This is a favorite in my house. Everyone loves it because of the versatility involved in these “bowls.” All the toppings ensure that every person has option to put together their taco bowl all while ensuring my family is getting in a punch of nutrients into their meal. I’ve been speaking about eating the rainbow a lot lately. Dinner is the perfect time to make up for all the colors you haven’t gotten into your diet that day. And dinner bowls and bars are the perfect vehicle to accomplish this.
This recipe is actually part of a series of dinner prepping I hope to be putting out soon. It’s 5 dinners that can be prepped in one hour at the start of the week. Then each night you need to dedicate an additional 20-30 minutes to assemble and put on the finishing touches. Every one of these dinners is versatile, allows for option, delicious and nutritious. I even tested it on my large extended family over lock down. We had ages ranging from 2 (thanks yaya) to 72 (thanks parents) and every teenage and kid age in between (thanks family). So you can rest assured that even your most pickiest of eaters will have some sort of option each night.
For now, I’ll leave you with this gem of a recipe. It punches in the red phytonutrient we recently covered together, holding anthocyanidine and lycopene compounds which gives produce like raspberries, beets and tomatoes their deep red pigment. These compounds provide the body with iron and antioxidant rich nutrients which fight fatal diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer. They are also immune boosting and promote healthy brain and heart function.
I particularly love this dish because I was never a tomato lover, and unfortunately that preference got passed down to my children. The hubby is also not the biggest tomato fan. So tomato sauce on pasta won’t cut it here. But for some reason this dish is the perfect marriage of flavors that don’t overload the tomato flavor. And their are actually fresh tomatoes hidden in! So I’d say win!
All the topping and side recommendations are jus that: recommendations. The thing about bowls and bars in general is that you can dictate what to include. No one in your family likes red cabbage? No problem! leave it out or swap with some carrot slaw instead. Some kids don’t despise rice?! Fine! Swap out the rice for some tortillas or tacos! Hate beans? No worries, you can totally leave it out!
I love this topic. We aren’t vegetarians, but we do tend to live a pretty plant based life with occasional animal protein splurges during the week. Otherwise, we really save animal protein for the weekends. So when we aren’t feeling the meat vibe, we often turn this into an awesome veggie taco bowl. You can just tripe the bean quantity by adding in a variety of beans in addition to the black beans. I’ve done pinto beans and kidney beans, both yum! But if you want a vegetarian option here are two of my favorite meat alternatives:
- Teva Deli makes a “ground meat.” They have two versions: one that’s intended for bolognese and one that’s meant to make “burgers.” I like the bolognese option in general but have to admit that I have not tried it in this recipe. I’ve made the bean version of this recipe and been quite happy, but it’s definitely worth trying out this product if you want a more “meaty” option. Here’s the link to the product. I’ve seen it at most health food chains as well as in Shufersal and Tiv Ta’am.
- Vega makes a great fake ground meat alternative. Really quality ingredients and no chemicals at all. There are 2 disadvantages though: a) they come in really small packets, so you’d need a lot to feed a large family and it can get pricey. But if making for 2-4 diners, 2 packs should do. b) they come pre-spiced so definitely do change the flavors of the dish a bit.
Hope your family enjoys this just as much as mine did
Happy Rainbow Eating my fellow Sabras