Cinco de Mayo

In anticipation of May 5, below is a lovely Latin inspired dish that is easy to make and you can prep ahead of time!

Emaly’s South of the Border Bowl

Why spend almost ten-bucks on take out when you can make it yourself. As usual, this makes about four bowls, adjust quantity as needed.  Some of the bowls pieces are hot while the others are cold, play on textures and temperature. Feel free to amp up the spice with more chili powder or jalapeños slices. All of the sections are easy to make ahead and assemble day of and great for take-to-work lunches.

TIP: we eat with our eye first, there are lots of colors and textures here. Arrange them nicely in a bowl with the toppings. You’ll feel more satisfied if you take an extra few minutes to make it look nice and then sit down to pretty meal.
1 small / medium sized oven safe dish (it will hold about 4 cups of food)

1 can of low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup of yellow or white frozen corn kernels
½ of a red onion diced small
½ of a lime, juiced/squeezed
A few dashes of Goya Abobo (light sodium brand – has a light blue top)
A few sprays of cooking oil spray
Spray the pan (or pot) and put all ingredients into oven safe bowl and cook until warmed and bubbly about 20 minutes on 350, you can also put all of these ingredients on the stove top in a bowl and heat up stirring occasionally

1 yellow pepper chopped / diced
1 green pepper chopped / diced
A handful cherry tomatoes chopped (I like the variety with yellow and red tomatoes)
A few dashes of Goya Abobo
½ of a lime, juiced/squeezed
(This should look like a chunky “salsa”or if you prefer just used canned salsa or canned tomatoes with fresh peppers)
Option to add in some sliced jalapeños here if you need more spice
Serve this part room temperature to cold

1 ½ to 2 pounds of chicken breast strips (these are quick cooking – especially on the grill)
Season the chicken 1 hour ahead or even over night with:
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of maple syrup (can also use honey or agave)
½ lime juiced
1 teaspoon each of each of: chili powder, cumin and garlic powder (if you want to cheat just use some fajita seasoning in a pack but these can sometimes carry a lot of sodium and other stuff)
Grill the chicken for about 3-4 minute each side until done. Let them rest a few minutes before slicing. Don’t dry out the chicken. When resting cover with tin foil.

1 ½ cups of uncooked white quinoa (follow package directions) – FYI you can make quinoa a day or two ahead and re-heat it (time saving and great for prepping)
1 package of plain Greek yogurt divided into four
1 bunch of scallions, chopped
1 small bunch of cilantro, chopped
1 avocado, sliced and divided into four
1 cup of large shredded cheese divided into four (pick your favorite – cheddar, Monterey jack, pre-packaged with taco seasoning?)
Juice of a lime / lime wedges


Tip: Adobo seasoning is great on just about EVERYTHING, use it on eggs, chicken, fish, pork…it add a nice all around flavor not just for Latin cooking (heck, I even sprinkle it on my cream cheese on a bagel for some savory seasoning).

To go low-carb you can replace the rice with greens such as romaine or arugula

Tip: You can cook all of these items separately a few days ahead and warm up everything but the “salsa” and the toppings and assemble the bowl. Also great for a “make your own” bowl set up for a party.

Sub out red-onion for shallot (if that what you have on hand)
Trade out chicken for another protein (chili dusted baked tofu, spiced rub steak, slow-cooked pork loin that is shredded) or even in a pinch a some shredded rotisserie chicken
Trade out the quinoa for your favorite type of rice or cous-cous
If someone didn’t eat all the “salsa” mix it works great in your egg muffins with some cheese (ohh I guess now I have to put egg muffin’s on my website)

cinco 2

By Emaly Hunt / GrapesandGarlic on the Instagram /

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