winner, winner, taco bowl dinner

My lovely, gorgeous and hilarious cousin texted me the other day… IMG_3621 IMG_3622

So that got me thinking… maybe I kill two birds? Blog post AND help my dear cousin out. Maybe more birds? Because, Taryn is not the only person who has asked me this. Here and there people ask me what I’m eating. I think sometimes people think I’ve put all this effort and time in to making my lunch, but that is not the case.

Now, I love a good sandwich as much as the next gal…. a MAN-WICH, am I right ladies?! giphy-3

During the work week, I like to have a little more pizzazz for lunch than a sandwich. I mean, it’s not like CJ is here to buy fancy deli meat for us, so we don’t purchase that regularly. Over years of fixing lunch and dinner I have come to the conclusion that I must keep it simple but it’s gotta have flavor.

After college, I hungrily watched “30 Minute Meals” and regularly attempted Rachel Ray recipes. Have you ever tried a Rachel Ray recipe?! I have. And it doesn’t work for me. First of all, 30 minutes is a stretch. When you have to chop ten different foods, half the time is prepping. A Top Chef contestant isn’t even quick enough to prepare a Rachel Ray recipe in 30 minutes. Second, her recipes require a minimum of twenty-some ingredients that will end up costing you a small fortune. I once bought a jar of cardamom that cost me $8 and I used a pinch of it. A PINCH! Seven years later, I still have the jar and have not used a single second pinch. I refuse to throw it away so that it reminds me to never fall for that trap again. And why do Rachel’s recipes call for only ONE chipotle in adobo when she knows damn well there are 15 in one tiny can?! I use the one and then the other 14 sit in my fridge for six months until they have turned green and furry.

So now my cooking motto is:

  • Trifecta of veggie, meat (because we are carnivores) and a grain/carb/pasta
  • Two pans MAX – any more is just more cleaning and ain’t nobody got time for that! (in the text I claimed I use only one – slight exaggeration)

I’ll share how I grocery shop in another post if that interests anyone… eh I’ll share it anyway because blog content can be hard to think up. But for today, I’ll share my go-to dinner-that-turns-into-lunch recipe. It is a bowl that was mentioned in the text above. It requires two pans – one to cook the quinoa and one to throw everything in. Dinner will be ready in under 20 minutes and you will have leftovers. And your husband will do the dishes. Now, that’s something to high-five about.

Ingredients (all from Trader Joe’s). You can substitute any of this. Example – use ground turkey or beef instead of sausage.IMG_3614Cook the quinoa in pan #1 according to directions on the bag. One suggestion – use chicken broth instead of water to cook the quinoa. It will add flavor.

Heat up pan #2. Dice half the onion (save the other half for another time). Dice two jalapeños (if you’re feeling dangerous, use more; but if you want less heat, use one). After said chopping, pan #2 should be nice and hot. Turn the heat down to medium, add a little olive oil and toss the onion and jalapeños in pan #2. While those are getting soft (takes 3-5 minutes), dice all five chicken sausages. I cut them long ways, and then cut them in to bits. Does that make sense? If not, cut them however you want, but just make sure you cut them up so they mix well. Once the sausage is diced up, drop those in with the onion and jalapeños. These chicken sausages are pre-cooked so it speeds things up. Though when I use ground turkey it does not take much longer.IMG_3615After a few minutes, sprinkle the taco seasoning on top. Add the can of diced tomatoes and black beans. NOTE: That particular can of black beans is spicy and (switching to third person now) mama like her some heat. So if you can’t handle spicy food get yourself a can of plain black beans. Once you add the seasoning and cans of goodness, stir it all together and let it simmer for a minute. About now, the quinoa should be done. You’ll know it is done because all the liquid will have evaporated. Pour the quinoa from pan #1 in to pan #2 so it can be with it’s friends. Look how happy everyone looks! IMG_3618Finally, spoon some of that taco bowl in to the vessel of your choice. Squeeze some lime on top. Maybe add some chopped tomato, avocado and cheese…. and chips!IMG_3620So there you go, cousin…. my go-to taco bowl dinner from my kitchen to yours.

4 thoughts on “winner, winner, taco bowl dinner

  1. Wow I want too see your grocery list…or better yet go shopping with you. I spend $100-150 for the two of us. When kids are home that rises to $350-500. Yikes. Danno would be impressed.
    kimmeetip: those chipotle peppers???? put each individual left over pepper on a plate and freeze. The next morning…just pop them individually in a bag in freezer. They keep forever. They do not last long cuz this mama likes some heat too!
    Cant wait to try your bowl…I have an asian one too if interested!


    1. Thank you for that chipotle tip! I’m going to try that. And yes, happy to share my grocery list. I took a picture of the keypad screen at trader joes and the guy checking me out gave me a strange look. I shrugged and said its for my blog. He just nodded.


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