The other day I was thinking about how different my eating has been since two years ago. I’ve discovered this amazing accomplishment of balance and clean focused eating in my diet. I’ve stayed away from the extremes of overeating and undereating and somehow just seem to be in this happy place. Before I would conceptualize what it would feel like to enjoy the benefits of eating wholesome, nutritious foods while still enjoying a burger or a giant chocolate chip cookie every now and then. It seemed so distant. Now my feet are in the place I wished I always could be; it feels like a wonderful, significant achievement.
As I’ve mentioned before, there are several things I’ve done to find this balance. One of them was nourishing my body with nutritious food every few hours. The second was prepping meals and snack ahead of time. The third was always making sure to enjoy a treat every now and then, because life’s too short not to. We’re never going to be perfect eaters. Perhaps the perfection in eating, is choosing balance? Food for thought, I suppose.
Today I’m sharing an incredibly simple and delicious recipe for chicken burrito bowls inspired by the ever-popular Chipotle. Surprisingly, I didn’t have Chipotle until I was a sophomore in college. I ordered a burrito, not knowing how GIANT they are and nearly passed out from stuffing myself silly. These days I settle for the lighter burrito bowls, and sometimes I make them right at home. They’re easy, flavorful and an amazing way to meal prep for the week.
First things first, I’m the realest. Wait, that’s an Iggy song lyric. Back up.
First things first, we make chicken!
I usually make the chicken in the slow cooker for ease, but if you want you can simply bake it. I’ve included directions for both so you aren’t limited.
Next, there’s always beans. I vote black beans, but pinto are also drop dead delicious.
What about that absolutely amazing corn salsa? I can’t get enough. Mine is full of sweet corn, red onion, cilantro & more lime juice.
Oh and the brown rice? I make a coconut lime brown rice that’s basically the most addicting thing you’ll ever sink your teeth into. Trust the Ambitious lady. It tastes like fluffy coconut magic on your tongue. (Yes, I’m extra descriptive today.)
Cheese! I vote for Go Veggie’s Lactose Free Monterey Jack & Cheddar Shreds.
Topping are endless. I always go with a few slices of avocado, jalapenos (I like dat spice), and sometimes greek yogurt.
After I’m done cooking my chicken and rice, I evenly divide everything into individual containers and stick them in the fridge for easy reheating.
I hope you love this simple meal prep idea. Not only does it save time, but also money (and probably calories). Enjoy! xo
If you make this recipe, be sure to leave a comment below and rate the recipe! You can also snap and picture and post it on Instagram using the hashtag #ambitiouskitchen. And of course be sure to follow Ambitious Kitchen on Instagram. xo!
Cheap & Healthy Meal Prep Idea: Better Than Chipotle DIY Chicken Burrito Bowls
- For the chicken:
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs (or chicken breasts will also work)
- 1 cup chunky salsa
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- For the rice:
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- 1 cup dry short grain brown rice
- 2 cups water or vegetarian broth
- 1 small lime, juiced
- For the corn salsa:
- 1 cup organic sweet corn
- 1 small red onion, diced (or about 1/2 cup diced red onion)
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
- 1 small lime, juiced
- Freshly ground salt and black pepper, to taste
- For the beans:
- 1 (15 oz) can low sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
- To garnish:
- 1/2 cup cheddar cheese shreds (dairy free if desired)
- For garnish: Extra salsa, avocado slices (or guacamole), jalapenos if you like spice, cilantro, greek yogurt, hot sauce, etc
- Make the chicken: Place chicken, salsa and chipotle chili powder in a slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. Once done cooking, shred chicken with two forks and place back in the slow cooker until ready to serve. If you don't have a slow cooker, refer to the notes section in the recipe for baking instructions.
To make the brown rice: Place a medium pot over medium heat and add in coconut oil and brown rice. Toast rice with the coconut oil for 5 minutes; stirring frequently to toast the rice and infused the coconut oil flavor in. After 5 minutes add in water and bring mixture to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, remove heat, add lime juice, then recover and let stand for 10 more minutes. Once done, season with a little salt to taste.
- To make the corn salsa: In a medium bowl, combine corn, red onion, cilantro and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper.
- To make the bowls, evenly distribute rice, chicken, black beans and corn salsa into bowls (or containers if meal prepping.) Garnish with cheese, cilantro, hot sauce and extra salsa, if desired. If you are planning on enjoying the meal later, do not add the avocado. Add once ready to eat.
- Makes 4 servings. One for Monday-Thursday if you like.
To bake the chicken in the oven instead of the slow cooker: Place chicken in a 9x9 inch greased baking pan. Cover the top of the chicken with salsa. Bake at 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes, depending on the size/thickness of your chicken.
Nutrition information does not include garnishes such as avocado or greek yogurt.
This recipe is in partnership with GO Veggie! All recipes, opinions and text are my own. Thanks for continuing to support AK and the brands that help make this site possible!