MEXICAN BURRITO BOWL
This easy to prepare meal is perfect for anyone short on time, as it only takes 20 minutes to prepare, and once served up looks like a healthy work of art. What’s more, it’s a complete meal with protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats and jam-packed with vitamins and minerals.
This recipe is really simple, and it’s a great way to use up leftover rice. It’s also really good value for money, and trust me. It tastes as good as it looks. To make a vegetarian version, you can simply leave out the chicken and add the \*Creole spice mix to the beans, or if the kids don’t like spice, just separate some of the chicken and keep it plain and you will have a winner, winner, chicken dinner for everyone.
Did you know? It’s suggested that as early as 10,000 BC, Mesoamerican cultures living in the region of what is now Central America and Mexico were using corn tortillas to wrap their traditional foods before the arrival of Europeans to the Americas. According to legend, the burrito as we know it today was invented by a man named Juan Méndez, a street vendor in Chihuahua, Mexico. During the Mexican Revolution in the 1910s, Méndez needed a way to keep his food warm whilst transporting it on his small donkey from his home to the market. So, he decided to wrap his street food in a giant flour tortilla and cover it with aluminium foil. His customers loved it and the rest, as they say, is history.
Chef Dylan Tip: Please don’t overcook the chicken until it is dry and tough. Remember, the residual heat from the pan will keep cooking the chicken once you take it off the heat. Juicy tender chicken is what you’re aiming for. So, make sure the pan is nice and hot before you add the chicken and try to spread out the chunks so that they are all not in just one part of the pan.
Whilst travelling with my brother Mitchell up the east coast in our old 1980s beat-up van, affectionally named Hermia from Shakespeare’s play ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, we crossed paths with a young, short 5-foot 6-inch indigenous Mexican named Luis Antonio. He was also travelling the east coast on a gap year before he was to return home to begin medical school back in Mexico City. We got on so well. He decided to join us as we embarked on our next intrepid adventure, a four-day trek across Fraser Island.
The next day we organised to go shopping for all the food we would need for our trip. Whilst walking down one of the aisles in the supermarket, Luis, in his thick Mexican accent, suddenly declared, “Tonight, boys, I’m going to make for you the best Mexican burrito bowl you have ever had in your whole life”. “It will be the first burrito bowl I’ve ever had!” quipped Mitchell. “Noooooo!!!” moaned Luis rubbing his eyes in disbelief. “You can’t be serious? You never had Mexican food or what?” he said with a gobsmacked look on his face. Always the larrikin, with a smirk, Mitchell replied, “Had nachos at the RSL once”. Much to my amusement, quick as a flash, Luis suddenly had his arm around Mitchell’s neck in a headlock whilst rubbing his hair vigorously and joked, “You insult my culture, you little rat. You think that’s Mexican?”. “Alright! Alright!” cried Mitchell. “I’m sorry!” Luis let go, and we all laughed at the state of Mitchell’s now roughed up hair. Luis puffed up his chest and proudly stated, “You are in for a treat tonight, boys… you are going to eat real authentic Mexican food made by a real authentic Mexican!”
For a family feast, or if you are having a party, you can make a giant version of this dish and place it in the middle of the table. Add accompaniments like some tortilla chips, a big bowl of guacamole and some flat pieces of bread for everyone to help themselves, and that’d be a Mexican-inspired feast that would make even Luis Antonio proud.
PREP TIME: 15 mins
COOKING TIME: 5 mins
300g chicken breast, sliced into 2 cm chunks
2 tbsps CREOLE
1 tbs olive oil
2 cups cooked rice
1 spring onion, sliced
1 x 125g canned corn kernels, drained
1 x 400g red kidney beans, drained
1/4 bunch coriander leaves, chopped
SALSA TO ACCOMPANY
2 tbsps olive oil
1 tbs white wine vinegar
1x ripe tomato diced
1/2 small red onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
A handful of baby spinach, finely sliced
50g cheddar, grated
2 tbsps sour cream
Mix CREOLE with olive oil in a bowl and coat chicken pieces. Marinate for 20mins MAX.
Get a medium-sized fry pan to high heat, add some oil and fry chicken for 2 mins, then toss and fry until crispy and cooked through.
To make the salsa in a small bowl, mix the tomato, red onion and garlic and sliced baby spinach, then add two tbs of olive oil and vinegar to coat.
Get two serving bowls ready.
Warm rice in a heatproof bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds and mix into the rice the sliced spring onion and coriander.
Warm kidney beans in the microwave for 1 min.
Place warm rice into a serving bowl, followed by chicken pieces, then warm kidney beans, add corn, then the salsa mix on top.
Place sour cream into the middle and sprinkle on the shredded cheese.
Garnish with coriander and tuck in for a bowl of healthy deliciousness.