It’s been a busy last couple of weeks, which means kitchen organization is in order!

I’ve realized that just because two of my kids (twins) started college this past fall and officially left the nest, it doesn’t mean I am still not busy as a mom. Juggling career, home, and kids can still be a challenge. The college kids are still needy, but from a distance, and I have a rising senior who is now in the. middle of the college process. I’m feeling pretty stretched right about now.With that, and with less food to cook in the house, I turn to my magic bullet – the bowl. Bowls can have many definitions, but in my world, a good bowl for dinner consists of a lot of vegetables, a whole grain, a protein and a sauce or condiment to mix it up.The sauce can change a basic bowl of sauteed veggies, brown rice and beans into a bowl from anywhere in the world. Today we went to Mexico.Mexican food is always a crowd pleaser with my family and this bowl is so versatile¬†you can really have it many ways. I started with cooked brown rice, but you could use quinoa, or even polenta if you wanted to. The vegetables (corn, onion, and tomatoes) hinted at traditional Mexican dishes as well, but I was sure to always add in a green. Today I added in kale because I had it, but you could go with spinach or even arugula.I also saved myself time by using frozen corn and frozen kale. Both as nutritious as their fresh cousins and really convenient.The sauce was really simple to make as well and took only seconds. A dollop of yogurt, some lime juice, cilantro, spices and you have a flavorful condiment that makes you feel like you are on vacation. It would work well on so many other dishes, such as roasted salmon.When time is short and you still want to know you are eating something meaningful, try this Black Bean Burrito Bowl. Let me know how it goes for you in the comments below.

Black Bean Burrito Bowl with Cilantro-Lime Dressing

Makes 4 servings


2 cups cooked brown rice (cook according to package directions or buy frozen)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 large yellow onion, sliced
1 large clove garlic, minced or pressed
1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced
1/2 teaspoon each cumin, chili powder, dried oregano, salt and pepper
1 cup frozen corn
8 ounces frozen chopped kale
1 14-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed well

Cilantro-Lime Dressing
1/2 cup whole milk yogurt
juice from 1 lime
1/2 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 small clove garlic
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper


1. In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, for at least five minutes, or until the onion is soft. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.

2. Add in the cherry tomatoes and continue sauteeing until they get soft, about 3 minutes. Add the spices, salt, and pepper and stir well to combine.

3. Add the corn, kale, and black beans and mix well. Turn off the heat, cover the pan and let sit for five minutes.

4. While the vegetables are resting, make the sauce: in a mini food processor combine the yogurt, lime juice, cilantro, olive oil, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper. Blend well. Add more salt and pepper if desired.

5. Divide the rice and vegetable mixture among four bowls. Drizzle some of the sauce and serve hot.

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