Thursday, March 28, 2013

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Burrito Bowl

A homemade burrito bowl recipe using slow cooker pulled pork, homemade rice and beans, veggies, and plenty of toppings. This is an excellent base recipe for using up leftover meats, veggies, rice, and beans when you need to make healthy quick meals.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Burrito Bowl Recipe

(Update - August 2015: Two and a half years later I still love this burrito bowl recipe, but my photography skills and camera have definitely advanced since my original posting. So, I took the liberty of re-photographing this meal when I ate it recently. These new pictures are MUCH brighter and more appetizing. Hope y'all enjoy!)

I have a pound of organic dried black beans simmering in my crockpot right now and the smell is tantalizing. I used half homemade chicken broth and half water, plus onion, garlic, bay leaf, and a piece of peppered bacon to cook them.

Maybe I'm a weirdo, but I wish there was a candle for this scent! Of course, it would be a synthetic "fragrance" so I'd never use it, but a gal can wish, right?  

When the beans are finished, I plan on using some of them to make this slow cooker pulled pork burrito bowl for dinner tonight. It'll be the third time I've made it in the past week. It's that good! 

But, you know what I love most about this burrito bowl recipe?

It's super flexible. You can sub whatever cooked meat you have handy or leave it out altogether for a vegetarian dish. Twice now I've used leftovers from my crockpot pork shoulder recipe (a.k.a. pork carnitas), and tonight I'm using shredded chicken that's leftover from making homemade chicken broth (rotisserie chicken is another fast option).  

Every time I fix this burrito bowl it's a little different because I switch out the ingredients and toppings based on what's in my fridge. To keep it frugal and simple, I recommend you do that same. 

One night you could sauté onion and peppers for a fajita flair and during another meal, you could dice raw onion and cilantro for toppings that are similar to Mexican street-style tacos. Heck, if you had homemade queso (I'd be totally jealous) that'd take this burrito bowl over the top!

Burrito Bowl Recipe with Pork Carnitas

However, I definitely recommend trying a ripe Hass avocado and quality roasted tomatillo salsa if you have access to it. They're wonderful together, especially with the shredded pork.

And if you love meal planning (I generally don't, but am working on it), make a big batch of rice early on in the week when you're fixing the slow cooker pork shoulder so you can reheat everything, prep the veggies, and whip this meal together in less than 15 minutes!
Looking for another way to use up shredded pork that's not a Tex-Mex style recipe? Try my quick & easy BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders.   

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Burrito Bowl
A homemade burrito bowl recipe (that rivals Chipotle) using slow cooker pulled pork, homemade rice and beans, veggies, and plenty of toppings. This is an excellent base recipe for using up leftover meats, veggies, rice, and beans when you need to make healthy quick meals during the week. 
Serves: 2 (with hearty portions) 

1/2 a head of romaine lettuce, chopped
2 cups of cooked rice (I often use jasmine or basmati white rice)
1 cup of slow cooker pulled pork (a.k.a. carnitas) 
1 cup of cooked black or pinto beans (get my homemade recipe here)
1/2 cup of shredded cheese (I like pepper jack or sharp cheddar)
1/2 cup of chopped organic tomato
1/4 cup of finely diced raw onion
1/2 an avocado, peeled and diced

Toppings (optional) 
1 handful of organic fresh cilantro, finely chopped
Dollop of sour cream
Juice from 1/2 a lime 
Sea salt, to taste (I recommend Pink HimalayanCeltic or Utah sourced salt)
Granulated garlic, to taste
Hot sauce, to taste
Roasted tomatillo salsa (or your favorite salsa), to taste

Note: When I have an extra ten minutes or so during dinner, I'll saute thinly sliced onion and bell pepper (while the rice is cooking) until they're slightly caramelized. This is similar to the "fajitas" topping available at Chipotle, which I love. 

Cook the rice according to packaged directions. (See my tips for jazzing up the rice in the notes below.) Rinse and dry the lettuce, tomato, and cilantro. Chop the lettuce into bite-sized pieces, cut the tomato into small chunks, and roughly chop the cilantro. Peel and dice the onion finely. Peel and chop the avocado. 

Heat a small pan to medium-low, add the pulled pork with a little of the cooking liquid (it will be solidified at first) and reheat slowly. If using canned beans, rinse the beans in a colander over the sink. If reheating cooked beans, you can use the same pan as the pulled pork. 

Once the rice is cooked and the pork and beans have been heated through, assemble the bowls by placing the ingredients in the order mentioned above, then add your preferred toppings, and dig in immediately. 

Notes & Tips
  • To give your rice more flavor use chicken or vegetable stock and aromatic seasonings like onion, garlic, and bay leaves instead of plain water. You can also mix in minced cilantro, butter, garlic, and fresh lime juice to the finished rice so it tastes closer to the stuff served at Chipotle.

I'd like to hear from YOU!

What's your favorite Tex-Mex inspired meal to throw together when you want to use up leftovers? 

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Burrito Bowl Recipe - makes a quick weeknight meal with leftover meats, veggies, beans & rice!

Keep Reading! More Recipes from The Rising Spoon:

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