pico de gallo tabbouleh and home-made burrito bowls

When I first made the decision to be vegetarian, Chipotle’s vegetarian burrito bol became my absolute favorite food. That was when I lived in my parents home or in the dorms and before I started to really dig into teaching myself to cook.

Since moving into my first apartment and more importantly, my first kitchen, (almost two years ago!) I have taught myself to make my own burrito bowls! What I love about burrito bowls is their flexibility. As long as you have some limes, cilantro, and key traditional taco spices – you can make a burrito bowl with any veggies, beans, tofu or other meat substitute and grains that you have on hand! Here are some of my favorite combos:

Brown rice + fajita-style peppers, onions, and mushrooms + black beans + pico de gallo + guac (classic Chipotle bowl)

Brown rice + black beans + homemade mango salsa

Brown rice + homemade refried pinto beans + steamed kale + guac

mexican rice-style quinoa + beans + fajita-style veggies + guac

 

I truly could go on and on about the different combinations.

I usually use rice or quinoa as the base of my bowl, as they are the grains I most often use when cooking mexican or other latin-inspired foods. As the result of my growing appreciation for cilantro, I recently tried making a latin-style tabbouleh, only substituting cilantro for the usual parsley and otherwise using the typical tabbouleh suspects: mint, lemon, scant amount of olive oil, green onions, and cracked wheat or bulgar.

This week I cooked a large pot of millet to eat through the week with my lunches. I don’t usually eat a lot of millet – which is made obvious by my large glass jar of it. Since I’m trying to save money, I thought that it should try to use it up instead of going out to buy a bag of rice! For those of you who are not familiar, millet is an African grain. You may have heard of it because it is included in bird seed, but, not to fear! Millet is certainly fit for human consumption. It kind of reminds me of a cross between couscous and quinoa and can most definitely be substituted in other recipes (including the below recipe) for these grains and bulgar, as well. The best part, in my opinion, is that in the stores that I frequent, it costs around $1.13 a pound compared with quinoa’s price of $4 or more a pound.

For this tabbouleh, I modified the first latin-inspired tabbouleh I made by adding the components of my favorite basic salsa – pico de gallo. This made for a different, fun base for my burrito bowl and other creations that followed.

Pico de Gallo Tabbouleh

below recipe serves one but can be multiplied to make a larger portion to be store in the fridge or shared with friends!

HUNT AND GATHER:

1/2 cup pre-cooked millet (see note)

1 large handful of fresh cilantro, chopped

juice of 1/2 – 1 lime

pinch salt

several grinds of freshly ground black pepper

1/4 jalapeño or serrano, minced (I don’t remove the seeds but if you’re not a fan of very spicy foods, you may want to!)

1 roma or other tomato, chopped

~2 tablespoons chopped red onion

 

Combine first five ingredients and mix well. Fold in remaining ingredients, gently coating with juice, salt, and pepper.

Enjoy by itself or other burrito bowl favorites!

I apologize for the unfortunate quality of these pictures which were taken by my boyfriend’s HTC phone. I’ll be able to post this week with pictures from my camera!

I topped my tabbouleh with raw, fresh corn cut from the cob…

…and one of my favorite vegan taco meat substitutions, Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Ancho Lentil Taco filling.

 

This bowl was absolutely delicious. I loved the multi-dimensional flavor provided by the earthy spice of the lentil taco filling and the fresh kick of the jalapeño in the tabbouleh. The corn added an extra crunch and sweetness.

What are your favorite combinations for a burrito bowl or taco salad?

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