I made vanilla pudding two days in a row – the first attempt was not so great so I naturally had to try again. The second attempt went much, much better. 🙂 I know, you’re so relieved.
As a nod to taste testing all that pudding, I felt that dinner should be extra healthy – lots of vegetables, some fibre, some protein – good for us food.
When I’m not so motivated or am crunched for time, dinner will be some kind of ‘bowl’. Even in the winter, with the availability of fresh vegetables, I still make bowls. Romaine lettuce will take hot food being laid on it with no problem (romaine lettuce quartered lengthwise and tossed on the barbeque is really good – try it if you haven’t), so the possibilities are endless.
Bowls like this are also kind of fun and help stretch the protein you use a little further.
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 head of romaine lettuce, chopped
- 2 large tomatoes, sliced
- ¼ red onion, diced
- 1 cucumber, sliced
- ½ cup of shredded cheddar cheese
- ¾ cup of salsa
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 cup black beans
- 2 cups rice
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup sour cream
- 2-4 tsp sriracha or your favourite hot sauce (Valentina’s is really good if you can find it – it’s kind of smoky)
- juice of one lime
- 1-1/2 tsp garlic powder – or 1 TB of minced garlic
- pinch of salt (optional)
Other things/toppings you could add:
- bell pepper strips, cilantro, parsley, mozzarella or pepper jack cheese, red beans, corn chips, tortilla chips, sour cream
First thing to do is mix up the sauce and pop it in the fridge to let the flavours combine. Start with the lowest amount of sriracha and lime juice. Mix, then taste. Add more if needed. I added 2-1/2 teaspoons of sriracha initially, but after I added in the lime juice, it had mellowed the spice too much and I ended up adding another 1-1/2 teaspoons of sriracha. The sauce had a bit of a kick but nothing painful, however, that is always subject to individual taste, so be careful. 🙂
I always buy beans in their dried form so I needed to cook some before dinner and since I also needed to cook some rice, I stacked the beans on top of the rice in the Instant Pot. I must warn you – the rice needs less time than the beans so my brown rice was extremely soft – if that’s not your thing, cook them separately. I just measured my rice into the liner of the Instant Pot, added in enough water to cook it, put in a small metal bowl with the beans and some water for them to cook in, closed it all up and let them go for 25 minutes.
If you’re using canned beans, open a can and give them a rinse and drain and they’re good to go. Cook some rice, or use some leftover rice from another meal (this is great for that).
Cook the ground beef in a frying pan, break it all up, add the cumin, chili powder, and paprika to it. Shut off the heat when it’s cooked and it’s ready to go into the bowls.
Chop up the vegetables you’re using and arrange them in a big bowl or in individual bowls.
Set out any toppings you will be using and get the sauce out of the fridge. Get utensils for serving the bits and pieces with and go to it.
Every bowl can be made according to what each individual likes and that’s so much fun – load up some plates or bowls (I like bowls better, they keep the ingredients in when I’m mixing everything together) and eat some good for you food.
The nicest thing about bowls is that you just have to change the sauce and/or the protein and/or the cheese, and it’s a whole new meal.
Some Greek seasoning, feta cheese and some pork or chicken and you’ve got Greek bowls.
Some Italian dressing and mozzarella cheese and you’ve got Italian bowls.
Sesame dressing and tofu and Asian bowls are served.