Healthy Mexican “Fast Food”-Chipotle Grill!

Have you been to Chipotle Mexican Grill yet? I do not eat fast food, but this is truly revolutionary! Chef’s need to eat out too; and I am inspired many times when I do.

We just went on a road trip through California and Arizona and are now referring to our trip as the “Chipotle trip” because in 10 days we ate at Chipotle 3 times! Typically, I go out of my way to find hidden gems/food that I cannot get at home when I am on vacation or visiting another place. I love to sample the local food, and my intention was to eat mexican food in southern California and southwestern food in Arizona, but we kept finding ourselves at Chipotle. Once, we planned it with friends, and the other two times we were driving and were hungry and saw the sign and pulled off the road with glee and tire skids left on the pavement! Just kidding about the tire skids. 😉

Why? We know what to expect because they are consistent, healthy and clean. Most items are gluten-free and it is no problem to omit the dairy. It tastes great and is very affordable, I can eat for under $10  per person. And, they offer beer, and Margaritas made with Odwalla Limeade(yum), water, Izzy sodas, and your soda fountain for all you who must have your Coke or Sprite! No gluten-free beer yet, but maybe in the future. They also have a kids menu(which I have ordered from)!

Chipotle, is a restaurant that is very healthy(serves naturally raised, no antibiotics used, organic, no preservatives/hormones, seasonal, local  etc…) food. It is a mexican grill that has tacos, burritos and salad or bowls. You stand in line and go through a buffet line where the friendly employees will serve you whatever you choose. You start with what kind of tortilla(corn(crispy or soft) or flour) or skip it and ask for a bowl. Then, you choose the meat(chicken, pork, beef) and or beans(black or pinto(has pork), 3 salsas, rice, sour cream, cheese, and guacamole for an additional charge, but it is the biggest portion I’ve ever seen for a nominal charge!

But, how does the food taste? DELICIOUS! It has lots of flavor, and the meat is tender. I must admit this is the way to go if you are in a hurry. And, you can order/pay online and there is an iPod app to order too!

Here is a quote from the owner Steve who was involved in the film Food Inc. which I believe everyone should see, including children. We need to educate ourselves and be empowered. Go to Chipotle.com for photos of the food and more information or to sign up for online ordering. Give them a try, and let us know how you like the food etc…

Steve says:

“Food With Integrity” isn’t a marketing slogan. It’s not a product line of natural and organic foods. And it’s not a corporate initiative that will ever be finished or set aside to make room for other priorities. It’s a philosophy that we can always do better in terms of the food we buy. And when we say better, we mean better in every sense of the word- better tasting, coming from better sources, better for the environment, better for the animals, and better for the farmers who raise the animals and grow the produce.
The hallmarks of Food With Integrity include things like unprocessed, seasonal, family-farmed, sustainable, nutritious, naturally raised, added hormone free, organic, and artisanal. And, since embracing this philosophy, it’s had tremendous impact on how we run our restaurants and our business. It’s led us to serve more naturally raised meat than any other restaurant in the country, to push for more sustainable practices in produce farming, and to work with dairy suppliers to eliminate the use of added hormones from their operations.” End Quote of Steve.

Besides the food, Chipotle is mindful of making the ambiance/building with eco-friendly and cost-effective materials. It is very clean looking, but the acoustics leave something to be desired-so, it is a bit noisy. Many of the locations have an outdoor patio. What are you waiting for? Jump online, on your iPod or in your car and go enjoy this healthy, delicious food! See the website Chipotle.com for locations. They accept cash(yeah, the green stuff) and credit cards.

I will post a Recipe/Menu of the Week, but recommend that you go out to eat once! Have dessert at home. Luscious, sweet berries are just coming into season so, I will post my Berry Crisp recipe from my cookbook No Wheat No Dairy No Problem. There are many crisp recipes along with 163 recipes-see the Table of Contents page for your favorites.

Enjoy and Be Well, Lauren

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