Packed Lunch Idea: Salad Burrito!

Yesterday marked the return of the five minute packed lunch!


I know you’re pumped. Don’t lie. (pssst: Missed my previous 5 Minute Packed Lunch posts? You can find them on my recipe page!)

I made one of my absolute favorites yesterday — what I call a “salad burrito.” Basically what they called a burrito bowl at Chipotle but more awesome ;)


It’s pretty much a deconstructed burrito, on top of salad instead of in a wrap! Deeeeeelish. Is it weird that I really love grains and salad together? Try it if you haven’t. You’ll like it :)

First, you add in some salad — any kind of greens will do!


Next up — a grain. I’d recommend quinoa, barley, or brown rice. I used half a packet of 90 second brown rice because I suck at planning ahead and was packing this right before rushing out the door, as per usual ;)


Then, add in some veggies, cilantro, and either guacamole or avocado!


Any veggies will be good — but peppers are especially awesome with Mexican-inspired meals :)


Then, top with some salsa! This is your dressing of sorts. I used one of the salsas that we made and canned ourselves at my public health dietetic internship over the summer :) Man, that seems like forever ago already!


Finally, top with your choice of protein! I’m a big fan of black beans for this type of salad because it adds great flavor and texture :) You could add in some chicken or beef if you wanted, too.


And there you have it! I recommend adding more salsa than you think you’d normally want because the rice will soak it up some before lunch time :)


To have on the side, I packed some sliced grapefruit. Yum!


As for snacks, I had an unpictured Larabar and some pistachios in the morning, and some crackers and hummus when I got home. The best thing about this lunch? I used half of everything (half a container of rice, half a can of black beans, etc.) so I’m making it for lunch again today, too :)

In other news, last night I made my triumphant return to my beloved Franklin Street Yoga!

IMG_0037 (640x480)

It felt great to be back after almost a month away — my body needed it! Even though I did some yoga in D.C., it just wasn’t the same. I hit up the hour and a half “Rock Your Asana” class last night, which is one of my faves — a great, sweaty flow and fun modern music to boot! I kept wanting to dance in down dog :)

I’m off to class — have a wonderful day, friends!

Do you like grains on top of greens? Or am I the only weirdo? :)

p.s. Want some healthy and easy dinner recipes and some lower calorie cocktail recipes? Check out this fun (and free) downloadable e-cookbook called Vegetables and Vodka that a fellow blogger created. I submitted a recipe for it, as did other blog friends!

p.p.s. Please don’t forget to vote for me in the Top 50 Most Inspirational Healthy Tweeps contest :) I’m holding strong in 3rd place — thank you SO much for your support!


  1. 1

    That lunch sounds great! If you want to add some calcium and extra protein while feeling decadent, top the whole thing with a big dollop of plain Greek yogurt. Since I’m a sucker for cheese, I would probably sprinkle on a little shredded cheese as well.

    It sucks to love Mexican food and yet hate peppers. We have a mutual dislike of each other. :(

    Grains and salad are good although I don’t do it often.

    • 2

      Yum! I love Greek yogurt with everything. Def a great replacement for sour cream in Mexican food!

      • 3

        I was gonna suggest the same thing! Though any kind of plain yogurt NF yogurt works just as well and the runnier ones remind me more of Mexican Crema (sour cream). Also, I’m with you with the grains in salads…it makes it feel more like a meal for me. Lately I’ve been buying the pre-steamed Lentils at TJs in the refrig. section and have been adding those to salads and I’ve been really liking it! Makes me feel so much more full and satiated!

        • 4

          Yum I should try those! I hardly ever have lentils because they take so frickin’ long to cook!

          • 5

            I have to admit I was a little scared of the TJs ones at first, they grossed me out for some reason…something to do with the plastic bag? I dunno. But I got over that and they are great!

  2. 6

    I love grains on top of greens! My favorite combo is quinoa over spinach. I’m a weirdo too. :)

  3. 7

    This type of salad is one of my faves!

  4. 8

    What a nice lunch! I’m definitely going to try this. It seems so easy to put together.

    I’m not a huge fan of grains on top of greens, especially if the grain is warm! Did you cool off the rice before putting it in?

