Brunette to Blonde at Home (Budget-Friendly)

I’ve always been a brunette, and over the years, I’ve pretty much explored the entire spectrum that brown hair has to offer. My hair has been dark brown, light brown, reddish brown, blackish brown, long, short, straight, curly, highlighted, ombred, balayaged, and all of the purplish, copperish, carmelish (even brassy) colors in between. The color brown had been fully expressed and well, I got bored.

So I went blonde (and I filmed it!) Here’s how I did it: Continue reading

Recipe: Chipotle-style Burrito Bowl

Chipotle’s burrito bowls are one of the few foods I’m down for anytime of year (or, more accurately, any time of day.) I absolutely love having one while sitting outside in the summer sun but found them equally comforting and delicious on snowy winter days in Brooklyn. I’d eat them for a quick, somewhat healthy lunch when I just needed something fast and filling to get me through a  busy day, and I used to get one on my way home from grocery shopping at the Union Square Trader Joes as Chipotle is located across the street. There is something so nice about knowing that after trekking all the way home after a long day with heavy bags and no energy left to cook, dinner would be ready, and better, dinner would be delicious.

While I think Chipotle is relatively healthy compared to most fast food restaurants, I have found it’s pretty easy to make a DIY version of their famous burrito bowl that is even healthier than the original. And since I have recently adopted a mostly plant-based diet, I’ve been making a vegan version that is loaded with nutrients like fiber, protein, iron, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fat but most importantly, it still tastes amazing.

Cilantro Lime Rice

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1 cup short grain brown rice
2 cups water
half of a lemon
half of a lime
1 handful of fresh cilantro
salt
pepper

Note: White rice can be used,  but brown rice offers a few extra health benefits so I typically opt for brown. I like the texture of short grain, but any variety will do.

Cook the rice until all of the water is completely absorbed. Fluff with a fork and add lemon juice, lime juice, chopped cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste.

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Note: If you want it to taste more like Chipotle’s rice a tablespoon or two of olive oil should also be added.I left it out this time, but either way is good.

Corn Salsa (aka my favorite thing at Chipotle)

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1.5 cups yellow corn
half of a small red onion, finely diced
a large handful of cilantro, stems removed and chopped
one lime
half of a lemon
salt and pepper
(Optional) diced red or green jalapeño
(optional) 1 tbsp olive oil

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Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. I recommend making this ahead of time and storing it in the fridge so the flavors can marinate. Also, a tablespoon of olive oil makes this a bit more like the original version.

Note: This is something you can make a lot of and keep in the fridge for up to a week. It’s delicious in the recipe, but I also like adding it salads or as a side dish, and even eat it on it’s own with a few cherry tomatoes and avocado for a light lunch.

Spicy Black Beans

In the video I made a portion that serves 2-3 people, but like the corn salsa, I make a lot so I can keep it in the fridge. Here are the proportions I use.

2 cans organic black beans, drained and rinsed
1 jar mild or medium salsa
2-3 teaspoons of hot sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
(sometimes I add lime juice but everything else in this recipe has lime so I left it out this time)

Combine beans, salsa, and garlic powder in a saucepan and cook over medium heat. Gently mash until half of the mixture is mashed and leave the remaining beans whole for texture.

Cook until warmed through and serve.

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Vegetarian Serving suggestions:

  • Cheese and sour cream are nice additions to this recipe. If you’re vegan, nutritional yeast offers a similar cheesy flavor. I occasional use Greek yogurt in place of sour cream because it has a bit more protein.
  • Also sautéed bell peppers and onion seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic powder are great in this. I left them out because I’m allergic to bell peppers but if you like them, add them! They’re good and good for you 🙂
  • Mash avocado into guacamole by adding salt, pepper, lime, and cilantro instead of slices of avocado.
  • I love serving burrito bowls with tortilla chips and margaritas too!

Like this Jalapeño Watermelon Margarita! Click the picture for the recipe.

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Watch how I made this Chipotle-style Burrito Bowl here:

Hope you guys enjoy! Send me a pic of your burrito bowls with #MissVranHalen so I can see 🙂

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