Okay, I gotta admit Chipotle is my favorite "fast food" restaurant. I love all the flavors and I love getting to create my own burrito bowl with whatever flavors I want! Although Chipotle is a healthier option than many of its fellow fast food chains, you can whip a quick burrito bowl at home that's even better! I'll show you how a few healthy swaps can take the classic Burrito Bowl from a health disaster to a perfectly healthy dinner!
You will Need:
- Brown Rice or Quinoa
- Black Beans (or any you like)
- Bell Pepper and Onions (Sauteed or Raw)
- Ground chicken, turkey, or lean beef (omit meat for a vegetarian bowl!)
- Plain Greek Yogurt (sour cream substitute)
- Fresh Lime to squeeze on top!
- A little shredded organic cheese (I usually skip the cheese, but it's totally fine in moderation!)
- Using brown rice instead of white rice is great because the brown rice is a whole grain, which has a lot more fiber and a lower glycemic index, meaning it doesn't turn to sugar when you digest it as fast as white rice!
- Quinoa, my personal favorite, is actually not a grain--it's a seed, so that makes it gluten free! It's higher in protein than many grains, and it's actually a complete protein!
- Beans are high in fiber and protein! Using freshly cooked or plain canned beans is the best way to go, because many restaurants' beans are re-fried beans. Usually they have a lot of extra salt. Some beans even have extra meat and lard or fat added to them, as well as an unhealthy dose of salt! If you are at Chipotle, their black beans are the best choice.
- Avacado...one of my favorite foods, is full of healthy fats! Using fresh avocado or homemade guac is always better than the store guacamole (usually full of additives!)
- Lean protein! A lean protein like chicken or turkey is a lot lower in saturated fat than something like a full-fat beef that is usually used in taco meat. I usually make a big plain batch of a protein to have for the week, but if you want to mimic the flavor and texture of ground beef, use ground turkey or chicken and add taco seasoning! You can make your own seasoning by mixing chili powder, cumin, garlic, salt, onion powder, paprika, black pepper, oregano, and chili flakes!
- Cheese....many people overdo it with this one! And many people, on the other end, think you have to skip it completely. It's perfectly fine to add a little cheese, just don't go overboard! You can easily add a couple hundred extra calories without realizing it. Your burrito shouldn't look like it just snowed cheese. Keep it to a few tablespoons. If you use organic cheese, your gonna dramatically cut down on all the preservatives and antibiotics that come with processed cheese.
- Plain Greek yogurt is a great substitute for sour cream! It has the same thick, creamy consistency, and I think it tastes just like it! It's fat free and higher in protein!
- Cilantro, while usually just an afterthought garnish, is actually packed with health benefits! It's high in antioxidants and vitamins and has even been found to help prevent memory loss! It also works as a natural detoxifier in the body, which can pull out toxins and help your metabolism!