Sunday, October 14, 2012

7 Layer Chicken Rice Bento

This Mini Crock Pot Meal is made up of 7 Layers adding up to make a delicious and healthy meal that's warm and ready to eat by lunchtime.
I know it's not the most appetizing looking, but I guarantee this bento is delicious, healthy, filling and super satisfying.
Want to know what each layer is, and how I made it?
Well Here it is:

Layer #1
Line the Bottom of your mini crock pot or your microwaveable dish with 1/2 Cup Cooked Brown Rice. This was leftover brown rice that was cold.

Layer #2
Top the rice with 1/4 Cup Black Beans. These are canned beans that I drained and rinsed to remove the excess sodium. If you can find it I suggest getting low sodium canned beans, or if you have the time soak and cook your own beans ahead of time.

Layer #3
Top the beans with about 1/2 cup Shredded Chicken. I used leftover crock pot roasted chicken that I made for dinner the day before. You could also use cooked Ground Beef/Ground Turkey or if you prefer to have a vegetarian meal you could use a Meat Substitute, Tofu, or just add extra Beans for protein.

Layer #4
Top the chicken (or meat/meat substitute) with 1/4-1/2 cup Frozen Corn. It doesn't have to be frozen, that is just what I had on hand, and since I would be cooking this in the crock pot I figured the extra water on the corn would help to keep things from drying out as they heat up.

Layer #5
Top the corn with 1/8-1/4 cup Shredded Cheese or Cheese Substitute. I used a Dairy Free Cheddar Cheese Substitute. If you do not like cheese or prefer not to add it, that is fine. I usually do not like cheese but I thought it really added some flavor and texture to this meal. And the melty-ness of the cheese helps to tie all the ingredients together.

Layer #6
Top it all off with at least 1/2 cup Salsa. Use your favorite salsa because this is what flavors the entire meal. If you want more flavor I suggest having a hotter salsa because once it's mixed with the rice the hotness will decrease. So if you use a very mild salsa you may not have enough flavor.
I like to use really chuncky salsa to add more vegetables to the mix and make it a bit healthier.

Layer #7
I packed this separately and added it only right before eating. I didn't want the guacamole to cook with the rest of the meal but if you like warmed guacamole feel free to add it to the crock pot as well.

 Here it is all warmed up before I added the guac.
I topped it off with the guacamole and I dug in. YUM, I suggest mixing it up a little to get some of each ingredient in every bite, and it helps the salsa/flavor mix with everything.

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