This ^^ is a taco bowl.
Taco bowls are make a regular appearance at our table. They’re frugal, healthy, filling, easy, versatile and fast. What more can you ask from a meal?
Oh, and everyone loves them!
If served over corn chips they’re typically called haystacks. Without the grain they’re sometimes called layered Mexican dip or one of a zillion other names. Here, we call them taco bowls, and this is how we build them.
Tip: If you say “Build your own taco bowl” it sounds more manly and hearty than saying, “We’re having a meatless meal! Rice and beans, yay!”
How to Build a Taco Bowl
1. Grain Start the grain cooking first since it will take the longest. Rice is the obvious base here, but I use quinoa more than rice. Since it only takes about 15 minutes, quinoa is my fave when I’m in a hurry to get lunch on the table (which is pretty much every day!). You could use any grain—I’ve also used millet and barley. Cook the grain in chicken or beef broth for added flavor and nutrition!
Leftover simple mexican rice makes this meal even faster.
2. Beans Warm the beans in a small pot, add spices as needed. I keep cooked pinto and black beans in my freezer at all times. I usually add taco seasoning to them before I freeze them, and portion them into meal size containers. You can also use canned beans, just drain and rinse before heating. Sometimes I use refried beans to change it up a little.
**Optional** You can heat up some leftover chicken or beef if you want. We usually skip the meat to keep it inexpensive.
While the grain is cooking and beans are warming, chop some veggies. I keep it basic and shred some lettuce and dice some tomatoes and onion. If I have shredded carrot or chopped squash in the fridge I’ll add that, too*. Corn and bell pepper are also good choices.
Shred some cheese and set out salsa, sour cream and guacamole. You could also add olives, jalapenos, lime juice and anything else someone might want. I really like diced mango in mine (the boys don’t go for that, so I usually put the bowl of fruit on the table). You could also serve warmed corn tortillas or chips with the taco bowls.
Invite everyone to the kitchen to build his or her own taco bowl!
*I’ve found that if I plop sour cream on top, I can get my boys to eat pretty much any vegetable!
Do you make taco bowls? What do you call them at your house?