This one helps to address To-Do List items #5 (Make dinner from scratch 2x/wk), #23 (Try a new recipe once a week), and #24 (Bring my lunch to work 95% of the time). I love, seriously LOVE, eating at Qdoba and Chipotle. I’m not too picky about which one, but I love the concept: fresh ingredients, quick meal, no fries. If they had an indoor playground for my kid, I’d probably eat there 5 days a week. Which would be no good for my wallet and probably not for that ass shelf I’ve been growing these days. Recently I’ve seen several recipes on Pinterest claiming to replicate that Tex-Mex goodness. Last night I decided to try it myself to see how it compared. I chose to make tacos since I already had corn tortillas, but you can create any of the dishes, tacos, burritos, nachos, etc, with the basic ingredients. Just change your platform (chips, tortillas, taco shells) to change your meal!
First: the chicken. If I would have thought about this prior to 4 pm yesterday, I would have defrosted some chicken or thrown some chicken into the crockpot. Unfortunately most of my dinner ideas occur to me at the last minute. So on the way home I picked up a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. I know this sort of cancels out the “dinner from scratch” idea, but I did save all the bones to use for stock, so I think that restores me to good standing. I simply shredded the chicken when I got home and threw the bones/carcass (nasty word) into a zipper freezer bag to make chicken stock some other day. Chicken done.
After reviewing several recipes for the cilantro lime rice, I ended up just winging it. I make all my rice in a rice cooker because rice is one of two dishes that always fails for me (the other is pancakes). I threw 1.5 cups of rice into the rice cooker, added the water as specified by my cooker, and turned it on. I used brown rice because it’s all I had. I do wish I had white rice because I think it would have been fluffier, but it was good enough. Once the rice cooker finished doing it’s thing, I threw in about 2 tablespoons of butter to moisten the rice (I don’t think this would be necessary if I had used white rice), a bunch of cilantro leaves and squeezed in the juice of a small lime. Rice done.
While my rice was cooking I opened a can of black beans and a can of diced chiles and heated them together in a small sauce pan. I smashed a couple of the black beans with a fork to make it a little more saucy. Beans done.
Other toppings I put out: shredded cheese, sliced avocado, salsa and sour cream. I heated the corn tortillas by heating a small omelet pan on the stove and then placing each tortilla in the pan for about 30 seconds on each side. You want them to get warm enough that they become flexible, but don’t leave in so long that they start to dry and harden. Dinner done.
I made Goober a regular burrito bowl with out the tortilla since he doesn’t quite grasp the taco concept and Hubby and I each had 3 tacos. I had enough leftovers for a burrito bowl lunch today and there is still some shredded chicken in the fridge.
The verdict: Really really good. It was an easy meal, not a lot of prep work, very filling, and much cheaper than going to the actual restaurant. This will definitely be a repeat meal in our house!