Tag Archives: chipotle

Weekly Eating – 8/6/18

 

Hey y’all! Welcome to the series Weekly Eating.

Here is where I’ll talk about the week’s meal plan versus reality, what we ate for the week, and how we did budget-wise. I hope it gives readers a behind-the-scenes look into our life through the lens of food, and it’s also a way to keep us on track with meal planning and grocery budgeting.

Feel free to share your wins and lessons in the comments below!

 

Well, I survived my long drive last weekend to Ohio, and turns out it was pretty worth it. The bridal shower was beautiful, they did a great job of decorating and making the hall magical. And it was so nice to see family, I hadn’t been to town in about 2 years.

weekly eating budget epicurean

We caught up on life and things, and just being around the people who raised you is always comfortable. I also benefited, as there were several items I brought home that I previously hadn’t been able to get because I flew rather than drove. I inherited an Instant Pot my mom used once and didn’t like (hello, canning in my future!), a cast iron griddle that was too heavy for my grandma to use, a box full of mason jars, and handkerchiefs from my great grandmother.

weekly eating budget epicurean

I’m pretty excited to use some family heirlooms in my Zero Waste journey. It goes to show you that you should always ask around, old folks lived in times where zero waste was just a way of life, and they know things that we as a society have forgotten.

 

Monday:

Breakfast – potatoes, eggs, and pancakes

Lunch – chili at work. It was a crazy busy day, so I would not have been able to eat at all if a co-worker hadn’t brought chili and pretty much forced me to eat a bowl. The cornbread muffin was really good

Dinner – Chipotle! I know that’s 2 weeks in a row. I’m not mad. Does derail the diet plans a bit…

Tuesday:

Breakfast – Leftover pancake, with bacon and candied walnuts

Lunch – Baked sweet potato, black beans, avocado, and salsa

weekly eating budget epicurean

Dinner – Rest of the Chipotle

weekly eating budget epicurean

Wednesday:

Breakfast – Corn tortillas with fried potatoes, peppers & onions, and sweet potato leaves! Turns out they taste just like spinach when cooked, and we have an abundance of them right now.

weekly eating budget epicurean

Lunch – baked sweet potato with black beans, avocado, and salsa

Dinner – Slow cooker tofu masala. I chopped up onions and bell peppers, mixed garlic, ginger, tons of spices, tofu, and coconut milk and let it simmer on low all day at work. When I came home, the house smelled amazing and as soon as the rice cooker was done our dinner was ready. Ridiculously healthy, tasty, and satisfying.

weekly eating budget epicurean

I made a big batch of blueberry banana muffins using this recipe from Amazing Paleo because I want to experiment with more gluten free recipes (so I have things for next time my sister visits). I used local NC blueberries instead of nuts.

weekly eating budget epicurean

I also made 2 more loaves of my favorite white bread because we were out. It was getting late, so I decided to let it rise overnight and go to bed rather than rush it or stay up too late baking. In the morning it turned out they had risen into monster blobs!

budget epicurean weekly eating

Haha still tasty, and actually the loaves were extra light and fluffy due to the overnight rise time. I bet I could turn this dough into 3 loaves with the extra rise time.

Thursday:

Breakfast – Paleo blueberry muffins

Snack – hummus & raw veggies

weekly eating budget epicurean

Lunch – tofu tikka masala

weekly eating budget epicurean

Snack – my favorite chocolate PB bars, and a salad because they had a potluck at work for someone’s retirement

Dinner – Thursday night Co-op $3 dinner! Loaded baked sweet potatoes with black bean and corn salsa, vegan butter and sour cream, and cinnamon sugar & raisins.

It was a blast, and I also finally made the leap and became an owner… It’s a one time fee of $100 and you get discounts and deals all year long. This was also my first Zero Waste grocery shopping adventure!

weekly eating budget epicurean bulk grocery shopping

Bringing jars and tare-ing was a little awkward at first but the cashier clearly is familiar with the process. And the per pound deals are pretty great. Sadly I did smash my biggest pickle jar, so I was quite sad about that…

weekly eating budget epicurean bulk grocery shopping

Friday:

Breakfast – PBFit on fresh bread

weekly eating budget epicurean

Lunch – lunch out with a friend. I did half great with this. I remembered to bring my towel as a napkin, and even brought my own real fork for the salad. But I did not have a container, so I was stuck with a huge plastic clamshell. Baby steps, this is still progress.

weekly eating budget epicurean

Snack – fresh fruit! I cut up a TON of fruits last night, so we have a wall of containers in the fridge with local NC fruit now.

