Nook Cooking: Mexican Style

There are few things I appreciate more than a themed lunch. This Mexican inspired feast of burrito bowls fed three of us with leftovers, so could easily serve four. I’ll take you through the steps so you can easily recreate this meal at home, or just part of it. It will make hosting a lunch or dinner for four a breeze. Pots and pans at the ready! 

Chilli con carne

First things first, get the chilli pot on the go. Peel and dice one medium white onion, then deseed and dice one red pepper. Sweat down for a few minutes over a medium heat in a large saucepan, before adding one peeled and finely diced garlic clove. Cook for a couple of minutes then add 250g beef mince and saute until cooked through.

Sprinkle over 1tsp ground cumin, 1/2tsp hot chilli powder, 1/2tsp sugar, 1/4tsp rock salt and a little freshly ground black pepper before adding one carton of chopped tomatoes. Add 150ml water to the empty carton, swirl it around then add to the pot. Bring the chilli to the boil, turn down to a simmer, cover and leave to do its thing for about one hour whilst you get to the rest.

Brown rice

I tend to do 50g dried rice per person when cooking for a spread. So, add your chosen amount of rice to a pan of boiling water, sprinkle over 1tbsp tamari and 1/2 lime’s worth of juice. Turn down to a simmer and stir intermittently. It should take around 40 – 45 minutes to cook.

Fajita vegetables

These fajita veggies were the bomb! Peel and dice one small red onion. Take two bell peppers, preferably of varying colours, and deseed them. Slice into thin strips. Saute your vegetables over a medium-high heat with a drizzle of olive oil. When they are mostly cooked, add two big handfuls of spinach to wilt down, then sprinkle over your chosen spice. I used a fajita spice mix that was gluten free but do check the label. Turn down to gently sizzle, it will take about twenty minutes for the vegetables to soften completely. 

Side note: Take your time. The beauty of these dishes is that they will happily bubble away for an extra few minutes without causing any harm, so no stress! 

Black beans

I love black beans, but feel free to sub them for kidney beans. Warm up one more pan – last one, I promise! Saute a peeled and dice fat garlic clove in a little oil for around one minute, then add your canned black beans. Add a pinch of ground cumin then leave to bubble for around 10 – 15 minutes.

(I didn’t drain and rinse my beans, because the only ingredients were black beans and water. If your beans contain more ingredients than that, I would drain, rinse and add your own fresh water, around 100ml)

Final prep

Now we can set the table and prepare the final components. Wash and chop your iceberg lettuce, or open the bag and dump in a bowl, like I did. Find spoons for your dips. Open up the tortilla chip bag (Sainsbury’s Basics are gluten free and tasty) and find space for the, on the table. Get your plates ready, then move all your pans to hot plates, dunk serving spoons in and dig in. 

Building a burrito bowl – lettuce in first, then healing spoonfuls of brown rice. Add fajita veggies, beans and chilli on top, then add a dollop of salsa and sour cream on top of that before adding a few tortilla chips round the edge. Perfection! 

I hope you enjoyed my step-by-step guide to preparing a Mexican dinner for your nearest and dearest, let me know if you try it out, or would like me to do another post on another cuisine. Maybe Italian next? 


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