Cravings and DIY Chipotle on Whole30

The last week of Whole30 was the hardest period for me. I started craving everything carbalicious and I began counting down the days until freedom.

The point of Whole30 is to reset your body and mind so that you no longer crave these sugary, carb-heavy, processed foods, but 30 days is nearly not long enough to permanently transform your diet and lifestyle and to kick your cravings for good. I suspect I would need a full year to do that. And while I continue to enjoy the foods that I am cooking and sharing with you, my cravings went from 0 to 60 in the last 10 days.

Since writing down your feelings is supposed to be cathartic, here are all of the foods I started craving and will attempt to shovel into my piehole on Day 31 (today!)

  1. Doughnuts from Dough
  2. Doughnuts from Doughnut Plant (yes, there’s a difference between this and #1)
  3. An entire New York style pizza pie to myself
  4. Tacos from Tacombi
  5. This grown-up grilled cheese with pesto and fancy cheeses
  6. Chocolate almond croissant from Maison Kayser
  7. Chocolate croissant from Bien Cuit (yes, there’s a difference between this and #5)
  8. A loaf of Miche bread from Bien Cuit slathered in butter, honey, and sea salt
  9. Boomwich’s incredible meatball sandwich on pretzel bread with parmesan cheese, sauteed broccoli rabe, and tomato sauce
  10. A massive ice cream sundae from the best ice creamery, Ample Hills Creamery (8 scoops of my ice cream flavors of choice, hot fudge, caramel, whipped cream, cookie dough, salty-sweet snack topping and sprinkles).
  11. A New York-style Everything Bagel slathered with cream cheese
  12. A slice of Salty Honey Pie and Bittersweet Chocolate Pecan Pie from the most decadent pie shop, Four and Twenty Blackbirds
  13. A burrito from Chipotle (sometimes I’m simple)
  14. This awesome breakfast sandwich from the Saltie
  15. Vosges dark chocolate black salt caramel bar 
  16. A cheese quesadilla with guacamole and sour cream
  17. Challah French Toast with real maple syrup
  18. Sweet potato fries with garlic aioli
  19. Pizza knots with marinara sauce from Parm
  20. The combination brownie-cookie Brookster from Baked
  21. Indian chaat (savory snack/carb salad)
  22. A sea salt caramel macaron from Ladurée (and a raspberry one too)
  23. Hand-pulled noodles with some sort of spicy meat.
  24. A jar of Nutella (sometimes I’m lazy)
  25. A falafel sandwich drowned in tahini from Taim
  26. Pumpkin ravioli in sage brown butter sauce (an oddly specific fall-season craving)
  27. A chocolate chip cookie from Levain Bakery

Are you drooling yet? My keyboard and screen are covered in my saliva.

To satisfy one of my 27 cravings, Chipotle, I decided to make my own Chipotle burrito bowls for the last few days of Whole30.

Chipotle is actually a superstar when it comes to nutritious fast food. It serves responsibly raised meats, organic and local produce where possible, pasture-raised cheese and sour cream, and no longer uses any genetically modified foods. Unfortunately, most of the meats at Chipotle are not Whole30 approved because they are cooked in prohibited oils, like rice bran oil. Other items on the menu, such as sofritas (tofu), beans, and corn salsa are foods not permitted on Whole30.

But there is one Whole30-approved option at Chipotle, and I have definitely treated myself to it at least once a week. Carnitas! Chipotle’s carnitas is cooked in sunflower oil, which is not an ideal cooking oil but it is permitted in limited quantities with the understanding that you would never be able to dine out if you were 100% limited to olive oil, coconut oil, and ghee. So if you’re observing Whole30 and craving Chipotle, fill up a bowl with salad, top it with the delicious carnitas (double the meat if you’re double hungry), add any or all of the three salsas (I get all three plus extra tomato salsa) and add guacamole. This meal is surprisingly filling and delicious, and I only miss the rice, cheese, and sour cream a little bit.

Since Chipotle + guac can get pricy, I decided to make my own burrito bowls at home.

Whole30 Chipotle Bowl 

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Base: Cauliflower Rice

First, I made a copycat version of Chipotle’s cilantro-lime rice using cauliflower rice. You can find my basic cauliflower rice recipe here. To give it some Mexican flavor, I add a healthy sprinkling of cumin, along with a generous addition of salt and pepper, to the cauliflower rice while it’s cooking on the stove. When the rice is off the stove, I mix in minced cilantro (1/4 cup), lime zest (half of a large lime), and lime juice (half of a large lime).

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Meats: Slow Cooker Chicken

Next up, the meats. I considered trying this copycat Chipotle carnitas recipe, but I couldn’t find a high-quality cut of pork at my butcher. So, I went with good ol’ chicken. I used my slow cooker chicken recipe here which is full of citrus and herbs/spices, but this time I used only chicken thighs, and I added a teaspoon of paprika to the spice mix to complement the dish’s Mexican-ish flavors.

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I love adding citrus to my chicken marinades.

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This slow cooker chicken comes out so tender that it almost falls apart.
This slow cooker chicken comes out so tender that it almost falls apart.

What Goes Inside: Onions and Peppers

I also threw together some spicy sauteed onions and peppers to mimic Chipotle’s peppers and onions.  I heated some olive oil on medium-high heat in a large skillet, then added sliced red onions and sliced red and green bell peppers. I added salt, pepper, and dried oregano, and cooked until the vegetables were starting to char.  Then, I added in some minced garlic and a diced Serrano chili pepper, lowered the heat to medium-low, and cooked until the vegetables were tender and browned.

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Toppings: Guacamole and Salsas

Finally, I made my favorite part: guacamole.  Mash together in a bowl 3 ripe avocados along with 1/2 tsp salt, 1 minced garlic clove, the juice of 1 lime, 3-4 TBSP of minced cilantro, 1/4 cup diced red onion, 1 small jalapeño diced, and Aleppo pepper to taste. Blend evenly, taste, and adjust seasonings accordingly.

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At this point, I did not have the energy to make my own salsas, so I used some roasted tomato salsa that I already had in the fridge and bought this green Hatch chile salsa from Trader Joe’s.

Once you have all of your fixings prepared, make yourself a bowl and enjoy!

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-Nisha

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