(Post updated March 12, 2018. Included a link and photo to Super Simple Basic Guacamole recipe.)
Do you like Mexican food? How about pulled pork?? Do you like flavorful salads that are loaded with tasty ingredients? Looking for easy healthy meals for the family?
My answers would be: Yes! YES! Totally! All the time!
How about you?
Before I get too far, carnitas is a fancy sounding Spanish word meaning pulled pork. Actually, the literal translation is "little meats", but when you see "carnitas", it is essentially pulled pork. Yes! It is simply pulled pork!
Therefore, you need to check out my Pulled Pork Two Ways and get making these bowls!
Carnitas Fiesta Bowls are my homemade version of Chipotle Mexican Grill's bowl menu item. For those of you who aren't aware, Chipotle is a Mexican fast-food chain, primarily in the US. Their main concept is about using fresh, healthy ingredients to serve up tasty Mexican food in a fast-food setting. It is one of our favorite fast food places to eat when we are visiting the US. There is variety, it's cheap, it tastes good, and we like that they push fresh healthy ingredients.
Unfortunately, Chipotle has not expanded to Asia (yet!). So that meant I had to come up with a homemade version of the same basic idea. Luckily, it wasn't too hard to pull together and now I want to show you how easy it is for you to make in your kitchen!
Besides having fresh and healthy ingredients (and being fun to say), Carnitas Fiesta Bowls is fun to put together. I put out all the separate ingredients out on the table and we each make our own bowls. I like my bowl to have more salad, whereas my oldest likes his with more rice and beans. Then my youngest likes a generous helping of carnitas. Regardless of the proportions, they all take a helping of lettuce, too, to keep the veggie quotient in there. 😉 And everyone enjoys creating their own bowl of yummy food.
Considering this is called Carnitas Fiesta Bowls, the pulled pork is obviously a vital component to this dish. My Pulled Pork Two Ways recipe makes the perfect carnitas for this meal. Then there's lime-basmati rice, lettuce, grated cheese, beans, salsa, and guacamole. But don't limit yourself! Add corn, red onions, salsa verde, grilled vegetables...whatever you like for your Mexican toppings!
Whatever you decide to layer in your bowl, you will get forkful of yum in every bite. Fresh, balanced and healthy.
Another great thing about Carnitas Fiesta Bowls is that it's EASY! The quantity of each ingredient is up to you. If you like more salad or greens, then put more out there. Grate more cheese! Make more pulled pork if you've got heavy meat eaters!
I also like dipping tortilla chips into my Carnitas Fiesta Bowl...it's like an edible spoon! And the tortilla chips add a salty crunch that I am always a sucker for. So tasty!
If you have bags of leftover Pulled Pork Two Ways in your freezer, this is the perfect weeknight meal to throw together quickly. However, don't limit yourself to pork. Try this with shredded chicken or beef, or cubed beef steak. Grill some prawns or a firm white fish. Alternatively, skip the meat altogether and do a vegetarian bowl. Use spinach or mixed greens if you prefer them over romaine.
And if you're looking to make some homemade guacamole for your fiesta bowl, look no further than my Super Simple Basic Guacamole!
It's so easy to make yourself, you'll wonder why you haven't done it sooner!
Looking to bring some fiesta to your meals? Want to have a meal that contains a little bit of everything in one bowl? Try making Carnitas Fiesta Bowls and bring some Fresh-Mex to your table. Try it out and leave a comment below!
Carnitas Fiesta Bowls
- Cooked pulled pork
- Romaine lettuce, finely cut
- Your favorite salsa
- Grated cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
Lime Cilantro Basmati Rice
- 1 ripe avocado, mashed
- ½ lime, juiced
- Salt and pepper to taste
Lime Cilantro Basmati Rice
- Cook basmati rice according to package directions, adding in the oil, salt, and bay leaf at the beginning of the cooking process.
- Once rice is cooked, remove the bay leaf. Squeeze in the lime juice and add the chopped cilantro if using. Fluff with a spoon or fork.
- In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add the olive oil and spices. Heat for a minute, then add the beans. Cook for approximately 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the avocado, lime juice, and salt and pepper.
- Start with a bed of lettuce or rice and layer on the toppings!
Customize It In Your Kitchen!Use your favorite toppings:
Fresh chili peppers
Use black beans instead of pinto beans.
Top it with a dollop of sour cream.
Sprinkle some fresh chopped red onions.
Sliced grilled portabello mushrooms is a great meat replacement!
If you make this recipe, share your photo on Facebook or Instagram and tag me @dayinthekitchen!
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