Saturday, February 22, 2014

A Caribbean Party in a Bowl

Tonight was another one of those "Door Knock Dinners" for us in the Siwiec household. If you read a previous post of mine titled It'sDoor Knock Dinner Tonight, you'll remember that means making a meal based on the food you have in your refrigerator or pantry. I had boneless chicken breasts and an orange and yellow pepper so I knew I wanted to use those. Earlier in the day I spotted a can of organic black beans in the back of the cupboard and those babies were calling out to me all day. So I knew I was going to incorporate those three ingredients into my meal. At that point I still wasn't sure where I was going with my dinner theme and then BAM, my eyes met a bundle of fresh cilantro in the crisper bin. Maybe it was thoughts of the Citrus Soy Glazed Salmon I made a few nights prior or maybe it was thoughts of our upcoming Punta Cana vacation, but a Caribbean themed meal was a must! So I started cutting, chopping, dicing, marinating and grilling. Then Tyler came into the kitchen and said "Wow mom, that smells good, what are you making?" I said "Good question Tyler, because I don't know, there isn't a name for this dish yet." He laughed and said "Well you better come up with a name if you want to put it in your blog!" He was right! While I was making dinner Dave and the boys were hanging out in the living room listening to music. They were very happy and content just chilling together, I didn't want that vibe to change. So rather than eating dinner at the dining room table, I figured why not eat dinner at the coffee table! The "nameless" meal I made was ideal to be served in a bowl. So with all of the food I was making I made sure to find the biggest one I had. The food looked so gorgeous and smelled absolutely amazing that I couldn't wait to serve Dave and the boys. The colors were so alive and vibrant. The smell of the cumin and lime juice were invigorating! When I walked into the living room with the huge bowl and set it down on the coffee table, their eyes popped out and said with great enthusiasm "Whoa, what's that?" My dish was still nameless, so I told them they had to help me pick a name. After taking a few bites of this delicious tropical flared dish, we decided to name it "A Caribbean Party in a Bowl!" Brilliant name, I say! What is so great about this meal, besides the outstanding taste, is that it's easy to make and soooo easy to eat. It's served in one big bowl, where everyone just helps themselves. I literally just brought 5 bowls and 5 forks into the living room and we ate! And it can be served hot or at room temperature. It's a great meal to make if you have a group of friends over and you don't want to fuss with anything fancy. The flavors were superb! This is a keeper recipe for sure! Salute to another amazing door knock dinner and finding the perfect name for my dish!
Organic black beans, red onion, orange pepper and yellow pepper
Jasmine rice, cilantro, lime juice 
Grilled chicken with cumin, pepper, lime juice 
All of the ingredients mixed together with olive oil, lime juice and salt n pepper.
It's a party in a bowl!
A Caribbean Party in a Bowl (Click to print recipe)

Serves 8

Preparation and cook time: 40 minutes

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 yellow pepper, diced
  • 1 orange pepper, diced
  • 1/2 red onion diced
  • 1 tb cumin
  • 1 lime, juice and zest
  • 1 15 oz can black beans
  • 4 cups uncooked jasmine rice
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt n pepper
In a mixing bowl whisk olive oil, cumin, salt n pepper to taste and 1/4 t lime zest. Marinate chicken in olive oil mixture for 10 minutes. Set aside. Meanwhile, in a medium sauce pan, boil 4 cups of water for rice. Once it comes to a boil, add rice and turn heat down to low, and cover for 10 minutes or until rice is soft and fluffy. Add a little olive oil, 1/2 lime juice, cilantro and salt to taste. Set aside. Using a stove top grill pan, heat over medium to high heat and add chicken breasts. Cook on one side until brown for 7-8 minutes, turn over and cook for another 7-8 minutes or until middle is no longer pink. Using a cutting board, dice chicken. Set aside. In a large serving bowl add diced pepper, diced onion and black beans. Now add rice and stir. Now add diced chicken and stir. Add 1/2 lime juice and 2 tb olive oil over ingredients and stir well. Serve in individual bowls.

Food Impressions:

Nate: Wasn't a huge fan of the lime and cilantro.

Tyler: "This is a tropical party in a bowl. It's so tasty, like the food we have when we were on vacation" (He had 3 bowls)

Zachary: "I love this meal mom, it's so flavorful. It tastes like the food we had in Mexico."

Dave: "Festiveness in a bowl. Mango or papaya would be an excellent in this dish."

Andrea: I thought this dish was amazing. This could easily be a vegetarian dish if you didn't add the chicken. The next time I have my girlfriends over I am serving this meal! 

Our coffee table dinner!


  1. Looks delicious! I am making this for my next girls get together!

    1. It tastes delicious too! Please post your food impressions after you try this recipe!