My family loves Chipotle. Their chicken burrito bowls are our default food choice when we’re out in town and in a pinch. There are both good and bad aspects of our relationship with Chipotle. The good is that we’re able to find quick meals that are within our dietary parameters and with relatively naturally-raised ingredients. The bad is that while Chiptole is pretty upfront about their standards towards raising animals, they have not released a list of their ingredients to the public. There’s actually a petition (right here) to ask Chipotle to reveal their ingredients. My personal concern is that they are cooking with oils that are high in Omega-6 fatty acids, like soybean oil.

My other issue is that we like Chipotle so much that sometimes it becomes our dinner even if we’re not out in town and in a pinch; it’s so tasty that we find ourselves wanting it even when we have a fridge full of food.

So I decided to do something about it and re-create our beloved chicken bowls so we can enjoy them in the comfort of our own home and know exactly what ingredients go into the meal. Also, I am sure that this recipe isn’t 100% authentic, especially in its use of chipotle powder (as opposed to whole dried chipotles and/or canned chipotles) but I made a couple shortcuts to make the process a little easier. I pieced this recipe together using my taste buds and some rumors I found floating around on message boards, so if you have intimate knowledge of some of Chipotle’s ingredients, leave me a comment below!

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image courtesy of Warner Bros.

Note: this was written in January 2012. Check out my three-year recap post here.

Last month was the one-year anniversary of my switch to a modified Paleo diet (which = Paleo + white rice and some dairy). At the six-month mark I made this post with some lessons I’d learned; while many of these tips still ring true (although we haven’t had ice cream for some time now), I thought I’d add a few more.

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I decided to look into KFC’s Grilled Double Down as a potential emergency meal. It sounds legit – bacon and cheese and sauce sandwiched between two grilled chicken breasts. I figured the sauce would have some banned ingredients (and it does – wheat, soy and corn), but I was disappointed to find that KFC’s grilled chicken contains all three of those Paleo-forbidden foods.

I decided to check out other “grilled chicken” options and this is what I found:

Burger King: modified corn starch, partially hydrogenated soybean oil
McDonalds: corn gluten, soy, wheat gluten proteins, partially hydrogenated cottonseed/soybean oils
Wendy’s: modified corn starch
Arby’s: corn flour, corn syrup solids
A&W: soybean oil
Chik-fil-A: soybean oil, palm kernel oil, soy lecithin
Chipotle: doesn’t say, although it mentions it contains soy
Hardee’s: soy, wheat, high fructose corn syrup
Jack in the Box: wheat, soy
Sonic: soy, wheat gluten
Taco Bell: modified corn starch, corn syrup solids, soy

So there you have it. Not one grilled chicken choice at any of these fast food restaurants is Paleo-friendly. I’m going to stick with Wendy’s Double Cheeseburgers when I’m in a crunch.