Tex-Mex, it’s definitely for everyone! As a matter of fact, I’m not sure why anyone wouldn’t like it. It’s flavorful, colorful, and is good any time of day. Am I right? Of course, the version I make isn’t gourmet or what you’ll find in most restaurants, but it’s made with clean, real food. And because I make it, you know it’s quick and easy.
This is a go-to in our house because we always have the ingredients and it truly is quick and easy. It’s a great way to fuel your body in very little time. If you meal prep, this is a great dish for that as well. You can store the ingredients in separate containers or the warm foods in one and the cold foods in another. Plan to add your sauce or salsa at the last minute.
Don’t feel confined to the ingredient list on this one. Feel free to go wild…add zucchini, squash, mushrooms, broccoli, spinach, you name it! It’s your dish, so dazzle it up if you want. This is a simple version to work from.
When I cut veggies…
Before I start cutting my veggies, I always set a glass bowl (with a lid) next to my cutting board. I use it for the extra veggies and all the miscellaneous veggie pieces that don’t make the cut (pun intended). I like to keep cut veggies in my fridge for last minute eats – salads, quinoa, eggs, etc. Keeping a bowl to throw the excess veggies in makes it easy to clean as you go, and there is no waste!
ON MY SCALE, THIS DISH IS A 10 OUT OF 10!
- Real Food – YES
- Gluten-free – YES
- Vegan (if you use salsa/vegan sauce) – YES
- Quick – YES
- Easy – YES
- Accessible Ingredients – YES
- Modifiable – YES
- Healthy Fats – YES
- Plant-based Protein – YES
- Full of fiber – YES
SELECTING THE INGREDIENTS:
- Quinoa or Brown Rice. Both are great grains even though quinoa is technically a seed. If you had to pick one over the other, I would always go with quinoa, but that doesn’t discount the benefits of brown rice. Quinoa is a complete, plant-based protein, is gluten-free, and is a good source of fiber. While there are a few healthy rice options, we are all familiar with brown rice, which has a lot of nutritional value. It’s also gluten-free and a good protein and fiber source. There are many gluten-free grain options, but these are my go-tos: most people are familiar with them, they’re easy to find, easy to cook, and very versatile.
- Yellow Onion. There is a general rule of thumb as to which onion to use and when to use it, but when you sauté them, it’s not as important. You can use white, yellow, or red – feel free to use what you have on hand or whatever your little heart desires.
- Bell Peppers. I like using red, orange, and yellow most of the time, and as to which one(s), it usually depends on the other ingredients. I love my food to be as colorful as possible. Since all peppers are full of antioxidants, I either use what I have or use what makes my dish pretty.
- Tomatoes. Unless you are one of those unfortunate people who have a nightshade1 allergy or intolerance, hopefully you enjoy tomatoes. One of the reasons tomatoes are so good for us is because they are considered a high antioxidant and one of the best sources of the phytonutrient, lycopene, which is closely tied to enhanced immunity and cancer risk reduction. Oh, and in this dish, use whatever variety of tomato you want. As you can see, I didn’t have the prettiest tomato, but I used it anyway.
- Scallions/Green Onions. I love these little guys. They’re fun to cut, they’re visually appealing, and they taste damn good! Even though they’re small and have a mild flavor, they still carry their weight in nutritional value.
- Cilantro. I’m pretty sure cilantro is my favorite herb. I absolutely love the smell of basil, but as far as affordability, accessibility, and versatility, cilantro is the shiz-nit! I love the freshness it adds to everything! If you’re not used to using fresh cilantro, it’s good to know you can use the stems as well – chop it all and nothing goes to waste!
- Avocados. Love, love, love!!! Avocados are an excellent source of fat, a good brain food, contain more potassium than bananas, provide fiber, and even protein. I think it’s safe to call the avocado a superfood!
- Southwestern Ranch. Since this is your dish, you can use any sauce you want. Salsa or another hot sauce would work great – just keep it clean!
SELECTING THE EQUIPMENT:
- Medium to large cooking pot (for rice)
- Skillet (for sautéing veggies)
- Cutting board
In our house, this makes two large bowls, but we are BIG eaters. Increase or decrease quanties based on how many mouths you’re feeding! You may want it rice heavy, veggie heavy, etc. Make it your own!
- 1 Tablespoon of avocado oil (to sauté veggies)
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked brown rice or uncooked quinoa
- 1 1/2 cups water (for rice) or 3 cups (for quinoa)
- 1 can black beans, you may not use the entire can (drained and rinsed)
- ½ medium yellow onion, sliced
- 2 bell peppers, sliced or cubed – any color
- 1 small jalapeno, finely chopped (for rice)
- 1 large tomato (1 cup), chopped
- 3 or 4 green onions, chopped
- 1 Tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 avocado, chopped
- ½ teaspoon pink salt (rice & veggies)
- ¼ teaspoon of cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/8 teaspoon chili powder
- Southwest Ranch (below) or Clean Salsa
- Optional: We added an extra finely chopped fresh jalapeño to our bowl because we like spicy; we also like the fresh flavor it added.
- Cook rice or quinoa according to package. Add ¼ teaspoon of salt when you add the rice or quinoa to the water.
- Add chopped jalapenos to the cooked rice or quinoa, set aside, and let cool.
- Saute the peppers and onions in avocado oil, add the remaining pink salt, cumin, garlic powder, cayenne, and chili powder (adjust seasoning to taste).
- Bowl it up! Rice, beans, sautéed veggies, tomatoes, avocado, green onions, and cilantro. Rice on the bottom, green onions in the middle, everything else around the edges, and cilantro sprinkled on top. Add extra jalapeño if you wish.
- Add sauce when you’re ready to eat.
- Mix and enjoy!
Southwest Ranch Ingredients
- 1/2 cup The Best Damn Ranch Ever
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
Instructions for Southwest Ranch:
- Add all the ingredients to a bowl and whisk/mix together thoroughly.
- Enjoy as dip for veggies, sauce, or dressing.
Happy & Healthy
1NIGHTSHADE VEGETABLES INCLUDE TOMATOES, EGGPLANT, PEPPERS, TOMATILLOS, GOJI BERRIES, AND POTATOES (NOT SWEET), AND IN RARE CASES, A PERSON CAN BE INTOLERANT, OR EVEN ALLERGIC.