Dinner – Last of some leftover beef n vegetable soup with my homemade bread.

The Weekend

This will hopefully be a pretty chill weekend. We don’t have any real plans yet, besides several potential friend hangouts, weather permitting. I will probably do some sort of baking or sewing project, like trying a batch of tortillas or crepes, maybe some gnocchi. We are still slowly sifting through the freezer and pantry and cleaning it out, so I’m trying to come up with recipes to use what I have that the boy will also actually like and eat.

We also have a lot of yard work to do, and various housekeeping and cleaning. Vacuum, sweep, laundry, clean the bathrooms… you know, adulting things. I may make some time for relaxing, a new sewing project I have in mind, and/or taking my books back to the library too.

Food Total: $44.12 + $146.27

This is extra high because it includes the $100 membership fee to become an owner in the Durham Co-op. It is a one time fee, and without it I still only spent $90 on food this week! Yay!

Lessons Learned

Bulk shopping is super cheap, and not as hard as you may think. Any glass, or even plastic, container will do. I did learn that a wide-mouth jar is best, as the pour spouts for the bulk containers are very wide, and if your jar you’re pouring into is too narrow, you will fling pinto beans and dried rice all over the place. Don’t be that guy. Luckily my store had a handy wide mouth cup to use, to pour from the container into and then pour from the cup into my smaller containers. It’s like they’ve done this once or twice.

 

 

How about you guys? Did you have a learning week or an awesome week of wins?

Tofu Sofritas Lettuce Wraps

 

For those of you who don’t know, or don’t eat at Chipotle, the fast-casual Mexican chain, they have a new vegetarian/vegan option: the sofritas.

This option is shredded pressed tofu, marinaded in sofrito sauce and braised on the grill like their meats. There is debate as to whether it is worth the added cost (if you put guac on it too) over a plain no-meat burrito or bowl, but that choice is yours to make.

Sofrito, or refogado, is traditionally a sauce made from aromatics like garlic, onion, peppers, tomato, and paprika cooked in olive oil. Used in Brazilian, Spanish, and Portuguese cooking, the preparation varies as each cook makes theirs unique based on seasonal cuisine and local taste preferences.

Rather than shell out $8.50 + tax (or whatever a burrito runs in your neck of the woods) how about you make your very own at home for a larger batch at a much lower price? It’s super easy, even if you’ve never cooked tofu before. You don’t even have to press it first, as you usually do with tofu, because you will shred and fry it.

The other ingredients are the things I like in my bowl/taco. Feel free to improvise with whatever toppings you like and have. Try: coleslaw, salsa, tomatillos, hot sauce, jalapenos, beans of all kinds, onions, cilantro, sour cream, avocado, shredded cheese…

Ingredients:

Wrap Toppings:

  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1 cup cooked pinto beans
  • 2 tbsp hummus
  • Fresh diced tomato
  • 1 fresh avocado
  • 1 head romaine, outer leaves removed
  • Optional: use tortillas (or make your own)

IMG_7841

Step 1: Drain the tofu, and heat the oil in a pan. Using a fork or your hands, smash the tofu into crumbles.

IMG_7842

Step 2: Dice or crush the garlic, add to the oil until fragrant, then add the tofu. Pour on your hot sauce and spices.

IMG_7844

Because the meat-eater was joining me, I mixed tofu and ground turkey together. Keep it veg/vegan by not adding turkey, or slowly introduce tofu to someone this way.

IMG_7846

Step 3: Keep mixing until tofu develops a nice deep red/brown color, about 10-12 minutes.

IMG_7847

Step 4: Sprinkle the yeast into the tofu, and squeeze the lime juice over top. Take a large romaine leaf, and top with a heaping tbsp or two of sofritas.

IMG_7849

Add the other toppings you like, and wrap it all up.

IMG_7852

This makes a hearty and filling wrap, you can eat two or three and still have a very low total calorie count. If opposed to the lettuce, feel free to make it a bowl or use tortillas.

Tofu Sofritas Lettuce Wraps

Tofu Sofritas Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients

  • 1 block firm tofu
  • 1/3 cup sriracha or other hot sauce
  • 2 tbsp red chili spices
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Juice of one lime
  • Several large romaine leaves
  • Other toppings: avocado, rice, beans, salsa, etc.

