Bowl of the Week

Bowl3.2This is my favorite time of year. It’s cool in the morning- sunny + warm in the afternoon- and by the time leave work, I no longer need a jacket BUT I’m also not sweating my butt off. It’s the summer to fall transition! It’s the time for shorts and long sleeve shirts. Cape weather is what I like to call it (I’m referring to Cape Cod for all the non-MA readers). AKA the best.

Waking up to cooler mornings has me craving comfort food for breakfast big time. My all time favorite comfort food (after pizza) are nachos. But not just any kind of nachos- my kind of nachos. Ones that are made with plantains that have been sliced/pan-seared/smashed/pan-seared again so that they’re crunchy on the outside, but slightly soft and chewy on the inside… instead of regular ol’ chips. Ones that aren’t made with meat doused in a packet of taco seasoning, but grass-fed ground beef that has been seasoned liberally with cumin, oregano, ground chili pepper, salt, and pepper. Ones with a giant spoonful of guacamole on par with the monstrous one you get at Chipotle. Ones with chopped tomatoes, sauteed peppers and onions, sliced olives! GAH. GIVE ME MY HOMEMADE NACHOS NOW, PLZ.

I hate myself for going on this nacho tangent because it’s currently 9am and now all I can think about are my favorite homemade nachos even though I just finished eating breakfast and am full.

It’s a good thing its football season, right? Those homemade nachos would be so clutch to have while watching Sunday’s Pats matchup against the Bills… just sayin.

ANYWAY. The whole point of this dumb introduction is that my breakfast bowl that I’m sharing with you was inspired by my homemade nachos. Those homemade nachos take a lot of work- but this breakfast bowl does not. And it curbs my craving for nachos (must be the seasoned ground beef) like you wouldn’t believe.

Here’s what’s in this bowl:

  • Ground beef: sauteed with onions, garlic, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, and a pinch of crushed red pepper.
  • Mashed plantains: I roasted two ripe/yellow plantains in the oven at 400 degrees for 45 minutes, let them cool slightly, and then mashed them with a few tablespoons of coconut milk (for me, one serving is 1/2 a plantain).
  • Sliced mango: there’s just something bright and fresh about pairing tropical mango with ground beef- it works really well- especially with the plantains involved.
  • Cilantro: nothing special here- just chopped up cilantro.

Usually I try and have at least one vegetable at breakfast, so this week is sort of different in that way. The only thing green is the lil bit of cilantro. Some weeks you just don’t have as much time as others to nail every single component of what you’re eating for the week- nahmean? I’ve been making up for my lack of roughage with plenty of veggies at lunch and dinner + green juices from work. We have a killer juice/smoothie bar- I’m lucky in that way.

I like to swirl my mashed plantains into the beef into one big gooey mess that’s reminiscent of shepherds pie.

I was raised a meat and potatoes kind of girl and so I think that’s why I love the idea of something warm and carby with a big pile of meat for pretty much all of my meals. I just try and do it in a healthier way these days by using better ingredients, smarter portions, and usually way more veggies.Bowl3

Don’t like what’s in my bowl?

Here are some modifications/alterations:

  • Hate cilantro? Are you one of those people? Leave it off! This recipe doesn’t hinge on having cilantro. If you’re jonesing for some fresh herb action though, maybe try some parsley if you like that.
  • Need more greens? Sauteed a batch of something leafy and add that to the bed of your bowl. OR I think this would be even better- chop and roast up some asparagus or broccoli and use that in your bowl. OR defrost some frozen peas! I love peas and could add them to anything (maybe even guacamole… yeah I went there).
  • Speaking of guac… add avocado! Avocado or guac would be an amazing addition to this bowl. I simply forgot to get some avos when I was at the store. Whoops.
  • Can’t find plantains? LOOK HARDER. Just kidding. Sort of. Whole Foods Market almost always has them- if you don’t see them on the floor, ask someone working in produce. Go to smaller, local markets that might have a greater variety in produce (versus a big chain grocery store) or a latin grocery store. They’re around.
  • Still can’t find plantains? Use mashed sweet potato or butternut squash! It’ll still be delicious.
  • Mangoes tough for you to get a hold of? You can leave out the mangoes if you want- you could try some pineapple in this bowl instead! It’s not as sweet and would definitely add some tartness- but I think the tropical-ness of it would work here.
  • Not a ground beef fan? Use shredded chicken instead. I wouldn’t swap out ground beef for ground turkey or chicken- I think shredded chicken would taste better. But that’s just my opinion.

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What’s your go to comfort food?

What’s your favorite thing about football season?

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