Chicken & Rice Burrito Salad

chicken20_20brown20rice20salad.jpgIt’s not always easy to please the whole family at dinner time. Everyone has different likes and dislikes, so it’s great when you can create a simple but versatile meal so everyone can sort of “choose their own adventure.” This Chicken & Rice Burrito Salad can be a full meal or it can be simplified to be a smaller side dish. No matter what the kids pick and choose, you’ll be happy to know that these ingredients benefit their eyes.

The whole grain brown rice contains vitamin E, zinc, and niacin, which can improve eye health by reducing your risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Chicken also contains these vitamins and minerals, as well as lots of protein!

The veggies in this dish are full of antioxidants that also help prevent eye diseases. Tomato and avocado are loaded with the antioxidants Vitamin A, C and E. Lutein and zeaxanthin are other antioxidants found in green leafy vegetables, such as lettuce, but also in avocados.

This dish is hefty enough to stand on its own as a complete meal, but if you’d rather it be a side dish, just make it a smaller portion by taking out a few “layers”. You can simply mix the brown rice with the chicken and put a little pico de gallo on top, or put the pico de gallo atop some black beans for a separate side dish and use the guacamole for a chip dip!

There are so many ways to change up this dish. I choose the adventure that includes everything, and I hope you can find your favorite combination, too.

 

Ingredients: (2 servings)

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 cup instant whole grain brown rice, uncooked (makes 1 ½ cups cooked)
  • 2 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
  • ¾ cup canned black beans

Pico de gallo:

  • ¼ cup tomato, diced
  • 2 tbsp white onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp green pepper, diced
  • 2 tsp cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • Dash of sea salt & pepper

Guacamole:

  • 1 small ripe avocado, peeled/pitted & chopped
  • 2 tsp tomato, diced
  • ½ tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tsp lemon juice (divided)
  • Dash of sea salt & pepper

Directions:

  1. Combine the pico de gallo ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Set aside.
  2. Make guacamole by placing chopped avocado into a medium bowl and mashing it with a fork. Add in the diced tomato, cilantro, garlic, lemon juice, sea salt and pepper, and mix well.
  3. Boil 1 cup water in a medium saucepan and stir in 1 cup uncooked rice. Return to boil, then reduce to low heat; cover and simmer for about 5 minutes. Stir the rice. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for another 5 minutes until water is absorbed.
  4. Rinse the black beans and warm them on the stove or in the microwave.
  5. Cut the chicken breasts into strips. Put a little oil (I used coconut oil) in a pan and turn to medium heat. Place the chicken strips into the pan and season with 1 tsp lime juice, sea salt and pepper. Cook with lid on, for about 5-10 minutes or until cooked through. Then place cooked chicken on a clean cutting board and chop into smaller pieces.
  6. To prepare salad, place chopped lettuce onto a plate, then layer some brown rice on top, followed by black beans, chicken, and then some pico de gallo and guacamole. Squeeze extra lime juice on top. Enjoy!