take-it-to-go-thursday: almost chipotle burrito bowl

I’ve only had Chipotle once in my life. I was in the Washington, DC airport, coming back from studying abroad in Europe. As any of you who have spent a fair amount of time abroad know, while Italian and French food are delicious, after awhile you just want the familiar. My first stops in the airport were McDonald’s for a Diet Coke–yes, it does taste very different from “Coke Light”–and Dunkin’ Donuts for a drip coffee. My traveling buddy had been talking everyday of the eight weeks when had been abroad about how she missed burritos.

I like Mexican food as must as the next person. I promise. However, I’ve never been a huge fan of burritos. I don’t know why–I think its the fact that I can’t eat them without ending up throwing the food all over myself. (My parents joke that I spill all of my food but only because it is entirely true.) So, I had a burrito bowl. I wasn’t expecting much.

I loved it. I loved all of the flavors combined. I mean, there isn’t much better than beans, cheese, guacamole, rice, and all of the other accoutrements, at least in my opinion. After seeing this post, I decided to attempt to make them on my own for this weeks take-it-to-go challenge.

My original plan was to put brown rice at the bottom of the burrito bowl, but I ran to the grocery store in the rain after classes yesterday and forgot to buy rice. Rice is not one of my kitchen staples because I rarely cook it successfully. I had big plans to buy the Uncle Ben’s Microwavable Rice Bags and then doctor it up. My big plans did not come to fruition, obviously. I did have some cooked quinoa in my fridge, so I tossed it with the same flavorings I planned to use in the rice: cilantro, lime, and a touch of olive oil.

On Wednesday night, I went ahead and made the chicken. If I hadn’t been an idiot and remembered rice at the grocery store (I know, I know), I would have also made it Wednesday night while I was watching How I Met Your Mother doing homework.  I would definitely recommend to prepare stuff the night before when trying to make a quick lunch in the morning.

Recipes:

Inspired by Iowa Girl Eats

For the chili-lime chicken:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
For the rice:
  • 1 cup brown rice (or if you are an idiot like me, 1 cup quinoa)
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2-1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Salt, to taste
For the bowl:
  • 1 chicken breast, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 cup rice (or quinoa)
  • 1/2 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup yellow corn
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese (or white cheddar would be delicious)
  • Any other toppings: guacamole, sour cream, salsa, pico de gallo (I mixed fat free greek yogurt with salsa to make a “dressing”)

Method:

Chicken:

  • Combine the lime juice, spices, olive oil together. Marinate the chicken in it.
  • Cook it in a skillet on the stove top until cooked thoroughly, about 6-8 minutes on each side.
  • When cooled, chop into bite sized pieces

Rice:

  • Cook rice (or other grain) according to package instructions.
  • Once cooked, toss the rice with lime juice, olive oil, and cilantro.

To assemble bowl:

  • Put rice at the bottom of a bowl (or if you are like me, a tupperware container).
  • Layer beans, corn, chicken, and cheese on top of the rice.
  • If you are not eating this immediately (I mean, it is take-it-to-go-Thursday, after all), put any additional toppings, like salsa or guacamole, in a smaller container so that everything doesn’t get soggy.

I took this to work with me and stored it in the fridge there. It reheated really well and was a satisfying lunch, with some tortilla chips and baby carrots on the side. The quinoa made it an interesting texture (and more protein packed), but I think I would have enjoyed it more with the rice. Next time I make this, I’ll be sure to remember rice at the grocery store.

Look how well it packs to go!

2 thoughts on “take-it-to-go-thursday: almost chipotle burrito bowl

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