Thursday, January 10, 2008

Paying Homage to Crazy Bowls

This has been a landmark week. It's was a 3 years ago this week that my family and I packed our bags and headed St. Louis, that is. And just a few months before that, my husband and I had taken a trip here to do some apartment-searching. While driving down Olive Boulevard one day, we passed this interesting looking restaurant called, "Crazy Bowls and Wraps." Intrigued, I urged my hubby to take us there. I was so appreciative of any fast-food joint (or "good food quickly," a reference to my husband's favorite Seinfeld episode) that would specialize in freshly-made, healthy food. No artery-clogging, trans fat-ladden french fries here!! (And don't think me a food-snob...I've consumed my fair share of fries.)

So anyway, we returned to Nebraska and I was bound and determined to replicate the Fajita Bowl that I'd had at Crazy Bowls. The result was great and it has truly become a faithful stand-by recipe in our home. We have so many variations of it, from ultra-simple (just brown rice, beans, and a sprinkling 'o' cheese) to the full-fledged bowl. The following recipe is the vegatarian version, but you can just as easily add grilled chicken slices to it. Simple and healthy...what more could you want?

Southwestern Fajita Rice Bowls
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 green or yellow bell pepper
  • 1 large onion
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 (15 oz.) can ranch-style black beans, undrained
  • 1 (15 oz.) can chili-ready beans, undrained
  • Hot cooked rice (I use brown basmati rice, but you can whatever type you like)
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • additional toppings: lite sour cream, salsa, avocado, green onions, etc.
  • Tortilla chips

Preheat the oven broiler. Slice the onion into 1/2-inch thick slices. Place the onion slices and bell peppers on a greased baking sheet. Drizzle the onion slices and bell peppers with olive oil, using a basting brush to evenly coat; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil for approximately 20-30 minutes, turning the peppers frequently so that they get evently charred on all sides. (The onions will probably be done roasting before the peppers, so remove them when they are very soft and starting to blacken.) When the peppers are done, remove them and allow to cool slightly. Using a sharp knife, carefully cut out the pepper cores, then slice the peppers into thin strips. Combine onion and pepper strips in a small serving bowl.

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the ranch and chili beans. Microwave on high for about 3 minutes, or until the beans are heated through.

To assemble: Place a serving of hot rice in each bowl, top with peppers and onions, then beans and shredded cheese. Finish off with desired toppings. Serve with tortilla chips.


Rebecca said...

I'm super impressed by what you make for your family! Do Dave and Calvin eat all the ingredients you put in your recipes? Feta cheese, peppers, etc?

Sarah said...

The short answer to your question, Bec, is...yes! Okay, now for the explanation. More often than not, Dave and Calvin eat the ingredients in my recipes. I am, by far, the most adventurous eater in the family, but Dave has come a long way. I'd still say he's somewhat of a picky eater, but he's become more open to trying new foods in the past couple years. Although I do try to be respectful of the foods he likes/dislikes, and I'm certainly not going to make a recipe that's chock-full of something that he detests! Dave's pretty flexible and if's there like 1 ingredients in something that he doesn't like, he'll just pick it out. (For instance, he's not a fan of peppers, so I make his quesadilla without them...etc.)

As far as Calvin goes, we're firm believers of not making him special,"kiddie" food...he eats what we eat. He has his picky moments, and it's taken him a long time to warm up to meats (something I've heard is common with little kids), but he makes up for the lack of meat b/c he adores beans!! Seriously, the kid could eat beans straight outta the can. So anytime I make a vegetarian meal, Calvin's all over it. And he really loves vegetables, too. Sometimes I think he should just be a vegetarian!

Thanks for the compliment! I continue to love all your contributions to the "Needs more Butter" blog.