2014 – November 11 – Learning To Cook

The other day Jackie called me and we were just shooting the breeze. She asked me for my banana nut bread recipe, which (if I do say so myself) is to die for! I looked for it, but it wasn’t in any of my recipe boxes. So I told her I’d pull one off my pinterest board that I particularly liked. She got to quizzing me about pinterest and I shared with her how I have my boards set up. She said, “Do you post any of your own recipes to your board?” I told her that I didn’t and she asked, “Why not? You have some of the best recipes.”

While it is true that I have some of the best recipes, I’m not sure how I would actually post it to pinterest because I DON’T FOLLOW RECIPES!! Recipes are merely a suggestion. This brings me to my daily “what I’m thankful for” post. I’m very grateful that I have a knack for knowing what types of food will work well together; for being able to just look at a recipe and know instantly whether or not I’d like it; for the ability to see a recipe and know exactly what type of things I would change to make it better.

In that vein, I’m going to tell/show you what I made for dinner last night.

Chipotles is one of my favorite places to eat. I like it for a few reasons. First off, it’s freaking delicious. Secondly, they use cage free meat sources, which I like because it’s kinder to the animals. I like knowing that an animal has had a good life before I eat it. Is that weird? PLUS, cage free animals eat what God intended them to eat, not a bunch of grains thrown together to make them fat. It’s healthier. For them and for me.

And now I’ll get off that soap box and show you what I made.

But first…I guess menu planning kind of plays a role in my dinner last night. I try to cook big on one day and then repurpose the leftovers into new meals that don’t feel like leftovers. So the other day I put a large pork roast into the crock pot and we had roast for dinner. This means that there were a ton of leftovers because there are only two people living in my house. The second day with the roast was pulled pork BBQ sandwiches. Sweet Baby Ray’s over shredded pork roast, thrown onto an onion roll, served with a side salad. YUM! The third night of the roast was last night. The fourth (and final) night with the roast will be Wednesday and it will be carnita quesadillas. Again…YUM.

So….last night.

All the rest of the shredded pork went into a frying pan. In a separate container I mixed up my spices (cumin, red pepper, black pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, and a teensy bit of curry powder) and added about 3/4 cup of water to it. And now I know you’re going to ask me the proportions of spices. GEEZ, you’re demanding. I don’t know. Heavy on the cumin, heavy on the chili powder, medium on the garlic powder, light on the black pepper and curry powder. The spice concoction was about 1/4 cup by the time I got it together. If you’re uncomfortable with my measurement style, get a packet of taco seasoning mix. It will get you pretty close to what I put together. Once the spices and water is mixed up well pour it over the pork and let it come to a boil and then simmer while you cook rice.


I cooked half rice/half quinoa. They have the same directions so it’s easy to mix it half and half. Mark doesn’t care for quinoa, and I try to avoid white rice, so my compromise is to mix it half and half whenever I make a rice dish.

Once you have the rice cooking and the meat simmering, open up a can of black beans and heat them up. I normally drain and rinse my black beans because it cuts down on the salt, but I specifically bought spiced black beans for my burrito bowl so I thought it would be counterintuitive to drain and rinse. Instead I just dumped the can into a glass container and tossed it in the microwave for 3 minutes. Stirred it, then put it in for a minute more.

Then I assembled my bowl.

Rice first.


Then black beans.


Then the carnitas.



Then the cheese.


Topped off with Greek yogurt. WAY less calories and fat than using sour cream. It’s got a tanginess to it that I really like.


Smokey BEGGED me for a bite, but I’m pretty mean and told him no. HOW can one say no to all that??

The basic recipe (such as it is for the way I cook):

Carnitas Burrito Bowl

  • 1/2 c. rice & 1/2 c. quinoa – cooked according to package directions (takes 25 minutes to simmer…start this first)
  • Shredded, cooked pork roast (simmer with spice/water mix while rice cooks….do this second)
  • 1/4 (ish) c. spice mix
    • 1.5 T chili powder
    • 1 T cumin
    • 1.5 tsp garlic powder
    • 1.5 tsp black pepper
    • 1 tsp red pepper
    • .5 tsp curry powder
  • 3/4 c. water (mix into the spices, then poured over the roast)
  • 1 can black beans (wait until the rice has 5 minutes cooking time left then heat this in the microwave)
  • 1/4 c. shredded cheese
  • 2 T Greek yogurt (or sour cream if you’re the honey badger)

If you want to get all wild and crazy and pretend to be healthy you can add salad mix to the bowl. But why eat a vegetable if you don’t really have to/want to. Last night was a big ol’ “don’t wanna” for me.

Easy, right?

If you follow me on pinterest, you’ll see this proudly posted in my “Food, Glorious Food” board. You’re welcome!



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