This Mushroom and Bean Burrito Bowl is fast, healthy and delicious! It is also vegetarian–and hearty enough for dedicated meat-eaters. Affiliate links (to Amazon) have been used in this post to link to items I am discussing.
I have had One Of Those Weeks. As a matter of fact, had I needed to make dinner, I had one of those weeks that a burrito bowl is perfect for. What I mean to say is, if I had not already been cooking and baking what felt like 24-7 for other events (and feeding us from them) I would have wanted a burrito bowl.
I am not sure how my week got so out of control–and truly, if it had not been for the time change (always longed for and then bitterly resented for a week or two), it might not have been quite so exhausting. Conferences were this week, and I promised entrees and desserts for 2 different days at the kids’ school. And then I added homemade bread to one of them, apparently not realizing that was an insane idea. In the middle of all of this Finnegan got a bad stomach bug (probably ate or drank outside somewhere in the spring thaw that he should not have) which seriously curtailed sleep and required renting a steam cleaner to eventually fix (!).
And on Thursday, I baked for and read at an event at the Miami University Women’s Center. Yes it was this last one that flustered me! I was asked to participate, which was immensely gratifying and complimentary (the theme was “Bringing Your Stories to the Table: Global Cuisine and Culture”), but if you know me you know public speaking definitely wigs me out. So why, you might ask, do I do it? Call me crazy but the very fact that I hate it makes me more determined to do it “when it is good for me.” Like for example, when someone who reads my blog thinks I would have something of interest or worth to read to a group of people interested in women’s issues! If you are curious, the post I chose to share was “A Plea to End the Dumbing Down of Kid Food,” with the exception of the last paragraph since that was just an announcement of some blogging events. I baked Domenica Marchetti‘s Stracciatella Biscotti–stay tuned for a review of her Ciao Biscotti, and both treats and my reading went over well (as far as I could tell!). It was a little surreal, to be reading from my blog while a large projector computer screen of my blog showed behind me (even more surreal when it showed a picture of Alex photographing food!), but I am really glad I did it.
Anyhoo. Crazy week. And while not needed this week, burrito bowls are rapidly becoming one of my go to meals when I need to come up with something fast. This one is vegetarian, relying on beans, mushrooms and corn (combined with the rice of course) for its protein. I served it as kind of an inverted taco salad (less healthy too I guess!) by adding chopped crispy romaine hearts and grape tomatoes as two of the garnishes. As always, one of the joys of burrito bowls is that you get to add what sounds good to you. I personally wished I had had some cilantro. John and I both added Tapatio Salsa Picante Hot Sauce as well as salsa. The kids added neither. Sammy wanted more lettuce; Alex wanted more tomatoes. And so forth. Any veggie that sounds good could be added to the cooked part as well. If I had had zucchini they would have gone in for sure; I bet cauliflower would work as well, chopped a bit smaller than usual. If you like cooked greens, go for it! Or sweet potato! OK now I am craving a burrito bowl and might need to make another one this weekend!
One note about salsa. And I swear I am hesitant to write about it because I am so tired of reading about the assumption that any time a blogger mentions a brand they must be either getting paid (nope not if I have not said no) or angling for getting paid (nope I only mention brands when I think the information will be useful). Anyway, the reason I bring up salsa is because I use it as a condiment and as an ingredient in my house, because the salsa we eat, Garden Fresh Gourmet, is completely free of preservatives except citric acid and also completely uncooked. If it was not, I would get over my lazy self and chop some fresh tomatoes, squeeze some fresh limes, etc. But on a busy night, I love grabbing the salsa as an ingredient as well to save me time. If you have a salsa you love, try it! If you want to do it completely from scratch, just add some peppers, cilantro and fresh (or frozen) tomatoes.
- 1-3 T vegetable oil (I used less because I used a nonstick pan)
- 1-2 med-large onions, chopped
- 6-8 cloves garlic, minced
- 30 oz sliced crimini mushrooms
- 1-2 t ground cumin
- 1-2 t Ancho chile powder or New Mexico chile powder or combination of both (Chipotle would work too if heat is not an issue)
- 1/2 t Mexican oregano
- 1/2 cup of favorite raw tomato salsa
- 2 15-oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed (black is our favorite but use whatever you like)
- 10 oz bag frozen organic corn (I dislike the taste of non-organic; use what you like)
- cooked rice for serving (we used a mix of brown and white)
- salsa of choice
- hot sauce of choice
- grape tomatoes
- chopped romaine hearts
- sour cream or Greek yogurt
- shredded cheese of choice
- avocado chunks
- lime wedges
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat with the vegetable oil. When it is hot, add the onions with a pinch of salt. Stirring occasionally, cook the onions until they are softened and starting to brown at the edges.
- Add the garlic with another pinch of salt. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms in 3 batches, working to brown them a tad each time before stirring in the next batch.
- When the mushrooms are completely incorporated and cooked down, add the spices and crush the oregano as you add it as well. Start with lesser amounts of the cumin and chile powder. Stir the spices into the mixture and cook for 1-2 minutes (this will allow them to roast and permeate the entire dish).
- Add the tomato salsa and bring to a simmer.
- Mix in the beans and corn and add another pinch of salt. Cook, covered at a low simmer, for 10-20 minutes (depending on how pressed for time you are) to allow flavors to meld. If the mixture looks dry at all, add a little more salsa.
- Before serving, taste for salt and additional spices.
- I chose to mix about 1/3 of the cooked mixture into about 3-4 cups of cooked rice, thus ensuring that when we "took rice" we did not get 100% rice. Everyone knows the garnishes are the best part, but I wanted to make sure we were all getting enough protein!