Everyday Mom's Meals: Not So Cheap

Friday, July 31, 2015

Not So Cheap

About 3 years ago, Qdoba came to Fort Wayne. I don't know if I had ever heard of them before that, but being Mexican food, we were certainly happy to have another option, since it's one of our favorites. Oh, and it didn't hurt that Mr. E. actually won FREE meals for a year at their grand opening!

Yep, for an entire year, the three of us could go in there and have a delicious meal, absolutely free. And being at a time when money was a little tight, we were especially grateful for the treat.

But after the year was up, I have to admit our visits became less and less frequent to the point I can't tell you the last time we ate there. Believe me, it's not that we don't still love the food, but the first time we went in and got the same meals we had been getting for free, and had to pay for them we realized just how not so cheap it was. I'm not dissing them in anyway. They have fresh ingredients, delicious food, and ask a fair price. But for a family of 3, I paid about the same as I do for a sit down meal, with a server...and they are a little closer to the fast food category in my opinion, which is totally fine, but if I'm paying that money, I kinda don't want to have to get my won drink. You know what I'm saying?

So a couple weeks ago and when Little Man and I started talking about how badly we were craving one of their burrito bowls, I decided it was time to try to recreate them at home. But instead of doing them individually on an assembly line like they do in the restaurant, I figured why not make a big one. In one pot. Easy peasy.

I adore one pot meals, and I know so many of you do too. Especially with back to school time upon us, those simple meals that can be on the table in about 30 minutes are crucial to moms (and dads) every where not pulling our hair out.

Add your favorite ingredients to this to really make it your own. I think corn would be delicious, and maybe even some hot peppers for those who like it spicy.

I love going out to eat, and when we do, I still want to stay on budget and get the most bang for our buck. So when places have to get scratched off the "to go" list, at least I can recreate our favorites at home.

Chicken Burrito Skillet
Inspired by no. 2 pencil
2 boneless chicken breasts (about 1 lb.) cubed
3 TBS olive oil, divided
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 c. extra long grain rice
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
2 1/2 c. chicken broth
2 c. shredded taco blend cheese
1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
3 green onions, chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste

Additional Topping Ideas:
Sour Cream
Taco Sauce
Green Chilies
Pickled Jalapenos
Diced Avocado

In a large skillet, heat 2 TBS oil over medium high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Add to hot oil. Cook for about 5-7 minutes until browned on all sides. Move chicken to sides of pan. Add other TBS of oil and allow to come to temp. Add rice, cook and stir for about 2 minutes until just beginning to brown on edges. Stir in chicken broth, beans, tomatoes, and seasonings. Mix well. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for about 20 minutes until rice is tender and liquid has been absorbed. Stir occasionally while cooking. Remove from heat, sprinkle with cheese, cover again and place on warm setting until cheese melts. Garnish with chopped tomatoes and green onions.

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