Story last updated at 4/23/2014 - 2:41 pm
In the past two months, I think I have been home for a collective two weeks. It’s been a whirlwind of travel for work and pleasure. I have had the best winter I could imagine, in part because I’ve been able to go to new places and experience new things — particularly food.
What I am finding with all this traveling is that it is very difficult for me to eat well and stay within a routine. I admit it: I have absolutely no willpower or discipline when traveling. “Would I care for complimentary glass of wine on the plane? Why thank you, don’t mind if I do. Why, yes, I would like the cheese platter to go with my wine.”
It all starts to add up, and then suddenly my jeans are a little tighter than I remember.
Amid the traveling chaos, Grant and I threw in a relocation project and moved from the boat we were tending to a small efficiency apartment. We’ll see how we do in such a confined space. So far, our cat Rawr is having fun exploring our little abode. By exploring, I mean he’s roaming around at 2 a.m., knocking things over and making himself at home. I’m glad he’s adjusting so quickly, but a good night’s sleep would be wonderful, too.
I’m back home and will be until July, when I do my annual pilgrimage to Las Vegas for Rollercon, the largest and most amazing roller derby convention in the world. To ensure I’m ready for this epic event, I need to back on track with healthier food and more exercise.
Tomorrow morning I meet with my trainer, so I can say “check” to the exercise. I need to work on the healthy eating. The fun thing about our new apartment is the smaller stove. Grant and a couple of his friends didn’t think I would be up for cooking on a stove about a quarter smaller than the average size. What they don’t know is that I’ve lived in small apartments and I can cook on just about anything. I accepted his challenge and got to cooking.
I know I’m not the only one who lives a hectic life and has a lot going on. It’s hard to make home-cooked meals every day. Most weeks, I make about two or three full meals. The important thing is to make something that is healthy and delicious. It is absolutely OK and encouraged to take a little help from the grocery store and use pre-cut vegetables or instant rice or something that will cut your cooking time. I do this a lot so that I can make a decent meal on a Thursday after a long day at the office.
This week, I wanted something filling, nutritious and quick. Nothing is faster or more delicious than sautéing vegetables. From chopping to serving, you’re looking at about 20 minutes. Perfect!
I also used a new product for me — instant brown rice that is cooked in the microwave in 90 seconds. There was just enough for two servings. I have to admit I love this idea. There’s also no cleaning, which is an added bonus.
I topped the rice with black beans, the sautéed vegetables, fresh cilantro, tomatoes and avocado. In about 20-25 minutes we had a delicious meal that was filling and satisfying. Again, there was hardly any cleaning, which made it even better. I named this recipe Fiesta Bowl, because it tasted like a party in my mouth; lots of great spice and texture, especially with Cholula hot sauce.
This week, I present a dish that was made quickly and consumed with much gusto: Fiesta Bowl. Combining a few fresh ingredients with a little help from the grocery store makes a delicious meal in less than 30 minutes.
Until next time…
Eat and enjoy,
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup brown rice cooked (or one package instant rice)
1 can black beans, drained
1 yellow squash, sliced
½ large red onion, sliced
1 red or yellow bell pepper, sliced
1 teaspoon Ancho chili powder
½ teaspoon cumin powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tomato, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
1/8 cup fresh cilantro, chopped*
1/8 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
Prepare rice according to package. Heat beans in sauce pan until warmed through. Pre-heat skillet to medium high heat, add oil. Place sliced vegetables in skillet and cook until softened. Add spices and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Place rice in bowl, top with beans and then vegetables. Garnish with tomatoes, cilantro, avocado and cheese. Squeeze a bit a lime juice on top just before serving.
Add Cholula sauce and sour cream if desired.
*Add some of the cilantro to the rice while it’s warm, and it will add extra flavor to your dish.