RECIPE | My Panera-Inspired Baja Warm Grain Bowl

There is a Panera less than a half-mile away from my home. Needless to say, I'm a regular. Usually, in the Fall/Winter months, I opt for the White Cheddar Grilled Cheese and Tomato soup - YUM! But, last week, I tried something different, and it was just as tasty.

Panera, known for its healthier take out food options, announced their new Warm Grain Bowls. These bowls come in two versions; Baja and Mediterranean. I tried the Baja (Californian-style), and it didn't disappoint! It was fulfilling and included some super nutritious and heart-healthy ingredients. With the new year, I'm challenging myself to make more of what I want at home. Luckily, I had most of the ingredients necessary and was able to further customize my very own homemade grain bowl!
How I made it...

- Black and Brown Rice Mix
- Quinoa
- Vegetable Broth/Stock
- Avocado
- Black Beans
- Tomato
- Red Onion
- Plain Greek Yogurt
- Lime
- Sea Salt
- Black or White Pepper

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Instructions: In a medium pot, bring 1 and 1/2 cups of Vegetable Broth/Stock and 1 cup of Water to boil. Add 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil and 1 tablespoon of Sea Salt. Pour in 1 cup of Black and/or Brown rice mix and 1/4 cup of Quinoa and cover. Let the mixture cook (periodically stirring) until the desired grain texture is reached, then set it aside. Dice a small fresh Tomato and Red Onion and season with Pepper, Herbs, and drizzle with Lime Juice. Slice or dice an Avocado and set aside. Use 1/4-3 cup of canned Black Beans (rinsed) and set aside. Place the cooled (warmed) Rice/Quinoa mixture in a bowl. Place each fresh ingredient in sections atop the bowl. Top your dish with a dollop of Plain Greek Yogurt.

Recipe Substitutions and Tips:
- Plain Greek Yogurt -> Low Fat Sour Cream
- Black Beans -> Pinto or Kidney Beans
- Grains -> Any whole grain will do! I'll be trying this next time with Couscous, and you can even toss in some fresh Corn.


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