Paleo Burrito Bowls

Up until about a year ago, I didn't eat red meat. Reading Fast Food Nation in the 7th grade and learning about the unsanitary and cruel conditions in feedlots across the country completely zapped my desire to eat it. I initially tried to become vegetarian but had a pretty tough time with it so I settled with what I saw as the next best thing and decided to abstain from red meat. In my mind, I didn't need it. I could get all my protein from poultry, eggs, fish and plant sources and I ate plenty of vegetables and fruit so what could I be missing? As it turns out, I was wrong.

When it came to red meat, I was missing the full picture. First, not all red meat is the kind of red meat that I read about in Fast Food Nation. I still do not consume factory-farmed and grain-fed meat of any kind (beef, poultry, pork, etc.) but grass-fed and -finished red meat is something else entirely. These animals are raised as nature intended, in more humane and environmentally-friendly ways. Second, because these animals are allowed to roam and eat their natural diets (the diets that their digestive systems were designed to handle), they are much healthier. Meat from grass-fed cows contains more omega 3 fatty acids (anti-inflammatory brain booster), conjugated linoleic acid (fat burning fuel) and significantly more vitamins, antioxidants and minerals, including B vitamins (brain power and healthy hormones), vitamin E (antioxidant protection), iron (energy) and zinc (immune health). One of the most important parts about the nutrients in grass-fed beef is that they are highly bioavailable, meaning that your body can actually absorb and use the nutrients that you are eating. Ever since I have started re-incorporating red meat into my diet, I have noticed an increase in energy and just overall wellbeing. Plus, I get to enjoy delicious things like the paleo burrito bowl below! Give it a try and relish in the fact that you can chow down on a big burrito bowl and be simultaneously fueling your body with superfoods! 

*** There are a lot of steps in this recipe but I use it as an opportunity to batch cook a lot of veggies to use for several meals. You can also make any or all of the bowl components ahead of time so you just have to warm up and assemble for meal time! To save time, I buy the bags of cauliflower rice and shredded cabbage from Trader Joe's but "ricing" a large cauliflower in your food processor and chopped up a head of purple cabbage will yield the same result. You'll also notice that this recipe is a tad unconventional in that it calls for turmeric in the taco seasoning. I love the taste, color and the anti-inflammatory benefits for my body but if turmeric isn't your thing, you could always swap it out for another spice like cumin! 

Paleo / Gluten Free / Whole 30

Serves: 4 with leftover veggies


Bowl Components: Steamed Kale + Steamed Shredded Cabbage + Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice + Roasted Plantain Chips + Ground Beef + Guacamole 

Roasted Plantain Chips: 

  • 2-3 green plantains 
  • 1-2 Tbs avocado oil 
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste 

Steamed Kale: 

  • 6-8 cups curly or tuscan kale (I usually just make 2 bags of the organic kale from Trader Joe's to have some leftovers!) 
  • 1 Tbs avocado oil 
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Steamed Shredded Cabbage: 

  • 2 9 oz bags shredded cabbage and carrots from Trader Joe's 
  • 1 Tbs avocado oil 
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice: 

  • 1 Tbs coconut oil 
  • 2 bags cauliflower rice from Trader Joe's
  • 2 limes, juiced 
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt 
  • few cracks fresh ground black pepper 
  • 1/2 cup of cilantro, chopped 

Ground Beef: 

  • 1 Tbs coconut oil
  • 1 lb ground beef 
  • 1 Tbs apple cider vinegar 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbs oregano
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt 


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. 
  2. Make the plantain chips: Remove the peel of the plantains and slice into thin rounds (the thinner the crispier!). Toss with avocado oil, sea salt and ground black pepper and place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for about 30 minutes or until crispy, flipping halfway through. 
  3. Steam the kale and cabbage: Fill a large pot with about 2 inches of water and steam the kale and cabbage for about 3-4 minutes in a steamer basket or insert. I like to do these one of a time (cabbage then kale or visa versa) to keep the vegetables separate but that is not necessary! Toss with avocado oil, sea salt and ground black pepper. Set aside. 
  4. Make the cauliflower rice: Melt coconut oil over medium heat in a medium skillet. When hot, add the cauliflower rice and break up with a wooden spoon. Sauté for a couple minutes and add the lime juice, sea salt and ground black pepper. Cook until softened. Remove from heat and add the cilantro and stir to combine. Set aside. 
  5. Make the ground beef: Melt 1 Tbs coconut oil in the same pan used to make the cauliflower rice. When hot, add the minced garlic and sauté to release flavors. Add the ground beef and brown, stirring frequently and breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon, until the the meat is almost no longer pink (about 4-5 minutes). Stir the taco seasonings into the meat, add apple cider vinegar and reduce the heat to low. Cook until the meat is done (about 5 minutes).
  6. Reheat kale, cabbage and cauliflower rice if necessary: While the beef is cooking, you can pop the veggies in the oven for a little to reheat if necessary. 
  7. Assemble the bowls: Add a layer of kale to the base of each bowl then top with the shredded cabbage, cauliflower rice, plantain chips and ground beef. Finish the bowl off with a large dollop of your favorite guacamole!