Imagine a Chipotle meal where you don’t have to hear, “The guacamole is $2 extra, okay?” This is my kind of meal, as I prefer to stuff my face with guacamole without being reminded of the price of avocados.
This is my current go-to lunch. I keep a big batch of the chicken in the fridge, along with the extra squash and cilantro cauliflower rice. Then, I quickly heat-up the components (a toaster oven is great for this) and enjoy.
Note that this recipe is heavy on the nightshades, which are eliminated on the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol. I recently re-introduced nightshades into my diet after eliminating them for a couple of years. And that is the beauty of a leaky gut protocol – the ability to eventually enjoy tomatoes without any symptoms of autoimmunity!
The Elements: Paleo Burrito Bowl
Smoked Chili Butternut Squash – For a hearty and colorful addition to this burrito bowl, I added some spiced butternut squash. Feel free to use sweet potatoes, roasted with the same seasoning, instead.
Crockpot Mexican Chicken – When I need a storehouse of quick lunch-time protein in the fridge, I’ll throw some chicken thighs in the crockpot in the morning. By 1pm, this fragrant and melt-in-your-mouth staple is ready.
Cilantro Cauliflower Rice – Cauliflower rice provides a fresh, neutral base for the hearty toppings. A bit of cilantro and a squeeze of lime jazzes up this grain-free staple.
The fixings – Avocado or guacamole, salsa of choice, sliced lime, chopped cilantro…
- 1½ - 2 lbs. skinless and boneless chicken thighs
- ¾ cup salsa of choice
- 1 tsp. mild chili powder blend (such as this one)
- Unrefined salt, to taste
- 1 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed (substitute 2 sweet potatoes, prepared similarly)
- 1 tsp. mild chili powder blend
- ½ tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 tbs. melted coconut oil/ghee or olive oil
- ½ tsp. unrefined salt
- 2 small heads or 1 large head cauliflower, in florets
- 1 Tbs. ghee or coconut oil
- ¼ cup broth/stock of choice
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- ½ fresh lime
- Avocado or guacamole
- Additional lime and cilantro
- For the chicken, place the ingredients except the salt in a slow cooker. Cook on LOW for about 6 hours, or HIGH for about 3-4 hours. When done, shred with a fork and season with a pinch of salt.
- For the squash, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line two baking sheets lined with unbleached parchment paper for easy cleanup. On the baking sheets, toss the squash with the seasonings, salt and ghee. Bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown and tender, stirring halfway through.
- For the cauliflower rice, place the cauliflower florets in a food processor (this is the one I use) and pulse until it resembles rice-sized crumbles. Heat the ghee/coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add the riced cauliflower and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the broth and cover with a lid. Cook for about 4 minutes, until softened but still firm. Remove the lid and stir to evaporate excess liquid. Stir in the lime juice and cilantro.
- For assembly, place some rice and squash in a bowl and top with chicken and the toppings of your choice.
- Leftover chicken stores very well in the fridge - be sure to add some of the cooking liquid when you store the chicken to keep it moist.