  5. 10

    I like salad and rice together! A little tricky to eat, but it’s good!

  6. 11

    thanks for the shout-out, anne!

    and i love topping greens with rice, quinoa or couscous! i tend to make something like that at least once a week for dinner : )

  7. 12

    Your lunch beats the sandwich I packed!

  8. 13

    I loooove grains on top of greens! This kind of salad is something i make often for lunch.. it is SO good!

  9. 14

    I make salads like this all the time and I love them. I think they’re more filling with grains.

  10. 15

    You’re not weird, grains are my favorite part of salads usually. Millet is probably my fav.

  11. 17

    I LOVE a little rotini pasta on salads. But all grains are good on greens! Fills you up.

  12. 18

    This looks great! I have a long morning, so my only question is, does this get soggy by lunch time? When I pack things like this, I usually have to bring it in separate containers which adds bulk and lots of dishes later…just curious. I have all of these ingredients at my house though, I will try this for tomorrow!

  13. 20

    I love grains on greens!! Great lunch idea!

  14. 21

    That looks great!! I have never tried Grains in my salad but it seems like a must!

  15. 22

    I love adding chickpeas to my salads, along with feta and olives for a Greek twist! The deconstructed burrito is a terrific idea, perfect for the packed lunch! Thanks for sharing!

  16. 23

    I love making homemade burrito bowls! It helps me save money when I’m craving Chipotle (which is daily, ha!). And the homemade version is just as good (or even better) than the real thing!

  17. 24

    Fantastic lunch! I like to think of salads as a blank piece of paper in which you draw whatever you fancy! :)

  18. 25

    My UMW (United Methodist Women) circle had a meeting today and everyone brought food for lunch to share. I brought your Stuffed Baby Bella Mushrooms and they were a big hit. There was nothing left. It was Fannetastic. I told them about your website so you may be getting some new readers.
    Have a great day at school.

  19. 27

    Does your avocado get brown by the time you eat the salad? I never put avocado in my salad for work because I am afraid of just that!

  20. 29

    i LOVE grains over greens.. i’m really crushing on wild rice over spinach with grilled tofu in fig balsamic vinaigrette right now.

  21. 30

    Because I’m slightly anemic (my fingers and toes are always cold) I eat lentils EVERYDAY at lunch with, some times “on” my salad!

    Lentils are a must! They’re super low carb, very very high protein (and iron) with lots of fiber and cancer fighting nutrients
    -but most importantly they’re so yummy!!!

    Lentils with my salad everyday is a total “win win” :-)

  22. 31

    Adding avocado to anything makes it delish. Good move! ha

  23. 32

    I just ate dinner and I’m completely full – but this post makes me hungry!! Love a Salad Burrito :) (and grains go with anything!)

  24. 33

    I love grains and salad. Especially when the grains are warm and it wilts the salad a bit. YUM!! This post totally inspired my dinner. Thanks!

  25. 34

    We do burrito bowls like this for a quick, easy meal, too! Greens, rice, black or pinto beans, corn, tomato, pepper, cilantro, topped with a dollop of Greek yogurt and hot sauce of choice. We do Chipotle occasionally, but this way is cheaper and way lower in sodium.

  26. 35

    LOL You’re cooking! You used a knife! that totally counts in my book ;) Yes – sometimes I mix up veggies, quinoa, rice vinegar and whatever and pour it over the spinach – that’s the way I cook :)

  27. 37

    I love this idea! Usually I’ll pack a salad with some small tortillas or a pita on the side, but this is a great alternative.

    Also, I go to Franklin St. Yoga, too! Small world. I’ve never tried the Rock Your Asana class but it sounds like a lot of fun. One of the instructors played some music during one of the community classes there recently and it was a nice change of pace from the more traditional classes!

  28. 38

    Mmmm.. your lunch looks great! I LOVE grains on salad. I’m always adding quinoa to my regular salads – I just love the mix of texture and taste. So delicious.

  29. 39

    How do you keep the avacado from browning? I love eating them but hate how they brown so quickly.

  30. 41

    Looks great! I’m super late to this, but I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one who uses microwave rice and canned food. Is there a big nutritional difference between cooking rice/beans the conventional way? Thanks for all the hard work you put into this website!

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.