Raise your hand if you love Chipotle.
Got it up? Everyone loves Chipotle.
I mean everyone. Of all the fast food places, I analyze more chipotle meals for diet records than anything else. From my student athletes to pregnant vegan women, rarely do I meet someone who doesn’t love the have-it-your-way Mexican chain. Burritos, bowls, tacos, even picky eaters are satisfied.
I love Chipotle because it’s one of the few fast food places that I know I can find something good and healthy.
Rice, beans, fajita vegetables, lettuce, salsa X 2 & guacamole. My standard order and a treat when we are traveling and need to find something quick and easy on the road.
Ingredients: Makes 4 bowls.
Cilantro Lime Rice, recipe below
Spicy black beans, recipe below
Fajita Zucchini, recipe below
Cilantro Lime Rice:
Prepare brown rice- enough to yield 2 cups. Mix with 1/2 cup chopped cilantro and zest and juice of 1 lime and a pinch of salt.
Spicy black beans:
Saute 1/4 diced onion in a tsp. of olive oil. Add a 14-ounce can of black beans, a pinch of cayenne pepper and cumin, and simmer until beans are heated through.
Fajita Zucchini: Preheat the oven to 425°F Chop 4 medium zucchini and toss with 1 medium finely diced onion, 1 tbsp. olive oil , 2 tsp. cumin, pinch of salt and pepper, and 1 tsp. dried oregano. Place on baking sheet or stone and cook for 30-40 minutes until golden brown, stirring often.
Layer all ingredients in bowl and eat until your hearts content!
I’ve proclaimed my love for lentils before: lentil stew, lentil tacos, lentil-walnut loaf, the list could go on for days.
Inexpensive, high in protein, fiber, folate, iron, and almost fat-free. I eat them almost every day. Recently, I’ve been bored with our usual lentil dishes and decided to experiment with some new flavor combinations. Totally hooked.
This is one of those big pot meals you can make and eat throughout the week. Delicious over rice, on naan or by itself, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
What’s your favorite way to eat lentils?
Red Lentil Curry
2 cups red lentils
1 cup diced onion
2 tbsp. red curry paste
2 tbsp. Indian Curry Powder
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. tumeric
1 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. minced ginger root
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can tomato puree
1 tsp. maple syrup
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
Brown rice, cooked
Rinse the lentils very well until water runs clear. Add lentils in a pot and add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and cook until lentils are tender.
Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a large skillet or pot. Add the onions, a pinch of salt, and cook until reduced and caramelized. Reduce heat to low and stir in the maple syrup.
While the onions are cooking, mix together the curry powder, paste, cumin, chili powder, turmeric, pinch salt, garlic, and ginger. Increase the heat on the onions back to medium and add the spice mixture. Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring often being sure not to burn.
Add the tomato puree, stir together and cook another 2-3 minutes until warm. Add drained lentils and stir together. Stir in chopped cilantro and serve over rice.
So remember last week when I mentioned how I have been theming our dinners to prepare for our upcoming travels?
I wasn’t kidding.
It just didn’t seem right to be daydreaming about the beaches of Barcelona without sipping Sangria and feasting on paella.
I know that paella is technically not from Barcelona, but it was one of the few spanish dishes I knew how to re-create and it totally worked for my tastebud-traveling purposes.
I don’t know if this is authentic, but’s it’s pretty darn tasty. My sister worked in a Spanish restaurant for years, so I consider myself an unofficial coinsossor of tapas, tempernillo, and vegetarian paella. As someone who used to consume this dish on an almost weekly basis, this is about as good as it gets.
Isn’t it just the most beautiful looking thing?
Rice, vegetables, saffron broth, and tomatoes. Mmmm… I had to hide the rest of the pan so BL and I didn’t accidentally consume the whole thing.
A word on the rice: I used Arborrio rice in this, not Bomba. Before you throw a shoe at me, here’s my excuse. Sacramento is not ready for paella making. After heading to three different grocery stores to find this special short-grained white rice, I was 0 for 3.
And you know what? I really couldn’t tell a difference. I’ve heard of people using sushi rice and rinsing it a few times before hand, but I wasn’t in the mood for that kind of patience.
Another important consideration in paella making is a proper pan. A wide, shallow dish is best for this so break out your biggest sauté or frying pan and don’t overload it. I actually used my large grill pan and it worked perfectly. Next time I think I am going to try it on the grill as an alternative to our veggie burger outside dinners.
DK’s Vegetarian Paella
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 8 oz. jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
2 red peppers, seeded and chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium zucchini, chopped
3 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 pinch saffron threads
2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/8 tsp. cayenne papper
1 1/2 cups short-grain white rice (see above)
3 cups vegetable broth
pinch salt (will depend on how salty your broth is)
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1 lemon, sliced
In a paella pan or large, shallow sauté’ pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, red pepper, and roasted red pepper to the pan and let brown and reduce, about 10 minutes. Add the zucchini, garlic, tomato, saffron, paprika, cayenne pepper and let cook over medium heat another 10 minutes until vegetables are soft. Add the rice, vegetable broth and stir once. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and let simmer for 20 minutes. Don’t touch! Once your stir it all together, trust that it will come together. Stirring is for risotto, not paella.
Top with chopped parsley and sliced lemons!
2013 is shaping up to be quite the eventful year: my two best friends are getting married, my sister is having a baby girl in July, and my sister-in-law is also expecting a little boy in May.
Ah! Life is so exciting sometimes.
Sadly, I am having to miss out on most of the pre-events: showers & bachorette parties as BL and I will be roaming the streets of Europe. I guess 2013 is a year for us as well, eh?