Beefless Burrito Bowl (Gluten-Free and 21-Day-Fix Friendly)
As part of my and my family's ongoing commitment to health and wellness, I've instituted meatless Monday dinners. I love protein, especially red meat, but it gets kind of expensive, isn't the best thing for your health if it's eaten all the time, and since I keep a kosher kitchen, I'd never be able to have cheese! Cheese is essential to a proper burrito bowl. So I went searching for the cleanest meat substitute I could find. After some trial and error, I discovered the amazing goodness that is Gardein. It's a brand of vegetarian protein, which offers many gluten-free options, while still qualifying as clean food.
Gardein beefless ground has opened up a whole new world for a kosher cook like myself. It has a similar taste and consistency to ground beef. It's a little chewier, but a good option if you're keeping kosher or are vegetarian. It comes frozen, in a bag, and is much faster to cook than animal protein. Just throw it in the skillet with some oil and cook until it's heated through. A word of warning: it can be a little dry, so rather than add oil to it, I chose to pour some leftover enchilada sauce from my Mexican Pizza recipe. I added the link below - it's basically some spices, a bag of spinach, and tomatoes blended together for a delicious flavor and some extra greens.
- 2 bags (4 cups) cauliflower rice
- 1 bag Gardein beefless groun
- 1 cup corn, can use frozen, fresh, or canned
- 1 cup beans (drained), can use pinto, black, or kidney beans
- 1 can tomatoes, diced, undrained
- 2 tablespoons adobo, or your own mexican seasoning
- 2 packets Sazon with azafran, can substitute saffron
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, extra virgin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 cup enchilada sauce
- Shredded cheese, I used Mexican cheese blend, but cheddar/jack would work well too
- Microwave the bags of cauliflower rice and corn as per instructions on the bag.
- Add olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Once the skillet is warm, add the Gardein beefless ground, with 1 tablespoon of Adobo, 1 packet of Sazon, and 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder. If you prefer to make your own seasonings, add half to this mixture.
- Stir frequently until it is heated through, and remove from heat. Add the enchilada sauce (link below) to the mixture, otherwise it'll get a little dry.
- In a medium saucepan, pour the can of undrained diced tomatoes, beans, corn, 1 tablespoon of Adobo, 1 packet of Sazon (or your own seasonings), and 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder. Over medium heat, stir occasionally until the mixture is simmering.
- Place 1 cup of cauliflower rice on the plate/bowl, with 1 cup of the meat mixture, and 1 cup of the bean/tomato/corn mixture. Feel free to top with whatever you want. I put cheese and hot sauce, but it would be fantastic with diced jalapeño, lettuce, avocado, or sour cream. Enjoy!
The Secret Ingredient
I learned many years ago how to make Dominican style rice and beans from a good friend. The magic comes from these two seasonings - Adobo with cumin, and Sazon with saffron. The Adobo is an all-purpose mixture of garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, etc. It's literally all-purpose. I put it in everything - eggs, tuna, any Hispanic inspired dish, hamburgers, etc. The Sazon is basically an inexpensive packet of saffron. If you choose to make your own seasoning, I'd suggest mixing cumin, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder with some saffron for color and depth.
Staples for Spanish-Style Cooking
While heating up the beefless ground, I noticed that it was looking a little dry. I had some enchilada sauce left over from another recipe, and decided to throw that into the pan. The pan started hissing, so I turned off the heat and moved the pan while mixing in the enchilada sauce. It was a great way to get some extra veggies into the meal without anyone noticing, while also keeping the mixture moist (*shudder* how I hate that word).
Making the "Meat"
Making the sauce was a pretty passive endeavor. I just poured the items into the pot, and let it heat slowly while focusing on the "meat." I stirred occasionally, but it doesn't require a lot of effort.
What Do You Think?
If you are doing 21 Day Fix, the container counts are as follows:
- 2 green
- 1 red
- 1 yellow
- 1 blue (for the cheese)
- If you used additional toppings, count them as well.