There’s an old quote about comparison being the thief of joy. Now I know why.
Here’s a confession: I love burritos. Like really love them. Especially burrito bowls from Chipotle. Last year there was a period where I swear I went there at least once a week with the ladies from work. And while I was in London, the sisters and I made an exception to our not-eating-out-much rule for burritos. (At least I’m not alone in my crazy love for burritos, right?)
It’s not uncommon for people to make comparable burrito bowls at home, and while I’d been slightly skeptical that they were just as good, I thought I’d give it a shot given my efforts of living more simply this month. Why go to Chipotle once when I can make it at home and have it last for four or five meals?
Because it’s much better, as I found out tonight.
Granted I have two disclaimers. The first is that I technically didn’t have a recipe for a true burrito bowl or even Chipotle’s cilantro lime rice, which I love. Instead I wanted to be a little adventurous and try a quinoa black bean burrito bowl. It looks really great in the photo and I had quinoa on hand, so I decided to run with it. While I knew it wasn’t quite comparing apples to apples, how different could it be?
The second disclaimer is that I (naturally) didn’t follow the recipe. If I’m being really honest, I didn’t even look at it while I was cooking. I planned to — I even printed it out, which I rarely do. But once I start the quinoa and chicken (something the recipe didn’t call for…), I went full steam ahead with what seemed intuitive. In the end I think I covered most of the ingredients, but that may just be pure luck.
Given those two (not so) minor facts, it’s probably my own fault that the burrito bowl didn’t turn out quite like I’d hoped. Not that it was bad, mind you. It just wasn’t quite what I was hoping for (though it was probably a bit healthier):
Once I stopped thinking about what it wasn’t, though, I started to enjoy the burrito bowl for what it was. It felt a lot lighter and the flavors stood out a bit more with this dish. I’m torn on whether I’d use quinoa again, though. Given all the other flavors I don’t know that using rice instead would have made a huge difference, and they tend to be pretty interchangeable to me anyway. Adding pico de gallo would definitely help (I somehow missed tomatoes on my grocery shopping excursion yesterday…) but otherwise it was a perfectly fine dish. And to think that comparisons were taking away from the satisfaction of a healthy home-cooked meal.
Let’s hope I don’t fall into the same trap tomorrow. I’ve got about four more meals of this that I’m planning to eat in the name of simplicity (and it actually does save me time and money, so I can’t complain).