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Why Doesn’t Chipotle Have Quinoa?

This is a question I find myself asking a lot as I stand in line at this fast food chain restaurant. Not for myself of course. Gone are the days where I can indulge in something like Chipotle (it has way too much saturated fat for me, and would totally upset my Colitis and Celiac). No, I usually stand in line for my little brother while ‘socializes’ with his friends.

It’s no surprise that burrito bowls are still  very popular at Chipotle. For every one burrito, I probably see six or seven burrito bowls. The healthy eater in me knows that I can’t eat this food. But the human in me realizes that I have cravings just like everyone else. And sometimes, those cravings are for super fattening and starchy Mexican food. Today’s recipe is a much healthier version of a burrito bowl, making use of one of my favorite grains: quinoa!

vegetarian burrito bowl 2 retouched

Why Chipotle Should Serve Quinoa

I honestly don’t understand why Chipotle wouldn’t serve this grain. It’s originally a South American food, making it a perfect addition to the Mexican themed cuisine. I know there are a lot of politics to quinoa that I won’t go into today , but I still think quinoa would be a good option for diners other than rice. If anyone from Chipotle has stumbled upon today’s post, keep these three facts about quinoa in mind:

  • Complete Protein–Do you know WHY vegetarians often mix rice and beans together as a ‘complete’ protein? It’s because there are certain amino acids in rice and certain amino acids in beans that when combined have all the amino acids you need to create a protein. Regardless of whether or not I think this is an outdated theory, the good news is quinoa is already a complete protein! If you’re a vegetarian, no longer will you need to do obscure food combinations to make sure you’re getting all the protein you need. Quinoa is complete all by itself! vegetarian burrito bowl 1 retouched
  • Gluten Free–With the gluten free craze going on these days, wouldn’t it be great if Chipotle could offer another option for so many of its patrons? People forget that gluten free eaters are regular people too. We get bored with food the same way you do and sometimes we want something different. Quinoa would be a great alternative to rice.
  • Rich in Antioxidants and B Vitamins–Organic quinoa has significantly higher levels of magnesium than other grains, making it a great source for the number one mineral Americans are missing out on. It’s also rich in B vitamins, something that vegetarians often lack because it’s usually found in animal proteins.

If you’re looking for a great vegetarian Chipotle-inspired burrito bowl, then today’s recipe has your name written all over it. Feel free to add chicken, pork, or beef to add even more protein. You can also substitute the sour cream for avocado and make this a completely vegan option!

Print Recipe
Vegetarian Chipotle-Inspired Quinoa Burrito Bowl
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
  1. Pour quinoa and water in a pot, cooking until tender. Most quinoa packages have directions that you can follow accordingly.
  2. Mix beans, corn, tomatoes, salsa, lime juice, and spices in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Pour mixture into a lightly greased 9 X 13 baking pan. Cover will aluminum foil and bake at 350 for 45 minutes until juices have mostly evaporated. Remove from oven and allow to cool and thicken for 15 minutes. You should also remove the aluminum foil.
  4. Arrange the food like you would a typical burrito bowl: quinoa, beans, lettuce. Top with a dollop of sour cream.
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