Raise your hand if you like Chipotle (or another tex-mex establishment). Yes, yes, that’s what I thought. Hands going up high all over the world. Oh, boy. Whose hands are those waving madly over there? Good gracious, those people need to calm down. Oh… Wait. Those are my hands. Both of my hands. Yes, I looooove Chipotle.
If it weren’t for my allergies (and of course my wallet), I would be totally fine eating Chipotle twice a day three times a week. Or once a day every day. Which is saying a lot, because I eat based on how I’m feeling, and I almost never eat the same thing too close together. But I would eat Chipotle close together. Oooo, I love me some chicken burrito bowl with dreamy cilantro lime rice and lots of cheese… Heaven is real, and it’s found in that bowl.
But, because of my allergies, Chipotle is not something I should indulge in anymore. Based on that wording I’m sure you’ve guessed that I still do once in a blue moon… I know I shouldn’t, but it’s so convenient! And inexpensive! That blessed burrito bowl can sometimes last two meals, and costs under $7. Its flying saucer shaped container with aluminum top makes it so convenient and travel friendly, and each blessed ingredient is fine served either hot or cold. Seriously, where else can you find food like that?
Well, now I can say I can find food like that at right at home (or wherever I am)! Except now it’s even better, because I can have confidence I’m not eating any allergens! And even better-er, my version is even more totable, as it is made in the style of trendy mason jar salads.
Before I began blogging on this self-hosted site, I had a small WordPress hosted blog. Even though I no longer blog over there, there is one recipe and its pin on Pinterest that is still consistently getting some serious traction: my roasted vegetable Mason jar salads. People really seem to like the portable lunch idea, especially when it’s healthy and bursting with a variety of flavors! And the mason jars keep serving sizes reasonable, so you’re sure you’ll never accidentally overeat sitting in front of the computer.
I knew I wanted to create a mason jar lunch on my new blog, and when I was craving some Chipotle this weekend (you would be proud; I abstained), the idea for these wonderful burrito bowl mason jar salads was born.
It’s only Monday, and already I feel like this week is going to be awesome because I can look forward to this lunch every day. All day today I was looking forward to lunchtime when I could enjoy my burrito bowl salad. And not only are they so tasty, these filling lunches are so good for you!
Quinoa and chicken breast give plenty of lean protein so you’re full until dinner. Greek yogurt serves as a healthier replacement for the sour cream found in traditional burrito bowls, and sweet potatoes and a healthy portion of bright green lettuce ensure you’re getting nutritious vegetables and superfood power. The whole lunch tastes so good! If you’d like to make it vegetarian, just replace the chicken with beans. I actually meant to include black beans in my salads, but got so excited I completely forgot them. They were just fine without, but please feel free to add beans if you’d like!
Grab one of these prepared jars on your way out the door in the morning, and guarantee yourself a filling, delicious, healthy lunch that is even better than Chipotle.
Yep, I went there.
Not sad desk lunch, indeed.
- 1 cup quinoa (I used a combination of red and white)
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- juice and zest of one lime, or 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 large chicken breasts
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil or ghee
- 2 pieces of thick cut bacon
- 1 large sweet potato, washed, with both ends cut off
- 1 tablespoon residual bacon oil or coconut oil
- 3 cups chopped lettuce
- 5 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
- 3/4 cup shredded cheese
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Add the quinoa, water, and salt to a medium sized pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat. When it has reached a boil, cover and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until the quinoa is soft and fluffy.
- Set the quinoa aside to cool.
- When it has cooled, add the lime juice, lime zest, and 1/4 cup chopped cilantro to the rice and stir to evenly distribute the ingredients. Taste, and add more lime or cilantro as needed.
- Dry off both chicken breasts thoroughly with paper towels, and season both sides of each breast using the 2 teaspoons of salt.
- In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil or ghee over medium-high heat until the oil is very hot.
- Add the chicken breasts to the hot skillet, and cook for about 4 minutes on each side. Both sides should have a pretty brown sear to them.
- When the chicken breasts are cooked all the way through, remove them to a cutting board to cool. Once they've cooled, cut the chicken into small chunks, about 1/2 square inch each.
- If you're going to add bacon to your salad, cook 2 slices of bacon as you normally would, until it is crispy enough to crumble. Reserve 1 tablespoon of bacon fat for the sweet potatoes.
- Cut up the sweet potato into tiny chunks, about 1/2 square inch each.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of bacon fat (or, if you didn't use bacon, coconut oil) in your large skillet over medium heat.
- When the oil is hot, add the sweet potato cubes. Sear the potatoes on all sides, stirring every 3-5 minutes.
- When the potatoes have all browned on the outside, turn the heat down to medium-low, cover the skillet with a lid, and cook the sweet potatoes until they can be easily pierced with a fork. Set aside to cool.
- When all ingredients have cooled, you can begin to assemble your burrito bowl salads. Add 1 tablespoon of plain Greek yogurt to the bottom of each pint-sized wide mouth mason jar.
- Top with about 2 tablespoons of sweet potato cubes.
- On top of the sweet potatoes, add 3-4 tablespoons of the cilantro lime quinoa.
- Layer 1-2 tablespoons of cheese over the quinoa, a little less than half a piece of bacon over the cheese, and a layer of chicken over the bacon. (To make this vegetarian, substitute 1 can of rinsed beans for the chicken and bacon and add a layer of beans here.)
- Fill the remaining space in the mason jar with lettuce, and sprinkle some additional chopped cilantro on top before screwing on the lid.
Enjoy all week long!
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