Updated: Jul 25, 2019
"I don't have time to meal prep," they say, constantly. "I don't know what to make," is another consistent remark. Well, anyone can find 30 minutes in a week and make a burrito bowl. An-ee-one.
The summer is a lot of traveling for us, which is the best. I love going away for a weekend to a fun little part of Washington and plunking myself in the town as if I am a local. It's fun to envision yourself living in a new town, just for a weekend. It makes me happy, but what it doesn't do is inspire me to get creative with my meal prepping on the weekend.
Enter the burrito bowl.
I've always got brown rice in the pantry, a few cans of beans, and at least a couple of hardy veggies that can stand to be in the pantry for a month (butternut squash is a lifesaver) or in the fridge for a couple of weeks (I heart you broccoli). We also always have some frozen beef, chicken, or fish we can pull out of the freezer or some eggs in the fridge. And if I'm really on top of things before we head out for the weekend, I grab some super hard avocados at the store and leave them out so they are the right ripeness when we get home. These burrito bowl staples save me when we are away for the weekend and come home on a Sunday, tired, in no mood to be in the kitchen for long, but need to make something for the week.
Burrito bowls are also great because they pack a lot of fiber with the beans, rice, and veggies, are a nice balance of macronutrients, and can support gut health because of the endless combo options of the veggies (diverse veggie intake=happy gut bacteria). And it's all real food which is what I'm into and you should be too.
Here is the easiest meal prep I do... the burrito bowl!
Burrito Bowl Meal Prep Plan
Makes 5 servings, about 30 minutes of prep
2 cups uncooked brown rice, rinsed
3.5 cups water
2 cans of beans, any type you like, rinsed
5 cups of veggies, washed and chopped- favorite combos include bell peppers + broccoli or sweet potatoes + Anaheim peppers (pictured)
1-2 tablespoons avocado oil
2 pounds of protein of choice (optional)
Store-bought salsa, real ingredients only
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. *
In a large pot, bring water to a boil over high heat. Add the rice and lid, turn heat to low, and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Rice is done when the water is absorbed and it is soft but not mushy. Sprinkle with salt.
Lay veggies out on a large baking sheet, or two smaller sheets, drizzle with oil, and sprinkle with s + p. ** Roast veggies until golden brown. Cooking times varry. You may want to flip them half way through. ***
Cook up all of your protein, either in a pan, in the oven, or boil it.
Dice one avocado, leave the rest intact. You can cut up a new avocado on day 3 or 4 of the week so they don't brown.
Portioning (if you leave the home for work and want/need it portioned)
In five glass containers, add rice, beans, veggies, and protein and seal with lid. In smaller containers, add salsa and avocado slices. When ready to eat, heat up the rice/bean/protein/veggie combo and then add avocado/salsa to container. Enjoy!
*You can sauté veggies on the stove top instead of baking. Just warm a large pan over medium heat. Add the oil, veggies, and s + p, and cook until desired doneness.
**Every veggie takes a different amount of time to cook. If you aren't sure of cooking times yet, put each type of veggie on it's own baking sheet so that you can take it out when it's finished and let the other veggie type cook longer. Check on the veggies while they bake every 7-10 minutes if you are learning their cooking times.
***If you are someone that doesn't like having veggies that were cooked in advance, just have your veggies washed and chopped for the week and roast them each night before you need them, or the morning of. This can also be done with the protein. Or you can finely chop some veggies that you enjoy raw, like celery, carrots, or bell peppers.
Can be made vegan by omitting the protein and upping the amount of beans, or using tofu, tempeh, or any other vegan protein.