A family favorite for lunches, dinners, and meal prepping, Baja bowls add variety without sacrificing nutrition. Try making a burrito bar the centerpiece at your next party with a variety of healthy toppings and options sure to please.
The beauty of Baja bowls is they can be easily tailored to your tastes. Staples around my house include:
- Greens (arugula, mixed lettuce, spinach)
- Black or pinto beans
- Brown rice or flavorful lime-cilantro rice
- Red or green onions
- Bell peppers
- Feta or Mexican Cotija cheese
Other terrific add-ons are grilled corn sliced off of the cob, chopped black olives, chopped chili peppers, and quinoa as a substitute for rice.
Proteins can vary from grilled chicken or cod (or another light fish) dusted with cumin and chili powder, to a lean cut of steak.
Add a basket of warm corn and flour tortillas to the buffet, and you’ve got a full meal at the ready.
Baja Bowls On the Go
Baja bowls are so easy to make ahead. Just chop, grill, crumble or otherwise prepare each ingredient ahead of time and store in sealed containers in the refrigerator until you’re ready to assemble and enjoy.
And don’t forget the dressing! My favorite is a super-easy, creamy Avocado Lemon dressing. You can also make this with lime juice instead of lemon juice. I’ve experimented and perfected this dressing to my liking.
Beware: because it contains avocado (which will turn brown when exposed to air), it’s best to use the dressing within a day or two. The acid in the lemon helps to slow the browning – or oxidization – process a tad. Store in a tightly sealed glass container.
Basic Baja Bowl
Combine savory and tangy favorites to create a satisfying lunch, dinner or make-ahead meals for summer dining.
- 1 whole medium avocado chopped or mashed
- 3/4 cup black or pinto beans
- 3/4 cup brown rice
- 1/2 cup plain Green yogurt non-fat
- 1 cup grilled chicken breast chopped
- 1/2 cup tomatoes chopped
- 2 tbsp. fresh cilantro chopped
- 1/4 cup feta cheese, fat-free crumbled
- 2 cups mixed salad greens
- salt & pepper to taste
Layer bottom of bowls with a layer of greens. Add all other ingredients individually, arranging in sections. Top with shredded or crumbled cheese. Enjoy!
Avocado Lemon Dressing
This creamy, tangy avocado-based dressing will complete any Baja bowl to perfection.
- 1 whole avocado mashed with fork
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic finely chopped
- 4 tbsp plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp raw honey
- 4 tbsp water
- 1/4 tsp hot sauce
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp fresh cilantro finely chopped
Blend all ingredients together in a medium bowl. Can also puree the ingredients in a mini food processor or blender.
Store in a tightly sealed glass container.