Burrito bowls are the perfect food. Sure, you could argue they’re not as good as actual burritos but you would be wrong. And you would be wrong because I think the bowl is a superior format and you have to agree with me. Not really, but for the purposes of this post, it would help if you did. Now, I’m sure a handful (all) of you haven’t given the whole tortilla vs. bowl faceoff much thought. Well, lucky for you I have. Boy, do I have some opinions, and yes, I will be sharing them with you. If you ever considered lapsing into a coma, now would be the time. Don’t worry there is a skip to the recipe button below if you’re in it purely for the Mushroom Tinga Burrito Bowl and not the bizarre ramblings of a food-obsessed 30-something. You do you.Jump to Recipe
Okay, my first reason for favoring the burrito bowl over its wrapped sibling is neatness. Yes, I am that person. I know tidiness doesn’t sound particularly fun but it’s a lot more fun than attempting to eradicate wayward sour cream out of your favorite jeans. I know we all get romantic about imagined blissed out eating experiences where we tear into our meals with ravenous enthusiasm because we couldn’t give two shits about who’s watching. Cool in theory, uncomfortable in practice. I get it, we all want to be that ultra chill, ultra-confident foodie who isn’t fazed by awkward social realities because we’re all about the food, man! But that’s just not me, and honestly, I don’t think I’m the unicorn here.
The fact of the matter is, if you’re not eating alone in your PJs where no one can see how you live, the “wild abandon” eating style isn’t a viable option. But when you’re eating a traditional burrito, it’s the only option. I’m just saying, I have, like, three people I don’t mind eating a messy burrito in front of. And even then, I feel a lot more confident eating them near a change of clothes. In this scenario, I am of course referring to overstuffed burritos and not the dainty ones that are less, um, explody? Which brings me very tidily to my next point, bowls can accommodate more toppings.
Look at these Mushroom Tinga Burrito Bowls. Look at them! Now imagine trying to cram everything you see in a 10-inch tortilla. You probably could but the real question is should you? Tucking everything into a bowl makes even a gratuitous amount of food look tidy. And as you know, tidy food is always healthy. Always…No, shh! Don’t correct me.
Reason the third – crafting the perfect bite is a breeze in a burrito bowl. If you’re a control freak you can keep each topping blissfully separated from one another and eat them in an assigned order that, like, totally makes sense. Or if you’re in the mood for variety, you can Movenpick your way through an endless parade of different flavor and texture combinations all from the same bowl. Or you can embrace chaos and literally stir everything up and savor the flavor of anarchy. Whatever your ideal bite is, you can build it in a bowl.
On the flip side, you have the burrito. While it is true that no two bites are exactly the same, it is not by design. You bite into one side of a burrito and you might come away with little more than a mouthful of lettuce and a few chunks of tomato. While the other side may deliver more meat or beans or cheese than is reasonable. You have no control, you simply have to surrender to the experience the tortilla has in store for you.
Now, of course, I am playing up the drama of this whole burrito bowl vs. burrito thing because I’m attempting to entertain you…and I’m desperate for attention. If you prefer burritos, more power to you. I think the burrito life is a valid life and I, by no means, intend to shame you into giving into the bowl. But having said that, I really do enjoy burrito bowls and I think you might too. In fact, I would ask that you try these Mushroom Tinga Burrito Bowls as bowls the first time around. Then you can flip me the bird and throw everything in a tortilla and I won’t even be mad.
The reason I ask you to try today’s Mushroom Tinga Burrito Bowls in there natural state is because I chose to leave the wee button mushrooms whole. I think the texture of eating a whole braised mushroom is just otherworldly. But I also think including whole mushrooms in a wrapped anything is a bit of a logistical nightmare. They are remarkably easy to fork, however, so I think it’s best to leave this dish to the bowls of the world. Cool by you?
So, whether you’re team burrito or team burrito bowl, I think you’ll enjoy all the charms this Mushroom Tinga Burrito Bowl has to offer. You can eat anyway you like, but if you ask me, it’s bowl or bust.
Mushroom Tinga Burrito Bowl
Pickled Red Onions
- 1 red onion sliced into rings
- 3/4 cup white vinegar
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 10-12 black peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
Cumin Lime Rice
- 2 cups uncooked brown rice
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp salt
Mushroom Tinga Burrito Bowls
- 4 chipotle peppers in adobo
- 2 limes juiced, divided
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 sweet onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced, divided
- 227g button mushrooms
- 227g cremini mushrooms quartered
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1/4 cup vegetable stock
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 avocado diced
- 10-12 cherry tomatoes quartered
- 1-2 jalapenos quartered and sliced
- 1/4 cup cilantro finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 batch Cumin Lime Rice See above
- 1-2 handfuls tortilla chips
- 1/4 cup feta cheese crumbled
- 1 batch Pickled Red Onions See above
Pickled Red Onions
- In a small bowl, whisk to combine the vinegar, salt and sugar. Whisk until the sugar is mostly dissolved. Set aside.
- Place the onion in a medium-sized bowl and cover with the vinegar mixture. Add the peppercorns and bay leaves and cover. Let stand at room temperature for at least 2 hours. Or transfer to the fridge and let pickle overnight.
Cumin Lime Rice
- Stir to combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Let cook covered for 35-40 minutes or until the moisture is absorbed and the rice is fluffy.
- Take the rice off of the heat. Fluff with a fork and replace the cover. Set aside until ready to serve.
Mushroom Tinga Burrito Bowls
- Place the chipotle peppers and juice of 1 of the limes in a food processor. Blitz until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet until shimmering. Add the onion along with a healthy pinch of salt. Lower the temperature and sweat the onions for 10 minutes or until translucent. Not browned. Add 3 cloves of the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes more.
- Increase the heat to medium and add the mushrooms along with another pinch of salt. Saute until the mushrooms are well browned, about 10 minutes.
- Pour the chipotle puree into the skillet along with the can of tomatoes, stock, oregano, and cumin. Increase the temperature and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until the sauce has reduced to a jammy consistency. Take the mushrooms off of the heat and keep warm until ready to serve.
- While the mushrooms are simmering, place the avocado, cherry tomatoes, jalapenos, cilantro, salt, the remaining lime juice and the remaining clove of garlic in a large bowl. Toss to combine. Set aside.
- To build the bowl, create an even layer of Cumin Lime Rice on the bottom of the bowl. Spoon the mushrooms on top, and the avocado salsa beside the mushrooms. Add 6-7 rings of the pickled red onions, and a handful of tortilla chips. Finish the bowl with crumbled feta and additional cilantro. Serve immediately with hot sauce.