Talk about the flavors in these Burrito Bowls with Tomatillo Avocado Salsa! The warm spices on the steak pair perfectly with the sweet slaw and spicy salsa.
ME BEFORE THE RECIPE…
I was filling out an application recently and came across the question, “What one word best describes you?”
I didn’t even hesitate before jotting down the answer: intense.
Haha! I’m not even sure whether this characteristic is a bad thing or not. I guess it could be both positive or negative. On one hand, intense could translate into being overbearing, callous, critical, and obnoxious. But on the other hand, intense can mean being determined, focused, and particularly passionate.
I’m gonna be real, my personality is probably reflective of both extremes of the spectrum. This “intense” characteristic of mine is not only my best quality, it can also be my worst. My family benefits from a well structured household that is well managed, clean, and organized. However, they also feel the wrath of my crazy expectations and my lack of spontaneity and understanding.
Ben just laughs it off when my family teases him about where he finds the patience to live with me. He’s probably only laughing to keep from crying. Seriously, that man is a saint.
Lately, I’ve been feeling a smidgen guilty because the past three mornings I have been 3-0 for raising my voice. Let’s be honest, “raising my voice” is just a less embarrassing way of saying I frantically screamed at my kids and husband like a full on crazy psycho for the most minor of shortcomings. I’ll tell you one thing, if they weren’t quite awake before eating breakfast, they sure were after I threw my raging fit.
Let’s see…one morning Emry cried about her hair. Apparently pigtail buns are not in her repertoire for cute hairstyles. Ain’t nobody got time for whining, so I yelled.
Another morning Braelyn flipped out about eating breakfast burritos. Who knew eggs and tortillas could be a girl’s mortal enemy, or so it seemed by the distraught look on her face. I felt equally underappreciated and annoyed, so I yelled.
And then our most recent morning, Ben hadn’t woken up the girls quite as hastily as I would have hoped and they weren’t as fully dressed as I would have expected when they finally came downstairs. These two factors coupled with slow eating caused a mad rush trying to get out the door on time. Instead of being appreciative for the help Ben did lend that morning, I yelled.
Yep, apparently this week is kicking my trash. Is there some kind of hormone imbalance I can blame this beastly behavior on, or should I just get on with acknowledging the fact that I may need a little time to self reflect on how I react in stressful situations? I’m going to accept responsibility and go with the latter.
I’ve come to notice that in stressful situations like these, I like to decompress and find my way back to reality through cooking. It calms me down, brings me joy, and helps me refocus. Some of my best self reflection comes while I am running in the mornings or cooking in the kitchen.
So you can imagine with this abnormally stressful week, there was a lot of dinner prep going on once my family left the house. Not only does dinner prepping help me let go of that initial stress from those crazy mornings, but it assures there will be less stress come dinner time because most the work is already done. And that my family thanks me for. No need to repeat the dramatic morning scenario at dinner. They can only forgive me so many times in one day.
HERE COMES THE RECIPE…
Dinner prepping ahead of time makes these Burrito Bowls with Tomatillo Avocado Salsa a quick, easy, and stress-free weeknight meal that your entire family will enjoy. There are multiple topping options and a variety of flavor combos that seem to make everyone feel happy and satisfied.
I love the idea of making burrito bowls for dinner. They’re healthy, they’re versatile, and they make for great leftovers! I’m all about re-purposing food over here. Think about loaded nachos, crispy tacos, steak sandwiches, or a large southwest salad the next day. You’ll purposely want to make more than you can eat.
These burrito bowls with tomatillo avocado salsa have so many fabulous flavor elements, I don’t even know where to start. First of all, I began with a base of rice cooked in beef stock just to make it that much better. Next, I loaded on some black beans and fajita style sauteed peppers. Then for the real magic: steak.
Now this ain’t no ordinary steak. I marinated this flank steak in a dry rub of cinnamon, allspice, and ground cloves coupled with a handful of southwest spices and brown sugar. Holy cow! I can’t even tell you how amazing the flavor combo was. It was slightly sweet, a little spicy, with a whole lot of warmth from the aromatic spices. Hands down my favorite steak I’ve ever made!
