Sunday, June 17, 2012

Cafe Rio style

No time for a real post today, so I'll just share a recent meal.  I thought after work on Thursday, "You know, Cafe Rio sounds pretty good tonight.  Maybe I should just have Cam pick some up..." But I felt a little guilt, considering that it's not a perfectly healthy choice and certainly not the cheapest.  Then it occurred to me that I could make a good Cafe Rio-style meal all myself!

I ground some flour from spelt, kamut, quinoa, & wheat and set it to soak, figuring 6 hours of soaking was better than nothing.  (Read here to find out why I soak.)  Just as Cam was getting home I used the dough for homemade tortillas.  My first attempt at these, and they turned out great!  I felt so proud.

I put some black beans on the stove, hoping they would be soft in time for dinner (they almost made it).  I threw in some garlic with them.

I threw a whole organic chicken in the oven, seasoned just with lemon juice, pepper, salt and garlic --- the remains of which I used for stock later in the week.

I put some brown rice in the rice cooker.

I chopped tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, and of course plenty of cilantro!  I grated some raw cheese.

 The whole affair really didn't take me that long, since the only really time intensive part was the chopping (10 minutes), and rolling/frying the tortillas (15 minutes).

Luckily, I had bought some "homemade" creamy cilantro dressing earlier that week.  Not the best option, since it did have sugar, but I'm sure there is a good recipe out there for a similar dressing.  Next time!

The only thing missing was the guacamole.  But I have since made Nonie's recipe (with plenty of added tomatoes), which I love!


  1. This looks so delicious! I have a weakness for Cafe Rio, though I haven't eaten there in a while for guilt reasons as well. This looks great!

    Where did you find your soaked flour tortilla recipe?

    1. There is a link embedded up there to Passionate Homemaking. (It's also in Nonie's Whole Food Snacks post). It's a delicious recipe, and they are soft and foldable like store-bought ones! Also very easy, evidenced by the fact that I can make them.

  2. Looks delicious!! I love Cafe Rio and refuse to feel any guilt when I eat there :) However, I also love doing homemade Cafe Rio as well. I have always been intimidated by making homemade tortillas though, but you have inspired me and I'll have to give it a try.

  3. Beautiful table, Meredith! I'd take this over Cafe Rio ANY TIME ANY DAY! Quite a thorough replacement for an instant's hankering if you ask me. Wow. Isn't it great to know more precisely where all the ingredients are coming from?