DIY Chipotle Burrito Bowls

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted! Brandon and I are in the middle of a move/job change, and things have been a little weird around the house lately… especially food wise. But since we can’t live on frozen pizza and I’m sure my mom is tired of cooking for us, I decided it was time to break out the pots and pans for some delicious DIY Chipotle Bowls.

I don’t know if it’s a universal thing, but Chipotle is a big deal here in Ohio. People go nuts for Chipotle… me included. I’m a little ashamed at how many times I’ve stood in a long line waiting for the place to even open. Opting not to drive 40 minutes to the closest town with Chipotle and trying to avoid the lines and cramped seating, we decided to try our own recipe at home. Here’s how to achieve yummy copycat Chipotle from the comfort of your own kitchen.

DIY Chipotle Burrito Bowl

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YOU’LL NEED:

Chicken

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Rice

  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup of rice of your choosing (we prefer brown)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 lime
  • freshly chopped cilantro
  • salt to taste

Corn Salsa

  • Two cans sweet corn
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 serrano pepper, finely chopped
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • freshly chopped cilantro
  • ½ red onion, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Other Toppings (we used)

  • 1 cup black beans
  • guacamole (2 avocados, ½ cup sour cream, salt)
  • mozzarella cheese

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YOU WILL:

Chicken

  • Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, making sure to stir and coat the chicken evenly
  • Place the mixture in the fridge to marinate for at least an hour
  • Heat stove to medium high and cook the chicken for about 5 minutes on each side, or until the chicken is cooked
  • Remove, let rest for a few minutes, then chop into small pieces

Rice

  • In a saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat
  • Once hot, add the rice and lime juice and sauté the rice for about a minute to toast it
  • Add the water and bring the rice to a boil, then cover and reduce heat
  • Cook until rice is tender and water is absorbed
  • Add cilantro and fluff

Corn Salsa

  • Drain the corn and pour into a large bowl
  • Add the finely chopped jalapeno and serrano peppers
  • Add the finely chopped red pepper
  • Add cilantro
  • Add the juice of half a lime (or more, if you want)
  • Add salt and pepper to taste
  • Mix well

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So there you have it! Our DIY Bowls, which admittedly, tasted pretty darn close to the real thing! I make a quick and easy guacamole that’s just avocado and sour cream, but I know it’s not true to Chipotle. It still tasted yummy! I know the recipes seem like a hassle and are overwhelming at first, but when you get cooking, it’s pretty quick and painless. When preparing the rice, go the extra steps to make it without instant rice. And of course, if you like peppers, salsa, lettuce, etc. with your bowls or burritos, add em! The more the merrier when it comes to Chipotle. Not really. Then your burrito rips. Nobody likes a broken burrito.

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15 Minute Calzones

I haven’t been experimenting with new recipes lately because money is tight in our house. Lots of spaghetti has been made the past few weeks! I couldn’t pass up this quick calzone recipe because it was cheap and looked a lot better than frozen pizza (which is also a frequent flyer). Turns out it was just quick and delicious, just like the recipe promised. I know my picture is super lack luster. I didn’t plan on posting this recipe, but last minute I decided it’s a great recipe for those with little kids or who just have a few minutes for lunch or dinner! Enjoy!

15 Minute Calzones
Adapted from Wine and Glue

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• Pillsbury Grand Biscuits
• pizza sauce
• cheese
• pizza toppings of your choosing

• Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
• Pop open your biscuits, spread out the biscuits so they are thinner.
• Add sauce, cheese, and toppings.
• Fold over, and pinch closed and bake on a greased baking sheet for 12 minutes or until golden

One Pot Mushroom and Spinach Pasta

I finally took the plunge and made a one pot pasta dish! Ever since I started searching the internet and finding new cooking blogs, I have seen all types of one pot dishes, but I’ve never tried one. Until tonight. And with some risky (at least for us) ingredients!

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One Pot Mushroom and Spinach Pasta

You’ll need:
– a carton of sliced mushrooms
– a medium/large bushel of spinach
– ½ onion, sliced
– fettichine noodles (or whatever your favorite pasta is)
– ¼ block of cream cheese (you can sub olive oil or use a little of both!)

You will:
– combine the mushrooms, spinach, onion, and noodles in one pot with water
– cook and strain, then return pasta to pot
– add the cream cheese or oil and mix – enjoy!

