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Burrito bowls

Burrito bowls

burrito bowl

I am secretly obsessed with those ‘what I ate’ blog posts and magazine pages. I know, I know, most of them are made up or at least massaged into appearing super healthy. But like most people, I struggle with inspiration for my daily meals.

So, with that in mind, I’m going to start posting recipes for the meals we eat at home all the time – the ones that get requested again and again. They’re not particularly original or very complicated, but I think we could all use a few more of those regular meal ideas.

Burrito bowls are, by their very nature, super flexible things. We eat these at lunchtime mostly, utilizing leftovers in the fridge, but the base stays essentially the same: brown rice and black beans. Often I will cook a batch of onions, corn and peppers to add to omelettes and burritos, and keep it in the fridge. Add hot sauce, nuts, whatever takes your fancy. Skip the salsa and sour cream and use a miso-soy dressing and it’s immediately more Asian, no longer really burrito related but also amazing.

Here’s an example bowl we had today. I haven’t given measurements because this is up to you.

Burrito bowl

  • Cooked brown rice
  • Black beans, rinsed
  • Corn kernels, frozen
  • Peppers, chopped
  • Onion, sliced
  • Cheese, shredded
  • Kale, either raw and chopped or leftover fried kale, chopped
  • Pico de gallo or salsa
  • Sour cream

1. Heat or cook the rice, add black beans if you’re just heating it up.

2. Fry the onion, corn kernels and peppers together, by the time the onions and peppers are softened the corn will be defrosted.

3. Layer rice, then beans in a bowl, top with shredded cheese, and then the onion mixture. All the heat will melt the cheese for you.

4. Finally, top with the kale, salsa and sour cream. Enjoy!


Mashed potato cakes

In the language of allotmenteers, there’s a term for this stretch from January until April, when some of the earliest proper crops start coming in, it’s called the hungry gap. When you get a vegetable delivery box, around this time of year it feels like it’s 60% leeks by weight.

What am I going to do with a logpile of leeks? The thing is, Christopher doesn’t eat eggs, so a quiche or frittata is out. Leek and potato soup is a bit much more than once in a fortnight, I think. Fortunately they also go well with potatoes.

I knocked together these little potato cakes from leftover mashed potato, with peas and leeks I fried up for the occasion. The quantities are a bit vague because this is really something to be made with leftovers, so do with it what you will. My very favourite way to eat these is with a fried egg lolling around on top and a generous sprinkling of good crunchy sea salt.

Leftover mash potato cakes 

  • Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 leek
  • Knob of butter
  • A quantity of leftover mashed potato
  • Frozen, or leftover cooked peas
  • All-purpose flour
  • Olive oil or butter
  1. Tip panko into a dry non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Stirring often, toast the panko until it is golden brown. Remove to a plate to cool.
  2. Slice the leek into narrow rings, going all the way up including the light green bit, discard the tough dark green tops. Heat a pan on medium heat, add the knob of butter, and then toss in the leeks once the butter has melted. Cook until leeks are soft, stirring occasionally. Cook the peas according to package directions if they are frozen.
  3. Add the mashed potatoes, peas, and leeks into a medium bowl, scraping the leek pan to get all that lovely butter in there. Start with 2 tablespoons of flour and mix. You want to get to a texture that starts sticking to itself. Try making a small cake the size of your palm, if it falls to pieces, add a bit more flour a tablespoon at a time.
  4. When you’ve got the right consistency, make small patties and press them gently into the panko on both sides to coat. I make a few and put them on a clean plate next to the stove.
  5. Heat up the leek pan again over medium heat, and add a small amount of your fat of choice. Add a few of your patties at a time, without crowding the pan. Leave them undisturbed for a couple of minutes, but monitor them closely. At the first sign of overbrowning, flip them like mad. You’re really just heating the potatoes through here, so no need to rush it over high heat.
  6. Remove to a plate and keep warm in a low oven or under foil until you cook the lot of them.
  7. Serve warm with eggs, or bacon, or good sausages. Yum.