Low waste/plastic free living is going very well my friends. Craving Chipotle the other day I set out to make a waste free copycat bowl. Now to be fair, chipotle is actually pretty good when it comes to take out containers. The bottoms are compostable and the tops are aluminum, which is totally recyclable without losing quality, unlike plastic. They don’t give you any plastic utensils automatically or throw in thousands of condiments in plastic packaging. So could I have stuck to my plastic free resolution and just gotten Chipotle? Yes. But would that have taught me anything about cooking waste free? Of course not, so I set out to do a DIY alternative.
The only tricky areas for a plastic free version of this dish were the meat and the rice. Conveniently, I still have rice from before I went plastic free – and I’m learning that one of the key pillars of the zero waste movement is to use up what you have before getting new things. It’s a pretty basic idea but unfortunately not something I’m usually great at. That being said, it made it easy to use rice in this dish. Once I run out I’ll have to go to the bulk bins and get some in reusable jars, but that shouldn’t be too hard. I was really concerned about the meat, knowing that I could get it at the butcher counter wrapped in paper, but I was pretty sure they’d use a thin plastic sheet to grab the meat and wrap it inside the paper. Lucky for me Whole Foods switched to an eco paper for grabbing and portioning meat at the butcher counter, so this was totally doable plastic free!
And guess what – it looked and tasted exactly like a Chipotle bowl.
I even did an experiment and sent that close up photo to my friend Callie without any backstory and guess what she said?
I could get used to this whole zero waste / low impact thing.