My Version of Chipotle’s Salad for Meatless Monday

by Christy aka the Missus on June 7, 2010


Welcome to Meatless Monday! Have you heard about this movement yet? In Los Angeles there are several restaurants and chefs supporting Meatless Monday, which is an international movement to help people reduce their meat consumption by 15%, in order to improve personal health and the health of the planet. Mario Batali’s on board as are Michael Pollen, The Hard Rock Cafe in London, the Planet Green television channel, PUMA’s headquarters in Germany, Al Gore, Yoko Ono and Ghent, Belgium, which became the first city in the western world to go meatless once a week! I’ll admit, I’m surprised and thrilled at the diversity of those on board. Being a veg-head myself, this movement is extraordinary in not only raising awareness but also at getting people to eat their veg!

Speaking of, last week I wrote about Chipotle Mexican Grill. Yes, the Irishman and I are quite fond of their salads but interestingly last night over dinner with friends the subject of sodium came up, specifically in Chipotle’s food. As I sat and listened I couldn’t help thinking, ‘oh c’mon–don’t take my beloved salad away from me for Heaven’s sake!’ yet this morning I found myself looking up the sodium amounts. Good grief, my little ol’ vegetarian salad contains 2355 mg of sodium. Sadly that’s over a day’s worth of recommended sodium intake. This is what my salad looks like with (on the right) and without (on the left) dressing, though I only use 1/2 the dressing. To see how you’re choices stack up click here.

Without Salad Dressing With Salad Dressing

So I decided to make my own version, which didn’t take much time at all and was just as good!

RECIPE:
Serves 2

1 head  Romaine Lettuce – chopped
1 bag dried organic black beans, soaked per instructions
cumin
1 small white onion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
olive oil
salt

I like to make my own beans vs canned beans because I always have leftovers, which I love. Boil beans, following the instructions on the bag. Add about a 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt to your water to flavor the beans (remember you won’t be eating the whole bag’s worth so the salt will be divvied up) along with a teaspoon of cumin. I happen to really like cumin so I end up adding in more but start with a smaller amount, taste and season according to your palate.

While the beans are cooking make your fresh salsas & the dressing. You may notice I don’t have exact quantities written down on the salsas but that’s because I end up adding stuff in according to my taste buds. Food doesn’t have to be too specific so just have fun with it. I like to make a big ol’ batch of each to use during the rest of the week.

PICO DE GALLO

grape tomatoes, chopped
red onion, fine dice
cilantro, chopped
pinch of salt
squeeze of fresh lime juice

DIRECTIONS:
Mix all of the ingredients together. Easy!

CORN SALSA
2-4 ears fresh organic corn (save some for leftovers)
radishes, chopped
grape tomatoes, chopped
cilantro, chopped
pinch of salt
squeeze of fresh lime juice

DIRECTIONS:
It’s corn season so go for fresh!
Boil the corn first. Once cooled, remove the kernals from the cob.
TIP: You can use canned corn but be sure it’s organic, which is non-GMO, and read your labels. All you want to see is corn & water (no salt or sugar added).
Mix everything together and refrigerate until needed.


GUACAMOLE

2 ripe avocados
cilantro, chopped
lime zest
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper

DIRECTIONS:
Mash the avocado in a bowl then add in the rest of the ingredients. Mix well, taste and season. Refrigerate.

CHIPOTLE VINAIGRETTE
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce + 1 1/2 tsp of sauce
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/4 cup cilantro
1/2 tsp honey
pinch of salt
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
squeeze lemon juice

DIRECTIONS
Add in all the ingredients except for the oil into a food processor or blender and blend. While blending, slowly add in the olive oil. Pop in the fridge. If it separates just give it a good ol’ shake.
I like the contrast of the warm beans on top of chilled lettuce so when the beans are ready I let them simmer while I make the fajita veggies. For that all you do is saute the veg in about a tbsp or so of olive oil until they soften, about 20 minutes.

TO ASSEMBLE (matching Chipotle’s quantities):

Arrange the lettuce on a plate. Spoon about 3/4 cup of the beans on top followed by about 1/3 cup oz of fajita vegetables, about 1/3 cup of pico de gallo, about 1/3 cup of corn salsa and 1/3 cup of guacamole. Top with 2 tbsp of dressing and your favorite hot sauce.

Calorie-wise my numbers pretty much evened out but I think I added some interesting twists that added more flavor and more vitamins & nutirents. Plus, I’m pretty sure my sodium levels were much lower. Can’t wait to eat my Meatless Monday salad!

All recipes are made with the finest quality farmers’ market whole foods, natural and non-processed ingredients as much as possible.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mary Bess June 7, 2010 at 3:51 pm

Thanks Gavan! This one’s a keeper!

I LOVE Chipotle and especially their grilled chicken salads but have often wondered how high the sodium content was, knowing (but not really WANTING to know what it was!!) that it was probably up there.

So, I’m going to give your version a try. I know it will be just as good, if not better!!

xx Mary Bess

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