Chicken / Gluten Free / Paleo / Under $5/Serving / Whole 30 Approved

Burrito Bowl on a Budget

I have been an official resident of San Francisco now for a little over 3 months and although I had hoped I could adjust to the cost of living here, I feel like I have a lot more adjusting to do.  It is time to re-commit myself to keeping on a budget and since, besides rent, the vast majority of my expenses are food related (don’t judge), it seems that it is also time to re-commit myself to this blog (sorry for the hiatus). A couple of aspirations:

1. $5 meals: I will attempt to make almost every meal less than $5 per serving. Allowing of course for the occasional splurge on special occasions and dinner guests. Hey, if that Melissa d’Arabian lady can make entire dinners for a family of 4 for $10 (although usually with copious amounts of gluten), I can pull this off.

2. Limit Eating Out: So I admit, this one is depressing. Moving to one of the best food cities in the country (or maybe the world) and not being able to fully indulge is going to take some serious willpower. I will try to pull off eating out just once a week, with a focus on exploring the plethora of San Francisco’s amazing restaurants. This means limiting the urge to make one, or multiple nights of the week “Chipotle nights.”

I LOVE me some Chipotle, so in an effort to not make this too hard on me, I came up with today’s recipe. It is easy to make and is just what a girl needs to overcome that Chipotle craving.  There are three components to these burritos bowls – Slow Cooked Southwest Chicken, Cilantro Lime “Rice”, & Guacamole Slaw.  Regular guacamole would be just fine too, but I improvised tonight when my avocados were not quite ripe enough for mashing, and I had some extra shredded cabbage that needed a home. I really liked the results and hope you do too!

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Slow Cooked Southwest Chicken
 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs  $6.99
 1 tbs chili powder  $0.60
 1 tbs cumin  $0.42
 .5 tbs onion powder   $0.12
 .5 tbs garlic power  $0.07
 .5 tbs dried oregano  $0.06
 1 tsp red chili flakes  $0.07
 1 cup chicken broth $0.50
 1 tsp salt neg
 Total  $ 3.59
Cilantro Lime “Rice”
 1 head of cauliflower  $2.19
 juice and zest of 1 lime  $0.59
 2 tbs cilantro  $0.38
 1 tbs butter/ghee  $0.18
 .5 cup chicken broth  $0.25
 Salt and pepper to taste  neg
 Total  $ 3.59
Guacamole Slaw
  8 oz. of shredded cabbage  $0.90
 juice and zest of 1 lime  $0.59
 1 tbs cilantro  $0.19
 3 green onions  $0.30
 1 clove of garlic  $0.05
 1/4 of pint of cherry tomatoes  $1.33
 2 avocados  $2.25
 .5 of jalapeno (seeded and de-veined)  $0.13
 Salt and pepper to taste  neg
 Total  $ 5.74
 Meal Total  $ 17.98
 Total Per Serving (4)  $ 4.50

1. For the Southwest Chicken, whisk together the chicken broth and spices and then pour over the chicken thighs in a slow cooker. Cook on low for 5 hours.

Note: If you don’t have a slow cooker or don’t have 5 hours to burn, you can really cook the chicken however you would like (grill it, chop it up and pan fry it etc). I like to make it in the slow cooker because it is super easy and so very tender.

2. For the Cilantro Lime “Rice”, start by “riceing” the cauliflower in the food processor. It you have never done this before you might want to check out this Everyday Maven page for the play by play. Really simple, I promise!

3. Chop the cilantro, zest the lime and mix it in with the cauliflower. Put the cauliflower rice mixture along with the chicken broth, lime juice, butter, salt and pepper in a rice cooker and cook for about 10 minutes or until tender (stir one time once the butter has melted).

Note: If you don’t have a rice cooker you can also just throw the ingredients in a medium size pot over the stove and cook until the cauliflower is tender. The rice cooker just seems easier to me (and it is the only way I get to use this beloved little appliance anymore).

4. While the rice is cooking, work on the Guacamole Slaw. Place the shredded cabbage in a medium bowl and add the lime zest, juice, salt and pepper. Stir together and let macerate while you prep the rest of the ingredients in #5.

5. Chop the cilantro, onions (both the white and green parts), garlic and jalapeno Halve the cherry tomatoes and cross-hatch and scoop out the avocados (here are some tips).

6. Once everything is prepped, gently toss all the slaw ingredients together.

7. When the rice is finished it is time to prep the bowls!  Layer the rice on the bottom of the bowl, and cover with chicken which should be very tender and shred easily. Top it off with a healthy scoop of the slaw and enjoy!!

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