Chipotle has a good thing going on. I am very into the concept of choosing among various items and crafting an edible creation to my specifications/whims. Especially if it’s relatively healthy.
Thus, I have stolen Chipotle’s approach and have been crafting lunch bowls. Basically, you make a few items that go together at the beginning of the week, providing you with a bounty of eatin’ options for the next several days.
Here is the basic equation:
- A grain (rice, quinoa, pasta, something super trendy like farro, etc.)
- A protein (meat, tofu, beans, you can even get crazy and do two)
- Veggies (sautéed, raw, steamed, whatever)
- Some type of sauce (salsa=Mexican, peanut=Asian, Trader Joe’s has some good pre made curry options, and I love Oh She Glows vegan sauce recipes if you want to be extra crafty)
- Extras (shredded or crumbled cheese, avocado, olives, nuts, other crunchy things, virgins’ tears)
You can really go in any direction with this but a Mexican iteration is one of my tried and true faves. Here is one I concocted recently:
- Meat: Trader Joe’s free-range stew beef in the slow cooker with a jar of salsa. Cooked on low ~ 6 hours. Chicken or pork works too, duh.
- Rice: Made a pot of rice. You could go all out and do a Mexican rice version.
- Black beans: I used dry and cooked these bitches on the stovetop but if you don’t share my bulk dried foods obsession, canned beans are obviously easier. If using dried, you can cook them in broth and add a bay leaf for extra flavor.
- Veggies: sautéed green peppers, onion, mushrooms.
When I packed this up, I sprinkled shredded cheese and hot sauce on the top. Boom.
Voila, portable lunch for the week. If you tire of bowls or run out of one component, all of the fixins work well with other food items.