FEBRUARY 7th, 2018:
The “Bowl”—it’s a beautiful thing—but what is it really all about? And, when did it become a thing in our culinary culture? I can’t answer the second question precisely, but I’m going to guess that its emergence on the scene coincided with the low-carb craze (right around the time people started ordering burgers without a bun), the expansion of Chipotle Mexican Grill and every similar fast-casual chain that made bowls their serving dish of choice, and the comeback of salad bars—like mega salad bars with everything from pineapple to pinto beans and tempeh to tuna.
“Bowls” seem to have the connotation of being healthy—likely because they were born as an alternative to having a carb-laden bun or wrap. They also cue convenience, but—I’ll be honest—I’m not sure why. Less utensils? Easier hand-grip? A neater/faster way to shovel food into our mouths? We’ve sort-of contradicted both of these claims to fame over time. I’ll be the first to admit that I order an extra scoop of guacamole on my tortilla-less Bowl from Chipotle each and every time. And—as for convenience—have you ever tried making a Bowl at home? I swear you’ll quickly find that you use every pot, pan, cutting board, storage container, and knife in your house.
So, let’s get real. Isn’t the Bowl just an all-of-a-sudden, diner and chef-approved way to pile a bunch of our favorite flavors and ingredients on top of one another and call it “dinner” or “lunch”? Yes—it is! It’s the monster sundae of meal-time! And that’s why we love them.
Well, for the past few weeks, I attempted to conquer the homemade Bowl to give you not only a pile-on of amazing tastes and textures, but also a recipe that’s healthy and convenient to make (a.k.a. mostly one-pan). It’s my Chipotle Chicken Bowls with Citrus Simmered Black Beans. The chicken and rice cook together in a single pan with a savory chipotle broth. And the beans—admittedly—simmer separately, but take less than 15 minutes to make. All of the ingredients are things that you can stock in your pantry and fridge on Sunday and cook on Friday. AND, there’s not a lot of chopping or dicing involved. These Bowls set a new standard!
Click here to give the Chipotle Chicken Bowls a try.
And, don’t forget to add the Citrus Simmered Black Beans—click here!