This past fall, my family and I visited Charlotte, NC, home to my very dear, sweet friend Callista and her husband Jonathan. My husband and I instantly fell in love with the city and more than enjoyed our time getting to experience the everyday life of a 20-something living in the up-and-coming area. What’s not to love? Charlotte is young and hip with a touch of southern charm, and is thriving with new restaurants and plenty of things to do throughout the week and on the weekends.
Callista has a very healthy obsession with the city, and before we visited would constantly rave about how special it was. Knowing that she works for the city’s office of tourism, I thought her descriptions might be a bit biased, but she was so right! From the small city feel to the southern eats, Charlotte has so much to offer. While we hit a lot of the places on a list I put together prior to visiting, Callista and Jon also had a few local spots and treasures they wanted us to experience too. There was the ever-so-delicious Tupelo Honey Cafe, a southern brunch spot, the outdoor market hosted on Saturdays and one of my favorites, Food Truck Friday.
Food Truck Friday is an event for locals and visitors hosted every Friday in Charlotte’s South End, where a handful of food trucks gather at a local brewery and dish out some of the most delicious food. We loved that there was a variety of food to choose from; the whole thing was like a huge hangout. Callista had nothing but great things to say about the food truck New Wrap Order and couldn’t stop raving about the basil avocado lime crema they put on one of their bowls. The moment she said crema, I knew I had to try it. I must say, it was the “cream of the cremas” and was so unreal that I decided to make it at home and drizzle it on top of a chicken burrito bowl. You’re welcome.
If you couldn’t already tell, I’d absolutely recommend visiting Charlotte – we love this city and can’t thank our wonderful hosts enough for such a great trip. If you end up making the recipe, don’t forget to tag #marinamakeseats!
Burrito Bowl with Basil Avocado Lime Crema
- 2 cups of dry brown rice
- 4 1/2 cups of chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 limes
- 1/4 cup of cilantro, chopped
- 2 chicken breasts
- 1 can of pinto beans
- 8 slices of cooked bacon
- Chopped romaine lettuce
- Pico de gallo
Basil Avocado Lime Crema
- 1 Avocado
- Juice of one lime
- 1/3 cup of basil leaves
- 1/2 cup of sour cream
- 1/2 cup of half and half
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
Season chicken breasts generously with salt, pepper and cumin. Place in a freezer bag with the juice of one lime and olive oil, and let the chicken marinade for 30 minutes to an hour.
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring rice, chicken broth and juice of one lime to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and continue cooking for about 35-40 minutes, or until all of the liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Once rice is done cooking, add the chopped cilantro and stir to combine.
While the rice is cooking, cook the chicken in a medium fry pan over medium heat until cooked through. Chop into bite size pieces and set aside. Next, drain the beans and rinse them thoroughly. Set aside.
To make the basil avocado lime crema, add all of the ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth. Feel free to add more half and half and/or salt if needed.
To assemble the bowl, add the rice and top with the beans, bacon, chicken, pico de gallo, basil avocado lime crema and lettuce.