That’s it! That is all you’ve got to do. The result is a yummy and nutritious meal. Brandon despises mushrooms and I’m still weary of spinach, so it was a risk for us. However, we both enjoyed it. It’s defiantly a filling and healthy pasta dish that everyone will love, and hopefully will get you and your family eating some more greens!

Copycat Chick-fil-A Chicken Bites

It’s been nearly two weeks since I’ve done a post! I have cooked in the past two weeks- don’t think I let my husband starve. I’m just growing increasingly more frustrated with my inability to photograph food. A) I use my iPhone camera and B) I typically cook dinner at 10 pm and there is no natural lighting. I know from personal experience that if the picture isn’t good, I’m not very likely to try the recipe. My goal with the blog is to share ALL the good foods, so terrible pictures don’t help very much.
I decided that these chicken bites deserved a post, even with a bad picture. Full disclosure, Brandon and I have never had Chick-fil-A, so I don’t know what to compare these to. But! They are delicious little chicken bites!

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Copycat Chick-fil-A Chicken Bites

You’ll need:
– 2 large chicken breasts, diced
– ¾ cup milk
– ¼ cup dill pickle juice
– 1 egg
– 1 ¼ cups flour
– 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
– vegetable oil
– salt and pepper

You will:
– Whisk together the egg, milk and pickle juice and pour it into a large bowl or big ziplock bag
– Add the chicken and let the pieces sit for 2-4 hours
– Combine flour, powdered sugar, salt and pepper (just a few pinches) in a large ziplock bag & shake to combine all the ingredients
– Add the chicken chunks to the bag and shake to coat the pieces completely
– Heat oil in a large skillet on medium high (make sure it sizzles and doesn’t pop when you add your pieces)
– You will cook the chicken in a few batches, as not to overcrowd the pan, so add the first batch and cook until golden brown on one side, then turn to cook the other
– Remove chicken to a plate
– Add more oil and cook the next batch, repeat if necessary

So on my first batch; I adhered to the recipe which said 3-4 minutes on each side. As you can see, some of my pieces got um… crispy. They still were delicious, which speaks to the tastiness of the recipe. I should know better by now that I know how my oven cooks and sometimes 3-4 minutes is way too long for my hunk of metal. Just be alert when cooking these things!
I totes cheated with cooking and brought home fast food fries and honey mustard from work. My work schedule has been crazy and I haven’t had time to cook, so even making part of dinner was a big victory for me. I’ve got a few more weeks of a crazy schedule ahead of me, and I’m hoping our bellies don’t suffer!

Honey Lime Chicken Skewers

I was beyond excited to try this recipe. I’m pretty sure everyone around me, especially at work, hated me for a span of 3 days because this is all I talked about. I’d drop it casually in conversation or just blatantly flail my arms around while screaming about honey and lime chicken skewers. Everyone can rest easy now because I made them for dinner tonight. Actually, no, they can’t rest easy… because I’m going to be talking about these things for a solid week.

A delicious mix of sweet and spicy, seared to perfection, these skewers make for the perfect meal.

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Honey Lime Chicken Skewers

You’ll need:

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • juice of one lime
  • 1 ½ tablespoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 2 tablespoon cilantro
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, diced

You will:

  • In a bowl – combine soy sauce, salt, pepper, honey vegetable oil, garlic, lime, red pepper flakes, and 1 tablespoon of cilantro
  • Place chicken in the marinade – cover and place in the fridge for at least one hour
  • Place chicken on skewers and heat on a grill or fry pan – cook each side for a couple minutes

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We served the skewers over a bed of white rice with some fried and seasoned potatoes.

I left the lime in the marinade bowl, cut up, instead of tossing it. I don’t know if it actually made a difference or if it was just a mental game. It also was marinating for 6 hours. I had Brandon put it in before he left for work, and I took it out as soon as I got home.

Alton Brown (Good Eats is now on Netflix!!! So I’ve been binge watching it, along with all the other goodies they added) said marinating anything for more than 2 hours is almost pointless because the meat can only  retain so much flavor. Honestly, I only leave things in so long because of scheduling conflicts. Brandon and I work staggered second shifts, he goes in a few hours after I do, making it hard to cook most of the time.

We are becoming more adventurous with our cooking. Some stuff doesn’t end up on the blog- like the yummy fresh salsa I made yesterday- just because I don’t think it’s particularly exciting enough to warrant a post. We also replaced our blender with a new and better version that doesn’t have a seal I can lose (whoopsy), and have experimented with lotsa smoothies already. I’m not sure if anyone is interested in those recipes, but I will also start to post them a little. Who doesn’t love a good smoothie recipe?!?!

