This Mexican-inspired beef bowl is the perfect quick and healthy dinner recipe. It's made with chili powder and lime marinated beef, a simple homemade black bean salsa over rice and topped with an easy avocado cream sauce.
~by Regan Jones, RD
When I tell people that I was a fat kid growing up, they often don’t believe me.
Sidenote - I don’t like the term fat kid, and I’m sure you don’t either. But that’s what I was called back then (#keepinitreal) Being bullied on the school bus and called names hurt just as much in 1983 as it does today.
Anyway, I suspect they don’t believe me because I’m not fat now. I’m not even overweight. I’m 40 years old and have had two kids, so I’m certainly no bikini model, but I’m a healthy weight. For the first time in my life, I’m actually pretty comfortable with my body (Name calling in 3rd grade sticks with you, trust me.)
How I got to this point didn’t involve any one food or one habit. As much as best selling books want to boil it all down to a simple matter of cutting something out or adding something in, at the heart of healthy living (not a quick-fix diet), is a combination of small changes that equal a different person.
For me, those changes involve a number of things — but specifically, these are the things that made the biggest difference for me:
- saying no to colas & diet soda in favor of club soda, seltzer and sparkling water
- learning to love vegetables
- embracing healthy fats
- making fitness a priority
- aspiring to do more in my fitness journey
- focusing on fiber filled foods
- rethinking protein’s priority on my plate
While they're all important, for today's post I wanna talk about the last one. I know protein is kind of a buzz word these days. It seems like everywhere you turn there’s a new box of something to throw in your grocery cart that has added protein. Much like the message of "low-fat" was mistakenly translated into "high-sugar" in the 90s, I’m afraid we’re missing the mark sometimes on protein today, too.
But instead of focusing on foods with added protein, I aim to eat a naturally protein-dense food at every meal. More and more research shows that protein not only helps keep you satisfied after a meal, but for aging women like me (oh yes, I said it. I am an #AgingWoman) we need slightly more protein because our bodies aren’t as efficient at building muscle or preserving what we’ve got.
…and lemme tell you, finding fitness as a priority in my late 30s means that I’ve got a lot of catching up to do on building muscle.
When the National Beef Checkoff asked to sponsor this month’s ReDux, I knew immediately what recipe I wanted to share. Today’s recipe is one of my absolute favorite dishes that incorporates many of the healthy eating concepts I mentioned above — veggies, fiber, healthy fat and protein. I could call it a Copycat Chipotle Burrito Bowl, but I’d rather take all the credit for its deliciousness alone. #SorryNotSorry
Super easy and well suited to make-ahead, these Mexican-inspired beef bowls are the perfect quick and healthy dinner recipe. You can make them with virtually any cut of lean beef by simply marinating the meat in a combination of chili powder and lime juice, giving the meat a quick grill and then topping with a simple homemade black bean salsa and easy avocado cream sauce. If you’re lucky enough to have a little leftover, you can turn the filling into a burrito or quesadilla… or just invite me over. I’m happy to help you finish off the leftovers!
I hope you enjoy this recipe and all the others my fellow Recipe ReDux members are cooking up this week. Be sure to check them out in the gallery linked below.
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Chili-Lime Beef and Black Bean Power Bowls with Avocado Crema
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 4 medium limes)
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 pound boneless thin beef sirloin tip steak (may be labeled as “for carne asada”)
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 ripe tomatoes, diced
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 ripe Haas avocado
- 5 tablespoons heavy cream
- 2 cups hot-cooked rice
- Sliced fresh jalapeno and lime wedges (garnish)
- Combine lime juice, chili powder, chipotle pepper and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside 1 teaspoon of mixture in a separate small bowl.
- Place half of remaining mixture in a large zip-top bag. Add beef to zip-top bag, shake bag to coat meat and marinate in refrigerator at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
- Add black beans, tomato and cilantro to reserved lime juice mixture in medium bowl; toss and store in refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Slice avocado in half and remove pit. Scoop flesh into bowl of a small food processor. Add remaining 1 teaspoon lime juice mixture and cream to food processor; pulse until smooth. Add cilantro and pulse just until combined. Store covered in refrigerator until ready to serve.
- When ready to prepare, heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Remove meat from bag (discard marinade). Grill beef 2 - 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove from pan and let rest 5 minutes. Slice into ¼-inch strips.
- Arrange rice among serving bowls; top evenly with beans and beef. Drizzle with avocado crema.