also not good at just throwing together ingredients. Hail cookbooks!

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Happy VeganMoFo! I love comments, they really make my day!