Photos by Mikaela Bisson
I have always been a foodie, much to my bank account’s dismay.
When you have world-renowned restaurants in your backyard who wouldn’t be tempted to break their student budget? A Nobu roll here, a Tra de Noi dinner there.
That is where this column comes in, to help students learn what it took others years to figure out — that you can eat well without breaking the bank.
This week: How to make your own Chipotle bowl. Half the chemicals, half the price. It’s a win-win.
There are about a million different variations of this recipe, but I choose to keep it pretty basic and budget friendly.
You can make it with any meat you want. Today it’s a chicken bowl and a ground beef bowl.
In order to make this recipe you’re going to need to grab a few ingredients:
- 1 pack of chicken breasts or 1 pound of lean ground beef
- A head of Romaine lettuce
- 1/2 Cup shredded Mexican-style cheese
- 1 packet taco seasoning
- 3 Tablespoons of the salsa of your choice
- 1 packet of microwaveable rice
- Sour cream
- Lime to taste (optional)
1. If you’re starting with chicken, take one chicken breast, two if you want left overs, and slice it into thin strips to speed up the cooking process.
2. Next, season with whatever taco/Mexican seasoning you like. (I personally use the Old El Paso Taco Mix because I find it gives everything a really great flavor.)
3. Based on the thinness of my strips, I cooked them on medium heat (to avoid drying out the chicken) for about six minutes per side or until they started to turn brown. Make sure to always check the inside of your chicken to avoid having a pink center.
4. Now, if you’re more of a beef fan, I’m right there with you. One pound of ground beef makes more than enough for a couple of mock Chipotle bowls!
5. Heat up two tablespoons of oil on medium heat in a skillet or sauce pan. Once all the beef has browned, drain the fat and mix in your seasoning (again I used the Old El Paso Taco Seasoning.)
6. The next step is to prepare your rice. To make this meal a little more time and budget friendly, I use a microwaveable rice packet. It only take a couple of minutes to cook versus the usual 45 minutes for rice. I used the Lundberg Long Grain Gluten-free Brown Rice which is done after 90 seconds in the microwave.
7. While the meat is finishing up and the rice is cooking, you can begin gathering all of your toppings.
Some of my favorite topping options are:
- Corn Salsa
- Pico De Gallo
- Sliced avocado
- Sautéed peppers and onions
There are endless options of how you want to top your bowl. Personally, I finish mine off with a little dollop of salsa, some Mexican blend cheese and a scoop of sour cream.
When it’s all done, you’ll have your very own chipotle bowl!
This meal may seem a little intimidating at first, but once you make it once or twice it is easy. It may take longer than its fast food alternative, but you know exactly what you are putting in your mouth, and that to me is worth a couple extra minutes.
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