Instructions

  1. Drain the tofu, and heat the oil in a pan. Using a fork or your hands, smash the tofu into crumbles.
  2. Dice or crush the garlic, add to the oil until fragrant, then add the tofu. Pour in your hot sauce and spices.
  3. Keep mixing until tofu develops a nice deep red/brown color, 10-12 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle the yeast into the tofu, and squeeze the lime juice over top.
  5. Take a large romaine leaf, and top with a heaping tbsp or two of sofritas. Add any other toppings you like, and wrap it all up. Alternatively, make it a bowl, or use a tortilla.
Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://www.budgetepicurean.com/vegan/tofu-sofritas-lettuce-wraps/

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. By purchasing items through these links, the price you pay is not affected but a small percentage of proceeds go towards maintaining this blog. Thank you.

Homemade Chipotle

Cooking with Herbs Lavender and Lovage
Chipotle is one of my absolute favorite “fast food” places for several reasons. They encourage responsible practices, local and healthy food, quality, plus it is just dang delicious. However, even the best intentioned company makes some compromises to be large scale, and I always prefer making food myself so I know what’s in it and can control the portions. Plus, though $6.95 seems pretty cheap, more than once a month or so isn’t practical. 
Therefore, I decided to make my own version of my favorite, the chicken burrito bowl. A website called Chipotlefan.com has recipes for several Chipotle favorites. I used their recipe for the chicken marinade, with a few variations of my own. Then I made my own version of the fresh tomato and corn salsas based on memory, and the cilantro lime rice. Try it yourself, it isn’t exact, but it is close and Delicious!
 
Chipotle Chicken:

1 (7 ounce) can chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (remove chipotle peppers, skim out seeds)
2 tsp fresh ground ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons cumin powder
2 tbsp powdered garlic
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 quarter red onion
1/4 cup oil (canola/vegetable/olive)
Boneless skinless chicken breast or tenders

 
Step 1: Mix all marinade ingredients in a blender/food processor. Add oil until it’s slightly pourable. 
Step 2: Poke holes in chicken, and pour marinade over chicken. Let marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour up to 24 hours. The best way to cook the chicken is to grill it, but you can cook it in a frying pan with a weight on top as well.
 Chicken sitting in marinade
Spiced Pinto Beans:

1 can pinto or kidney beans, drained
1/2 cup water
3-5 bay leaves
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp garlic powder

Step 1: Drain and rinse the beans, pour into a pot. Add spices, simmer on very low for 10-60 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure the beans don’t stick.

 Seasoned beans

You can add a bit of bacon here too, if you have it and like that kind of thing. Chipotle has changed their recipe to make it vegetarian, so no bacon included.
.

.
Cilantro-Lime Rice:

1 cup rice
1 1/2 cup water or chicken bouillon
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup lime juice
Sea salt
.

Step 1: Boil the rice or prepare as directed. 

Step 2: When cooked, add the cilantro, salt and juices, fluff with a fork.

The rice magic makers. Lemon juice, lime juice, and chopped fresh cilantro.

 

Finished rice, ready to be mixed
Corn Salsa:
1/2 cup corn
1/4 red bell pepper
Pinch fresh cilantro
Splash lemon juice
1/8 red onion
Step 1: Blacken the corn in a skillet or grill. 
.
Step 2: Dice the pepper & onion, add to the corn with the cilantro and lemon, mix well. 
.
For extra spice, take one of the chipotle peppers from the adobo sauce and dice it up to add, or use a fresh seeded jalapeno.
.
 
Fresh Tomato Salsa:
1 large tomato, diced
1/8 red onion, diced
1/4 red bell pepper, diced
Handful fresh cilantro
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp lime juice
Sea salt
.
Step 1: Mix the diced tomato, onion, pepper, cilantro and juices. Add a grind or two of salt to taste. 
.
Refrigerate both salsas until ready to serve.
Chicken after grilling and dicing, salsas ready to go.

 

 Beans and rice, ready for assembly.

 

Finished plate. Can make it into a burrito, tacos, or a bowl.

I tore up a few large romaine leaves and put the rice, beans, chicken and both salsas on, with a sprinkle of cheese on top. It was deliciously fresh tasting! It is on the spicy side, so if that’s not for you then dial down the seasonings and forget about the chipotle peppers in adobo. For vegetarians, ditch the chicken and marinate some tofu, add some guacamole, or other grilled veggies. Enjoy!

This recipe submitted to the May 2014 “Cooking with Herbs” challenge!

Cooking with Herbs Lavender and Lovage