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Have you ever waddled out of a restaurant feeling so satisfied with your meal that you could hardly contain yourself from schlepping home to give that recipe a spin?

Me neither…
in respect to spinning a recipe, that is.
I’ve waddled A-PLENTY!

Which leads me to a story about a trip to our local Chipotle Restaurant.

It was 2012 and my first visit to this establishment since its grand opening in our area in 2009.

The vegan daughter and her friend had recently been inaugurated there and she was eager to share the experience with the rental units.

The rents were eager to spend time with the kipper.
So, off we went.

It was crowded with a queue of people preceding us. Within minutes, herds snaked behind us as well.
Before too long, it was my turn to place an order. I was close enough to see the small scripted menu on the back boards which loomed above the servers heads.
But, what and how to order?
The vegan husband and I were oblivious to this chain’s existence never mind having knowledge of its menu.
So, I did what I think many of you would have done in my shoes.
I shoved the vegan daughter in front of me and followed her lead.
My feast consisted of black beans, brown rice and salsa (medium-heat) swallowed up by a gargantuan sized burrito.

I’ve learned a lot since my first visit.
They’ve cornered the fast food market on the use of fresh organic ingredients…it caters to a vegan and vegetarian diet more so than many high-end restaurants…they provide service with a Botox free smile.

Here’s what else I’ve learned.
The portions are massive. Take it from someone who has always struggled with portion control, this had the potential to set a dangerous precedence.
The food was scrumptious yet jeopardous to the waistline!

All of this leads me to present day, 2014.
We have returned twice since our initial visit and I have finally gotten around to giving certain Chipotle dishes a spin. While they may not taste exactly like the chain’s, I think they give it a good run for its money.

My dish and its portion size consist of a mountain of greens, 2-3 tbsp each of beans, rice, and corn salsa, a small scoop of fajitas, and a smattering of both diced red cabbage and red pepper.

I hope you enjoy this very healthy smackdown.

serves 6-8, burrito style (normal size)


The order in which I prepared this dish:
roasted peppers (poblano and jalapeño)
prepped ingredients for black beans
Set aside peppers in baggies after roasting
Continued to prep bean ingredients
Cooked black beans while prepping ingredients for the remaining dishes – diced onions, cilantro, juiced lemons and limes, sliced green peppers.

Corn Salsa

1 lb frozen or fresh corn
1/2 large sweet onion, diced (red or white)
1 roasted poblano pepper, diced
1 roasted jalapeño pepper, diced
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsp lime juice

Roast peppers at 500° for about 20-30 minutes, turning as the sides blacken until all sides are roasted. Remove from heat and place in baggie. Set aside.
Heat corn on stove-top or microwave until warmed.
Skin, seed and dice peppers.
Add remaining ingredients and heat through.
Once veggies are prepped, this dish takes only 5 minutes to prepare

Brown Rice

2 cups water
1 cup brown rice
1/4 -1/2 lemon, juice from
1/4 -1/2 lime, juice from
1 – 2 tbsp cilantro

Bring water to boil. Add rice. Bring back to a boil and reduce heat to low. Cook until rice is tender about 45 minutes. Add lemon and lime juice a little at a time until you reach a desired amount.
Add cilantro.
This dish takes about an hour to prepare.
* I’ve cooked the rice with the juices added from the start and each time it resulted in mushy rice. The results were better when I waited to add the juice.

Black Beans

1 1/2 c dry black beans, soaked overnight
4 shallots, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 red pepper, diced
1 tomato, diced
1 jalapeño, diced
1 bay leaf
2 tsp cumin
2 tbsp oregano, fresh
1 tsp sea salt
cracked pepper, to taste
1 – 2 tbsp cilantro
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Soak beans overnight.
In a large pot, combine all ingredients but cilantro and vinegar. Add enough water to generously cover all ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and cook until beans soften. About 60-90 minutes. You may need to add water from time to time until beans are tender.
Scoop 1 large portions of beans and process in a vitamix or blender.
Return portion to pot, add vinegar and cilantro.
Leave on low heat and let simmer until ready to serve.
Once veggies are prepped, this takes about 90 minutes to prepare. Or leave on low heat to simmer throughout the day.

Fajita vegetables

1 tbsp coconut oil
2 green peppers, sliced
1 sweet onion, sliced
oregano, torn if pieces are large (to your desired level, I don’t measure)

Heat coconut oil on high. Reduce heat to medium. Add peppers, onions and oregano. Heat through until desired level of tenderness.
Once veggies are prepped, this takes about 5-10 minutes to prepare.

What is your favorite Chipotle feast? Please share…