Oh you fancy, huh? The tex-mex inspired (packed) lunch

Because I am about to go back to school and be unemployed for 11 months, I have tried to be even more cognizant of my spending habits. One sure way to save money is to bring my lunch to work. However, I have to make sure my lunch is so good that I won’t be tempted to go out and splurge on a meal. I started off well last week with my unlayered salad. This week, I was inspired to go the pseudo Mexican route after reading about rice bowls in my cooking light magazine.

The Tex-Mex Rice bowl immediately caught my attention because: 1. It looked extremely tasty and 2. You can quickly throw this together in 30 minutes or less. I was definitely right about this dish! Very tasty!!!!!

The bowl is topped with pico de gallo, jalepeno, and cilantro. Yum Yum! I ended up buying some organic blue tortilla chips and have packed some along with a 100 calorie guacamole serving.

I can honestly say that I have been looking forward to eating this every day this week. For you calorie counters it is only 306 calories if you stick to the original recipe and even less if you substitute the ground sirloin for ground turkey like I did. This is definitely another recipe that I will add to the rotation. What I like the most about the rice bowl is that you can customize it to your taste. Don’t eat meat? Add tofu or a greater variety of beans. Want more crunch? Throw some jicama on top with the pico de gallo. The options are endless!

Here’s the recipe, with my changes in red.


  • 1 (8.8-ounce) pouch precooked brown rice (such as Uncle Ben’s)-I ended up using uncooked brown rice (that’s what I had) and just making it according to the bags instructions.
  • 8 ounces ground sirloin– I used ground turkey instead
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons 40%-less-sodium taco seasoning (such as Ortega)
  • 1/2 cup frozen whole-kernel corn
  • 1 (15-ounce) can organic black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup fresh pico de gallo-I didn’t feel like making my own, so I bought it premade
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, minced
  • 4 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro


  1. 1. Heat rice according to directions.
  2. 2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef; cook 3 minutes or until done, stirring to crumble. Stir in 1/4 cup water and taco seasoning; bring to a simmer. Stir in corn and beans; cook 1 minute or until heated. Stir in rice. Top with pico de gallo and jalapeño. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Jackie Newgent, Cooking Light
APRIL 2012

This entry was posted in being present, cooking, martha stewart eat your heart out, recipes and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s