Mexican Bowl with Squash and Green Chile Crema

After ordering a little too much Mexican, I had a some rice and black beans left over, along with some esquites (that spicy corn with mayo and cotija).  I decided to turn it into a full meal with a few simple additions that I could pick up on my way home from work.  This easy rice bowl turned into one of my best leftover redux meals ever.  Here’s the full ingredient list:

  • Tofu, extra firm
  • Esquites
  • Black beans
  • Rice
  • Yellow squash, cubed
  • Avocado (if you had guac in your Mexican takeout leftovers, that’s just as good)
  • Greek yogurt
  • Green chiles

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Here’s the thing: I was going to use rotisserie chicken, but the grocery store was out (how DARE they?).  I used tofu as a substitute and really enjoyed how it came out.  It did mean I actually had to cook something, but it was easy so I can’t complain.

Drain the tofu and then cut into cubes to brown in a saucepan with olive oil.  I used a spice mix of garlic powder, onion powder, chile powder, and oregano.  Once it’s golden and firmed up on both sides, remove from the pan to drain on a paper towel and cook the squash in the same oil so it benefits from the spices that were in there with the tofu.

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Meanwhile, make your crema.  This, my friends, MAKES this meal.  It’s all about the sauces, always.  Simply use an immersion blender to combine Greek yogurt, green chiles, and salt.  That’s it.  It’s delicious.  You always hear of this sort of thing being made by combining sour cream with chipotles in adobo.  Well I am here to tell you that green chiles have been woefully overlooked.  Your sauce will have tons of flavor but won’t be too spicy.  The Greek yogurt swap also makes it healthier.

You can make a ton of tweaks to this recipe.  Like I said, this bowl would have originally feature chicken if it was available (though I’m kind of happy it wasn’t since I was surprisingly happy with the tofu).  The main points you should remember when making this rice bowl:

  1. Squash is not the first thing that comes to mind when you think Mexican, but it will really make this dish stand out so…use it.
  2. This green chile sauce is bomb, so don’t let chipotles in adobo get all the glory

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