Monday, March 21, 2016

Peanut Thai Chicken and Broccoli Bowl

My default last-minute meal is a quinoa bowl with everything leftover in my fridge thrown together. Within reason, of course. This usually ends up being some spinach, chicken and black beans but I've done some varieties with broccoli and sweet potatoes.

This bowl meal is an upgrade and is 100% planned and intentional. There's a great variety of food groups thrown into this bowl and you could easily swap out some broccoli for snow peas or green beans. What makes this a Thai bowl is more about the seasoning than the components.

In doing my meal prep last week, I think I literally used every bowl in my kitchen and every pan. Granted, I don't have a gourmet kitchen and have 3 pots/pans so, ya know, perspective. This bowl was a combination of rice with spinach (hiding my veggies as an adult), chopped carrots, chickpeas and broccoli with chicken cooked in a sweet Thai marinade.

The best way I found to go about this was to start by marinading the chicken and preheating the oven first. While the chicken marinaded, I prepped the veggies by chopping the broccoli first (since that will be cooked) and getting the water going for the rice. Once the chicken goes in the oven, cook the broccoli in some olive oil. Add red pepper flakes if you like a little heat.

While the broccoli and rice cooks (2 pans already), use a food processor to grind the carrots. Easy as pie. You can use one large bowl to start gathering all your ingredients to mix together in the end. Add those carrots into the giant bowl along with your chickpeas (once they're drained). After the broccoli cooks, in goes the broccoli.

For the rice, I cooked it and then added some spinach and left covered for a couple minutes to wilt. Then the rice goes into that big bowl of delicious veggies. Lastly, the chicken will be added. I chopped the chicken into bite-sized pieces first.

Toss it all together and pour the remaining peanut marinade over top. Stir stir stir, serve and enjoy!


Bowl Components 
  • 1 cup brown rice (measured when uncooked)
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 1 medium head of broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1-2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1.5 lbs. chicken tenders
  • 1-2 Tablespoons sesame oil (pure sesame oil will be gluten-free but a lot of options are blends)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  1. To make the marinade, whisk together all of the sauce ingredients.
  2. Pour half of the mixture over the chicken tenders and allow to marinade for 30 minutes, covered in the fridge.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 
  4. Chop the broccoli into desired size pieces. Cook in a frying pan with olive oil and seasoned with red pepper flakes for a little spice. You will need to keep an eye on these and stir every once in awhile to cook evenly.
  5. Cook the rice in a saucepan, using 2x the amount of water to amount of rice you're making (ie: 1 cup of rice to 2 cups of water). Bring the water and rice to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover until rice is cooked and the water has been absorbed.
  6. Once the chicken has marinaded, place tenders on a baking sheet lined with tin foil. Bake for 20-25 minutes until cooked through.
  7. While the chicken, rice and broccoli cook, shred the carrots by grinding in a food processor. Set aside.
  8. Drain and rinse the chick-peas. Set aside.
  9. When the rice is cooked, add your spinach directly to the rice and stir. Keep covered to allow the spinach to wilt. 
  10. When the chicken is cooked, allow to cool slightly before chopping into bite-sized pieces.
  11. Assemble your bowl by layering rice, broccoli, carrots, chickpeas and chicken together.
  12. Pour some of the remaining marinade over your bowl and enjoy!

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