Along with the marinated flank steak, I whipped up a roasted tomatillo, jalapeno, and poblano salsa. This was a game changer. It balanced out the sweetness of the meat with a little bit of heat. I also tossed in some diced avocado and cucumber to cool down the mixture and add texture.
Lastly, I’m a sucker for a good slaw, especially with tacos. I figure burrito bowls are close enough to tacos that they deserve an epic slaw as well. This slaw met all my expectations: sweet, crunchy, spicy, and a tad tangy. Plus, the red cabbage, carrots, and cilantro yield a gorgeous color profile that just enhances the appearance of these burrito bowls. Who knew they could look so pretty?!
No lie, Ben said this was in his top 10 favorite meals I’ve ever made. Now that’s quite the compliment because I’ve made my fair share of meals around here. I guess you’ll just have to try it out yourself and see how it lives up to your own standards. I dare you!
YOU MIGHT ALSO ENJOY…
- Gluten Free Southwest Steak Tacos
- Gluten Free Fish Tacos with Cilantro Lime Sauce
- Gluten Free Chicken Fajita Tacos
- Chicken, Black Bean, and Spinach Enchiladas
- Grilled Steak Tacos
- For the steak:
- 1½ lb. flank steak
- 1¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon cloves
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- ¼ teaspoon ground mustard
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- For the tomatillo salsa:
- 6 tomatillos
- 1 poblano pepper
- 1 small jalapeno pepper
- salt and pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 2 oz. canned mild green chilis
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ½ bunch cilantro (about 2 cups packed with stems)
- ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon avocado oil, divided
- 1 cup peeled and diced cucumbers
- 1 small avocado, pitted and diced
- For the cabbage slaw:
- 2 cups shredded red cabbage
- ¾ cup shredded carrots
- ¾ cup jicama, cut into thin strips
- ½ cup cilantro leaves
- ⅓ cup mayo
- 1 teaspoon sriracha
- 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- ¾ teaspoon honey
- salt and pepper
- Fixings for burrito bowl:
- sauteed fajita style bell peppers and onions, cooked rice, black beans, diced tomatoes, cotija cheese, sour cream, etc.
- Prepare dry rub for steak by mixing all seasonings and brown sugar together in a small bowl. Put flank steak in a larger bowl or plastic bag. Cover with dry rub, massaging over entire steak. Let marinate for at least two hours in fridge. Remove steak from fridge 30 mins prior to cooking.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. While steak is sitting out, prepare tomatillo salsa. Remove paper skins from tomatillos and rinse. Place on baking sheet along with poblano pepper and jalapeno. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon avocado oil. Season generously with salt and pepper. Toss to coat veggies evenly. Place in oven at 450 degrees for 15-20 mins or until slightly charred. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 mins.
- While veggies are cooling, begin making slaw. Chop or shred cabbage, carrots and jicama. Add to large mixing bowl. In a smaller mixing bowl, Whisk together mayo, sriracha, lime juice, honey, and a few shakes of salt and pepper. Pour over veggie mixture and toss to combine. Add cilantro leaves and toss one more time. Cover and chill until ready to use.
- Begin cooking steak by heating a cast iron skillet to medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons cooking oil and swirl around pan. Once pan is piping hot, add steak. Cook for 4 minutes. Flip and cook 4-5 minutes more, depending on thickness, for a medium cook (pink in the middle). Remove from pan and allow to rest for five minutes.
- While steak is cooking, finish salsa. Remove seeds and stems from peppers and discard. Add to blender along with tomatillos and juices from pan. Add garlic, green chilis, honey, and cilantro. Blend until cilantro starts to break down. Slowly add in remaining ¼ cup avocado oil while continuing to blend. Pour into a bowl and fold in chopped cucumbers and avocado. Add salt (about ⅛ to a ¼ teaspoon) and pepper to taste.
- Once steak has rested, cut against the grain into thin strips.
- To assemble bowls, scoop rice on bottom. Add black beans and sauteed fajita style bell peppers and onions (if desired). Top with cabbage slaw, steak, and a scoop of tomatillo avocado salsa. Add sour cream, tomatoes and cotija cheese for extra toppings.