Mornings are…rushed around here.
If I don’t pack my lunch the night before (I usually don’t), I’ve got one more thing to do in the morning in between rushing around with half wet hair and a puppy that wants to play and breakfast that doesn’t make itself.
If I have dinner leftovers, that’s great. But when I don’t? I’m scrambling around, throwing together random foods from the fridge and pantry to make something that resembles a meal.
Leftover salad, hummus, and rice cakes? Sure. Hard boiled eggs, cheese, fruit salad? That’ll work. But I don’t always have options like that hanging around, either. I try – hard – to plan ahead and at least have something easy to grab in the mornings, but we’re gone on weekends a lot visiting family and that makes planning for workday lunches even harder.
I totally didn’t want to love Chipotle, but I do. Moe’s I can pass on, but Chipotle is soooo good. And so easy. And they really load on the guac when I ask for it.
But our Chipotle is downtown which means parking is a pain and it’s basically impossible to get there when school in session here and the students are everywhere.
So instead of dodging students in the road and wasting precious lunch time standing in line, I’m taking control of my lunch hour and making my own. Lucky for me, burrito bowls are super easy to make and even easier to freeze ahead!
I received two sizes of the Glad Freezer-ware to try out, and the smaller 3 cup container size is perfect for a lunch portion.
Once the rice is made, it’s a quick assembly line process.
Layer your burrito bowl options, pop the lid on, and freeze for later. You can make lunches for an entire week in the time it would take you to get one made in the store. Plus, your burrito bowl can have as much rice or beans or guacamole as you want, no questions and no extra charges.
I’ll just say this. I made these a day ago and 2 are already gone.
Homemade Frozen Burrito Bowls
Makes: 8 servings. Multiply as needed.
- 3 and 1/2 cups water
- 4 cups quick cooking brown rice
- 1 tsp salt
- juice from 1 lime
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 cup scallions, sliced
- 2 cups fat free refried beans
- 2 cups pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 tsp each chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika
- 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded or diced
- 1 cup salsa
- 2 avocados, diced or mashed and tossed with 2 tsp lemon juice *optional to add now
- topping options: lettuce, guacamole, cheese, olives, etc.
- Bring water to a boil in a medium sauce pan and add the brown rice. Bring back to a boil, reduce the heat and let the rice simmer for 5 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and let the rice sit, covered, for another 5 minutes until the rice is cooked and all the water is absorbed.
- Stir the salt, lime juice, cilantro, and scallions into the rice and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, mix the refried beans with the pinto beans, chili powder, cumin, and paprika. Set aside.
- In another bowl, toss the cooked chicken with the salsa and set aside. *If you want to add avocado to the frozen burrito bowls, mash or dice them and toss with the lemon juice to prevent them from browning. If you want to add them later, leave out now and just add to the top of your burrito bowl once you’ve heated it up, just before eating.
- Spoon some rice into the bottom of each container, then top with the beans, *avocado (if using now), and chicken and salsa mixture.
- Once the containers are filled, put the top on and pop in the freezer.
- Heat in the microwave when you’re ready to eat, then top with guacamole, shredded lettuce, cheese, or anything else you like with your burrito bowls. Serve with chips and salsa.
What’s your favorite lunch to make ahead for busy days?
Thanks to Foodbuzz and Glad for letting me try out the new containers! Glad/Foodbuzz sent me the containers to try and a stipend for ingredients, but the recipe, ideas, and opinions are my own.
PS: Check out Glad’s Facebook page to share your own freezer-friendly recipes and win some prizes while you’re there!