One of the best, cheapest, quickest meals around is the Burrito Bowl from Chipotle Mexican Grill:
I refer to it as the “Burrito Trough” because it’s so darn huge. On this occasion, I got a vegetarian bowl with the cilantro-lime rice, black beans, grilled peppers and onions, red tomatillo salsa, corn, a touch of sour cream, guacamole, and lettuce.
PROTIP #1: At my Chipotle they charge $1.70 extra if you want guacamole. You definitely want guacamole – it’s the best I can get outside of my own kitchen, and even then it’s a very close second. However, if you order the vegetarian bowl, they don’t charge for the guac. Awesome.
PROTIP #2: Ordering the burrito bowl instead of a burrito in a tortilla saves you 290 calories, 9 grams of fat, and 3 grams of saturated fat (please see link to the Chipotle nutrition calculator, below). It is also a lot less messy to eat.
PROTIP #3: When I was a vegan, sometimes people would admonish me for eating at Chipotle because it was owned by McDonald’s, and McDonald’s isn’t the sort of thing a vegan should be supporting. According to wikipedia.org, “In the past, McDonald’s Corporation owned a majority interest in Chipotle. McDonald’s has since sold their entire stake in Chipotle; full divestment was completed in October 2006.” So, this is no longer a concern. In addition, the wikipedia article on the restaurant says, “All of Chipotle’s chicken and pork are naturally raised (i.e., open-range, antibiotic free, and with a vegetarian diet), as well as 50% of the beef. In 2009, Chipotle began purchasing beef, pork, and chicken products from Joel Salatin’s Polyface Farm in Virginia, which was featured in the film Food, Inc. Also, approximately 30% of the beans are organically grown. The company pledges to use more local produce when possible.” That’s pretty cool. And no, I didn’t get any money from Chipotle for writing this. 😀
If you are lucky enough to have a Chipotle Mexican Grill in your area and are wondering about the nutrition information for your favorite meal, check out the Chipotle Nutrition Calculator. It doesn’t give you the information for vitamins and minerals, but calories, fat, fiber, sodium, and so forth are all there. My burrito bowl contains 100% of the daily intake for fiber. I’m impressed. And very full.