amanda’s kick-ass protein bowl deluxe 2000

So earlier this week I tried to ruin your New Year’s resolution. Terribly sorry but c’mon, enchiladas! To make it up, I have something that might help right that wrong.


I present to you, Amanda’s kick-ass protein bowl deluxe 2000! This is my go-to “oh my god what have I been doing for the past month” meal that won’t leave you hungry afterwards. Last semester I was ridiculously busy, I just had no time to work out. In combination with starting barre classes again for a physical revolution, it’s only fitting that there’s a meal to go along with it for a nutritional revolution.

There is so much protein in this bowl, from the spinach, the black beans, and everyone’s favorite miracle grain, quinoa, which I think is why it fills that hole in your stomach. And most ingredients can be made ahead for ease of assembly, all you have to do in the moment is steam the spinach.

So if you’re in need of a post-holiday detox, this meal might just do the trick.

amanda’s kick-ass protein bowl deluxe 2000


  • quinoa, made in a rice cooker
  • pico de gallo
  • dried black beans
  • small can of diced hot hatch peppers
  • baby spinach
  • half an avocado, cubed
  • tsp of creole seasoning

slow cooker black beans

-soak dried black beans overnight in a slow cooker covered in 2″ of water. The next day, cook the black beans on low for 8 hours, careful not to let the water line dip below the black beans. With 2 hours left, add the hatch peppers


-put a cup of quinoa, a cup of black beans, and half a cup of pico de gallo into a bowl.

-steam baby spinach in ½” of water and a vegetable steamer in a sauce pan with the creole seasoning until just wilted

-add the spinach and avocado to the bowl. Boom. Done. Amanda’s kick-ass protein bowl deluxe 2000 complete!


Today’s story is about coffee, wine, syntax trees, and procrastination.

Classes start up again next week, and it’s terrifying. However, deciding to split this last semester into two as a part time student in the spring and next fall was probably the best decision I’ve ever made. Sometimes you know you’re just not ready, and I’m ready to not be ready until December.


But some things you can’t postpone as easily as graduation. Like a thesis. And of course, on the tail end of winter break, I’m finding myself with nothing but an outline. So it’s time to get cracking! Nothing to end a procrastination streak like telling someone you’ve already done something when you haven’t!

After driving by Patika on South Lamar for the nth time after work, I was determined to get a start on this thing. Though Grey’s Anatomy was calling me from the couch, I mustered up the will power to pull into the parking lot and rack my brain for a pattern, an inkling, a divine sign in all the German and prepositional phrases and case structure and verb type etcetera etcetera…


Though Thunderbird is my normal go to, and we’re all still mourning the closing of JP’s java, south of the river is acquiring it’s fair share of amazing coffee shops. The clean, modern, airy ambiance of Patika was the perfect stimulus for strained academic writing. Different people work best in different environments, but me, I need light. And Patika has plenty of it. Though today was the proto-typical grey, gloomy day, the vast windows and clean, white walls were able to channel every ray of sun into the tiny little coffee shop.

It’s no secret that South Lamar has changed. A lot. But some change is good. Because it brought us Patika. We always knew artists congregated in south Austin, but today, with a guy writing his novel on my left and a woman working on a charcoal sketch on my right, I think I found their meeting spot. Or at least it’s the transplant artist meeting spot, but I don’t mind. The light is good for my brain, and it’s probably good for yours.

Or maybe it was the cappuccino. Yep, probably the cappuccino.

Ignore the urinal, but talk about creative design!

gringo enchiladas

Ready to ruin your New Year’s resolution yet? Because you know it was unrealistic anyways. And I’ve got the perfect solution. This one has taken me a while because I desperately wanted to do it justice. This is a sacred heirloom, and I expect it to be treated as such, you hear me? This, this is gringo enchiladas.




Again, no hiding it here. This is probably a complete bastardization of the traditional version with very little that resembles the authentic dish. But if this is what you get when you “ruin” a completely good dish, everything we know about national cuisine needs to be reimagined.

La mère got this dish from a friend about … well who knows when, but these are the enchiladas I grew up on. And I’m not going to lie, it took me a few tries to come to terms with the general public’s understanding of enchiladas when dining out. I’m not going to start any fights here claiming any superiority, buuuuut maybe you should give it a shot.




 Want to go full gringo? Serve with sushi rice and champagne.

gringo enchiladas

ingredients: hatch green chili enchilada sauce, sour cream, shredded monterey jack cheese, shredded pepper jack cheese, diced red onion, flour tortillas, chicken breast


– bake plain, unseasoned chicken breast in oven, for directions see the kitchn, cube when done

-mix sour cream and enchilada sauce

-spray glass or ceramic baking dish with non-stick cooking spray

-assemble enchiladas: on a tortilla, put a little cubed chicken, shredded cheese, a spoonful of sour cream enchilada sauce, and some diced onion. Roll and place in dish edge side down

-once dish is full of rolled tortillas, pour some more sauce on top, sprinkle with cheese and red onion

-cook in oven at 350˚F until bubbling, about 35-45 minutes

-top with halved cherry tomatoes, chopped cilantro, and avocado, serve with sushi rice and black beans for full on grigo