I’ve created an affinity towards warm rice bowls. I discovered this during my last visit to Chopt (a “salad is the whole meal” concept) a for the first time. I’m not sure why, because they have about a dozen locations in New York City that I never bothered to look twice at.

Well, everything happens for a reason. This was a perfect time to be introduced because I had a weekend off of work  approaching, and I pictured myself in the kitchen recreating some of Chopt’s  delicious meal options. And today I was meant to have their chicken tinga bowl. There were so many good options on the menu, but your girl had to satisfy my Mexican food craving that day. As I was scarfing down the warm grains with the crisp vegetables, I immediately knew this was something I wanted on the regular.

A bowl can also be the best way to utilize any leftovers or transform takeout. You can build your bowl with meat protein, or just choose to have a vegetarian meal. These days, I’m eating less mind. More surprising, I’m not finding that I miss it.

Have fun and be creative when it comes to what type of bowl you make. I like using a base of both greens and grains I really do want it all. You can toss it with a bit of last night’s chicken korma  and some chopped veggies and hey, you’ve got yourself a nice meal with little effort.

This recipe is inspired by southwestern flavors, but I still wanted a meal I could prepare within 30 minutes. I get excited by bold flavors and the contrasting temperatures is always interesting. There isn’t too much prep in this recipe, just cutting the vegetables and making the vinaigrette. It’s Tip: double the recipe and store some in the fridge for future use. Or just use sriracha.


avocado rice bowl w/ tomatillo vinaigrette

serves 1-2, 20-30 mins total time



1 cup white or brown rice, warm
1 cup curly lettuce or mixed greens
½ mango, diced
½ ripe avocado, diced
1 cup corn
1 cup black beans
2 tablespoons cotija cheese, crumbled
2-3 tomatillos, peeled, diced, and smashed
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon honey
pinch cumin
crushed black pepper and sea salt, to taste




Prepare the vinaigrette by mixing all the ingredients together and storing in the fridge.

If you’re using it, make the rice per the boxes suggestion and keep warm.

If you’re using canned vegetables, rinse them off using a mesh strainer. Set aside. If you’d like to warm the vegetables a bit, take a skillet and splash add a bit of olive oil on to it. Heat oil over medium flame and add the beans and the corn.

Arrange the bowl with the remaining ingredients in any order you’d like. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and enjoy!