Okay- so to sum this post up…

Honey lime chicken = good.

Meatloaf

Did you know there are like, a million different ways to make meatloaf? Who knew a loaf of beef could be so complex. Defiantly not me. That is, until I got my big red book of recipes, and I saw that Brandon’s family has a completely different meatloaf method than my family. My mom is loves making “concoctions” when she’s cooking. She doesn’t really measure things and just tastes as she goes, finding what works and doesn’t. Her meatloaf has always used bread crumbs and a mixture of A1, mustard, and ketchup. Brandon’s mom is more methodical with everything she does (living with her for half a year has made me a crazy list maker!), and her recipe uses stuffing and BBQ sauce.

I was dreading the day Brandon asked me to make meatloaf for dinner. I hate stuffing, and I love my mom’s meatloaf recipe. I’ve also never made a meatloaf before, and I was a bit intimidated by a massive loaf of meat and other products. The other day when that day finally came, I winced. Brandon is the pickiest non-picky eater- the taste buds of my husband are quite complex while being the same as a 7 year old’s at the same time. It was decided- I was making a meatloaf. And not just any meatloaf, the recipe from my big red book.

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MEATLOAF

You’ll need:
– 2 eggs (beaten)
– 2 lb. ground beef
– 1 package chicken flavor stuffing
– 1 cup water
– ½ cup BBQ sauce

You will:
– Preheat oven to 375 degrees
– Place beef, stuffing mix, water, egg and ¼ cup BBQ sauce in a large bowl
– Mix well
– Shape into oval loaf in 9×13 pan
– Top with remaining BBQ sauce
– Bake about an hour, or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees

I don’t have a meat thermometer, so it was a little difficult to tell when my loaf was done. I took it out prematurely at first, realizing my mistake when it was pink in the center. It was also kind of difficult for me to cut it and plate it (as it is with most things), as you can tell by my crumbly meatloaf on my plate. All in all, I did enjoy this recipe! I loathe stuffing, but I could barely taste it. And paired with my redskin mashed potatoes and corn, it was heavenly!

Taco Bake (Hassle-free walking tacos!)

Brandon and I just got back from our belated honeymoon in Philly. It was fantastic! I will be posting a blog about it and all the fun we had. We are still in the woes of post-vacation. Work is dragging and we’re overall grump-butts to everyone. I’m also going through husband withdraw. It was a treat getting to spend 6 whole days with him! We’ve been back at work for 3 days now, and they’ve been miserable. And somehow, the laundry fairy didn’t stop by the house when we were away, and I have an unnatural amount of clothes to clean.

I first heard of this recipe when my mother-in-law texted me some pictures of it. Cruel! It looked so tasty I almost drove two hours to steal it from her. I jotted it down in a book so I’d remember to try it… but like most things go, I completely forgot about it. When I was on Pintrest the other day, I spotted it again! I was quick to put it on my actual grocery list so I wouldn’t forget.

This is a quick, tasty, and easy meal! If you’re cooking for more than 3 people, or you like having leftovers, I would suggest doubling the recipe. This bake is PERFECT for work events and family outings because it is a hassle free, non-messy walking taco. Try it out!

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Taco Bake

You’ll need:
1 lb. ground beef
1 pkg taco seasoning
2/3 cup water (for seasoning)
1 bag chili cheese corn chips
1 can cheddar cheese soup
½ cup milk (for soup)
1 bag shredded mozzarella
Toppings as desired

You will:
Brown beef, drain, and add the seasoning and water
Pour enough corn chips to cover the bottom of a pan (I used a 9×9 pan)
Top with taco meat
Combine soup and milk in saucepan and heat until smooth
Top taco meat with cheese sauce
Add a thick layer of mozzarella cheese to the top of the mixture
Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes, or until top layer of cheese is melted
Serve over lettuce with desired toppings

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I didn’t serve this with any toppings, but I wish I would have. It completely slipped my mind at the store. Still, this was delicious even sans sour cream and lettuce and all the extras!

Trust me when I say it is a delicious and hassle free walking taco. The bottom chips get a little soggy, so I added a few chips to my bowl after it was done cooking to give me an extra crunch. If soggy chips completely freak you out, I’d suggest doing a very light layer of chips in the bottom of the pan and then loading up your bowl after it’s done with fresh crispy chips!