Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Southwestern Burrito Bowl

Hi readers! We are so happy and excited to announce that we will be introducing you to a few new members of 37 Cooks! First up, please meet Sarah Dyer!


I consider myself an accidental cook. Having spent most of my childhood outside, I never really found myself drawn to the kitchen. It wasn't until I was a twenty-something living on my own, realizing that frequent dining out was not fiscally responsible, that I fell in love with food. I stumbled my way through the first year or two, learning everything I could from blogs, cookbooks and the occasional cooking show until I really came into my own. A few salty dinners, last-minute take out, and several smoke alarms later, I can proudly say that I made it through the awkward puberty stage of an accomplished cook.

These days, I spend most of my time cooking, writing, and photographing recipes for my blog, Away From the Box, as well as laughing with (sometimes at) my favorite taste testers: My soon-to-be-husband, Kevin, and our dog Milo.

I wouldn't put my cooking into any particular box (get it?) as I try almost every cuisine or method of cooking at least a few times, but I definitely have a real connection with Latin flavors. I love dishes with root vegetables and a subtle kick of spice.

To me, photographing food is just as much fun as making it, so you'll often see me playing with lots of color (if you couldn't already tell by my hair)! My dishes always strive to be as much of a showpiece as they are delicious. The recipe below is not only gorgeous, but also inspired by one of the very first meals I ever mastered in the kitchen. I hope you enjoy it!

Southwestern Burrito Bowl
by Sarah D.
Blogging at Away From the Box
Inspired by Cake & Allie's Southwestern Egg Rolls with Avocado Ranch
Yields 4 hearty bowls

For the Rice:
1/8 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 cup uncooked long grain white rice
4 ounces tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon oregano
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth

For the Toppings:
2 Tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
1 yellow onion, sliced into rings
Black beans, cooked, rinsed and drained
2 roma tomatoes, diced
Corn, steamed and drained
Carrots, diced, steamed and drained
Spinach, chopped, steamed and squeezed dry with a paper towel
Red cabbage, chopped roughly
1 jalapeno, sliced thinly into rounds
1 avocado
Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt (optional)

Place the oil and uncooked rice in a medium skillet over medium heat and saute, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes until the rice turns white.

Add the tomato sauce, cumin, garlic salt, oregano and broth to the skillet and stir until combined. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, covered with a heavy lid, for about 15 minutes. Do not remove the lid.

After the 15 minutes, remove from heat and let sit for another 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork. The rice should be dry and not gummy (unless the lid was lifted) and can be made ahead of time if needed.

While the rice is cooking, heat the canola or vegetable oil in a small skillet over medium high heat. Toss in the onions, making sure to coat each piece in oil.

Cook for about 20 minutes, stirring or tossing often with a pair of tongs. The onions should be soft and translucent, slightly browned and smelling sweet. You can continue cooking for a deeper caramelization or stop now, as they should finish around the time the rice does.

For easy preparation, use the steamable frozen bags of vegetables for the corn, carrots, spinach and black beans. Using canned or cooking from fresh is also an option, but takes more time.

In a bowl, layer about 1/2 cup of rice, the sautéed onions, black beans, tomatoes, corn, carrots, spinach, red cabbage and jalapeno to your tastes. Remove the pit from the avocado and make a cross hatch pattern in the flesh, then scoop onto the top of the bowls, leaving the skin behind. Drizzle with sour cream or plain Greek yogurt and enjoy!


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