14 March 2010

Chipotle Copy Cat Recipes

We have virtually stopped eating at restaurants. Occasionally, we’ll find our way to an inexpensive eatery out of necessity, but necessity actually requires us to eat at home these days. We love eating at home. It’s so much healthier. I control the ingredients that go into our food. The amount of processed food within our diet is drastically decreased, and we’re saving large sums of money by doing so. This was a goal of ours for quite a while, so I am glad that financial necessity required this of us. See? I am blessed by our current circumstances. Heehee! I also love to cook healthy meals for my family!
It has been a favorite hobby of mine for years to recreate recipes that we enjoy at restaurants. I eat something and love it and think, :"I can make this." and so I do. Sometimes, it takes some tweaking to reach perfection. Sometimes, it ends up being better than the original. That’s where I am on my newest culinary copy cat meal. We love eating at Chipotle. It is one of our favorite "casual family" eateries. While the cost isn’t exorbitant, it’s no Taco Bell (ew) either. This is why I decided to create our own fajita bowls at home. I did this originally back in January when we were following the Daniel fast for three weeks. This meal completely fell within the Daniel fast guidelines as we did it vegan style. Since then, we’ve changed it up a little. You can do with it whatever you wish! Here are the recipes that I’ve found and changed a little to make them our version of perfect.
Cilantro Lime Rice
1 C basmati or brown rice
2 C water
juice of one fresh lime
1 T dried cilantro
1/2 t sea salt
1/2 T olive oil

Pour oil into sauce pan. Add rice and cook for 1 minute. Slice your lime in half and add juice to pan. Cook an additional minute. Add water, cilantro and salt. Bring to boil. Stir, cover and simmer for the amount of time directed on package (this varies sometimes). Fluff with fork before serving.
Refried Beans (which really aren’t fried at all)
2 cans pinto beans
2 small garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/2 C vegetable broth (you can use chicken or beef stock as well or even water)
1 t dried cilantro
1/2  C chopped onion
salt to taste
2 t olive oil

Pour oil into saute pan(you could use cooking spray if you have it on hand, but I don’t). Add onion. Cook on medium until clear. Pour beans into a bowl and mash w/pastry blender (if you don’t have one, you can use a large fork or be creative). Add beans, garlic, cilantro, salt and broth to pan. Cook over medium low for about 10 minutes uncovered stirring every few minutes to prevent scorching and to allow the liquid to mix with the beans properly. It may appear to be thin at first, but the liquid will cook down during that 10 minutes.
2 haas avocados
2 small garlic cloves, minced or pressed
2 t dried cilantro
juice of one lime
salt to taste
1 T finely chopped onion
1 T finely chopped jalapeno (optional…I leave it out)

Cut avocado in half and remove pit. Scoop out fruit and mash to desired texture (we like ours smooth, so I use the pastry blended again until most of the chunks are gone). Add garlic, cilantro, lime juice, salt and onion. Mix together and serve.
In addition to these three recipes, you will also need to saute one green pepper and one medium onion to serve with your fajita bowls.
This is how we put our bowls together. Layer your ingredients in this order: rice, beans, veggies (peppers and onions), and guacamole. You can also choose to top it with your favorite salsa, cheese and/or sour cream if you wish.
I haven’t  tried any of the following recipes, but if you are used to your Chipotle bowls having meat, here are some suggested recipes to try:
Chipotle Chicken Marinade: http://www.chipotlefan.com/index.php?id=chicken_recipe
Chipotle Barbacoa Beef: http://chipotlog.com/recipe/the-real-chipotle-barbacoa-recipe
If you try any of these recipes, please let me know how they turn out for you. Also, if you’re more of a burrito eater, you can always wrap all of the above recipes into a tortilla. Enjoy this thrifty version of a delicious, easy restaurant meal!

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