Before we get to the important part of this post… I have to tell a tale of the various woes one might encounter in the produce aisle.
When Rob and I first started dating, I once asked him to pick up some potatoes from the store on his way over. A simple enough task, one might think, but he had apparently spent such little time in the produce section before we met that he didn’t realize the various kinds of potatoes he would encounter there. Red potatoes, Yukon potatoes, fingerling potatoes, russet potatoes… what on earth did I want? He eventually showed up at my house, flustered and confused, russet potatoes in hand. Obviously he had made the right decision… because anyone who asks you for potatoes and isn’t expecting russet is a mad person.
He still protests that russet is the obvious choice when you simply say “potato” because, hello, there are like a hundred potatoes right?
I got an opportunity to live in his shoes when I went to the store to get serrano peppers from Meijer, which was objectively one of the worst decisions I have ever made. It took me 30 minutes to even find the peppers. I was sweating already because that store is 18 miles wide and I could feel myself getting older as I made my pilgrimage to the pepper section. There were no fewer than ten kinds of peppers, none of which were properly labeled, and at least three of which could have passed for serrano.
A lifetime went by. Children were born. My existential dread labored on.
At last, I picked my peppers and started the hour long walk back to my car. Still to this day, I cannot say with confidence that the peppers I bought were in fact serrano peppers. They were green chili peppers of some kind, and they made a delightful salsa… albeit the visual resemblance to cat vomit is uncanny… it still tastes incredible and definitely ties all the flavors of this bowl together.
Don’t let these peppers totally steal the show though… because we also added tostones, which are basically just double fried plantains (read: heaven) and we need to give them the proper spotlight as well.
All in all, I think it’s one of the better dishes I’ve ever created and I can’t wait to share it with you guys!
For the salsa
(which you can and should make ahead of time)
You will need…
- 3 Serrano peppers or some kind of ubiquitous green chili variety that hopefully isn’t from Meijer
- 4 tomatillos, out of their “parchment” and cut into quarters
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 of a red onion
- A drizzle (actual measurement) of avocado oil
- Place all the ingredients on a baking sheet, drizzle the avocado oil, and roast at 400 for 20 minutes
- Allow everything to cool slightly, and combine in a food processor until desired consistency is achieved (apple sauce is what we are going for… not cat vomit… who made that comparison anyhow?)
- Store in the fridge until you are ready to make your bowls
For the burrito bowls
You will need…
- 1 tbsp avocado oil (or cooking oil of choice)
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 can fire roasted tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons adobo seasoning, separated
- 1 head of cauliflower, riced
- Heat the avocado oil on a large skillet on medium-high heat
- Brown the ground beef, add one tablespoon of adobo, and the can of diced tomatoes
- Stir and reduce heat. Let simmer while you move on to the cauliflower rice
- You can either saute the cauliflower rice, or, my favorite, roast it. To roast, just line a baking sheet with parchment paper, add the adobo seasoning, and a little spritz of oil (I use the coconut oil spray from Field Day) a drizzle of oil works if you don’t have a spray
- Roast the cauliflower rice at 400 for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally
While the cauliflower is ricing and the meat is simmering, you’ll have time to make your tostones! This is my favorite part!
For the tostones
You will need…
- 1 large green plantain, peeled and cut into slices
- 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil
- Pink sea salt
- Heat the coconut oil in a medium sized skillet on medium heat while you slice your plantain
- Once the pan is hot, add the plantain slices, flipping once so they get golden brown on each side
- Remove the plantains from the heat but leave the oil in the pan as you’ll be putting them back in
- Now is the fun part! With a piece of parchment paper and a mallet (or the end of a glass) … cover the plantains with the paper, and smash each one to flatten them
- Add them back to the hot oil and fry on each side until crisp
Now it’s time to assemble these laborious bowls! The fruits of your labor have finally payed off!
In each bowl, start with a scoop of cauliflower rice, and a scoop of ground beef. Add whichever toppings you like. We did roasted bell peppers and avocados, but you can get creative with whatever else you want to add. I would have put cilantro on them, but I was so flustered from my pepper experience I forgot. Don’t be like me.
Layer in the tostones in whichever way you find most aesthetically pleasing, and top with the beautiful, appetizing, not at all cat vomit looking salsa!