Hello from sunny San Diego! I am currently training out of the San Diego Rowing Club with my doubles partner, Jess. In between training sessions, I spend a lot of time meal planning and cooking, because I love to have dinner prepped or cooked before afternoon practice. That allows us to refuel right away with a satisfying meal! Last year, my husband and I started using a weekly planner to visualize our grocery needs. Using this weekly planner, I start by marking out any days when I know we will have dinners out. When I am home, I consult with Alex to compare what meals we are in the mood for that week. We do not always stick to the plan, but I have found that visualizing my grocery list in this way makes it easier to see where we can add in extra veggies and sides. I have saved the sheets from each so that we can remember our favorite meals and recipes!
This week, I am drawing inspiration from “The Racing Weight Cookbook” by Matt Fitzgerald and Georgie Fear. The sauce in their recipe for “Asian Chicken with Peanut Sauce” made me reminisce about a great menu item that I enjoyed back in Chicago – the Buddha Bowl at Standard Market. My good friend Hannah and I have experimented with a Buddha Bowl recipe sauce in the past, and we compared notes on the ideal flavor combinations. I combined my sources and memories to create a Buddha Bowl with sauce and ingredients that I love! We made this meal in Jess’ kitchen, and shared it with my sister, Liz, and my brother-in-law, Jay, in their home in San Diego.
Buddha Bowl with Chicken and Vegetables
Buddha Bowl with Chicken and Vegetables – serves 6 to 8
This dish is exciting to work with because you can easily substitute in your favorite vegetables and grains. I start with a root vegetable, and then select greens and a cruciferous vegetable. I almost always use onion and red or green peppers, too. Seasonal, local produce flavors shine in this vegetable-based meal! Quinoa worked well with the veggies that I used; you could also use brown rice, faro or another grain that you have on hand. Finally, the protein in this meal is flexible, too! I have used chicken or tofu in the past, but Standard Market features delightful Buddha Bowls with fish or shrimp as well.
While preparing this meal, I thought of my Grandma Lilly’s advice about chopping peppers: always place the skin of the pepper down on the cutting board before slicing. It is so much easier to cut through the inside of a pepper section, rather than trying to pierce the skin! Check out the photo series above for an illustration of her technique. This recipe allows time for preparation during cooking time if all ingredients are at hand.
You will need:
- 3 medium sweet potatoes (at least 1 lb)
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 1/2 t garlic salt
- 1 1/2 t black pepper
- 1/2 t cinnamon
- 1 red pepper
- 1 green pepper
- 1 large yellow onion
- 2 broccoli crowns
- 1/2 bunch of kale, about 3 large leaves
- 2 green onions, chopped into 2 inch pieces
- 1/2 C quinoa
- 1/2 C chicken broth for quinoa
- 1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, chopped
For your sauce:
- 1 C chicken broth
- 1/4 C peanut flour – we used PB2, but 2 T peanut butter would also work
- 1 T sriracha sauce
- 1 T honey
- 1 T rice wine vinegar
- 2 t soy sauce
- 1 t ground ginger
- Preheat oven to 425º F.
- Wash or peel sweet potatoes – I prefer to keep skin on – and chop into 1/2 inch rounds and then quarter each round. Drizzle with 1/2 T olive oil and sprinkle with 1/2 t each of garlic salt, black pepper and cinnamon. Toss on baking sheet and begin roasting at 425º F.
- Meanwhile, chop peppers, onions and broccoli into bite-sized pieces. Drizzle with 1/2 T olive oil and sprinkle with 1/2 t each of garlic salt and black pepper. Toss on baking sheet. After your sweet potatoes have roasted for 10 minutes, turn the oven down to 350º F and add baking sheet with peppers, onions and broccoli. Stir sweet potato chunks to roast evenly.
- Combine quinoa, chicken broth and water in a pot over medium-high heat. When quinoa comes to a boil, cover and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes.
- Heat a large pan with 1/2 T olive oil over medium heat. Add chicken bites when oil begins to shimmer, stirring occasionally to cook evenly.
- Trim stems from kale and tear into large pieces – the kale will shrink to bite-sized pieces while roasting. Add to a baking sheet with chopped green onions and toss in 1/2 T olive oil, 1/2 t garlic salt and 1/2 t black pepper. Roast at 350 for 10 minutes and stir sweet potato chunks and the second veggie pan. The broccoli should just be beginning to brown.
- Combine sauce ingredients and simmer over low heat.
- Check on your kale first for tinged edges. Remove kale after about 10 minutes, then sweet potatoes and vegetables from your oven. At this point, your sweet potatoes, veggies and greens have roasted for about 30, 20 and 10 minutes, respectively. Combine all roasted vegetables with chicken in one large serving dish.
- Serve over quinoa with peanut sauce.
Sauce inspiration: Fitzgerald, Matt, and Georgie Fear. “Asian Chicken with Peanut Sauce.” Racing Weight Cookbook: Lean, Light Recipes for Athletes. Boulder: Velopress, 2013. 230-231. Print.