I like to think that over the years I have gotten into some really good eating habits. Like breakfast – I always try to start the day off right with something wholesome and filling. Likewise in the evening I look forward to making a healthy home cooked meal to enjoy after the long day. But when it comes to lunch, well, that is when the wheels fall off. In between the afternoon school run, extra murals and the never ending daily to do list my lunch often takes a back seat. Last year I got into a bad habit of snacking on the go during the day, but of course the snacks never filled me up and I was always tempted to reach for something sugary in the late afternoon when I was feeling low on energy. Not ideal. This is where salad bowls, like the recipe I am sharing today, have been a lifesaver!
It was time to make a change and so this year I have been prioritizing lunch – I would never dream of not making lunch for the kids after school, so why was I doing that to myself? (I am sure other moms can relate!) If you follow me on Instagram you have probably noticed quite a few salad bowls popping up in my stories, and recipes like this chicken bowl have a good balance of protein, fibre and good carbs to keep me going for the afternoon (which has a positive knock on effect for the rest of the day!). Yes, it does take a little bit longer to prepare than it would to reach for a banana or a slice of toast, but it is worth it. The recipe also makes enough for two lunches, so I usually save half for the next day.
It helps to have a bunch of protein and veggie options in the house that I can mix and match for lunch each day. This chicken bowl is one of my new faves – the cumin on the chicken tastes absolutely delicious with the coriander yoghurt. Let’s hope this new habit sticks!
- The recipe serves two as a lunch or light dinner. I like to make the full recipe and save half of it for the next day, especially if there is a hectic schedule – instant lunch!
- If you have leftover roasted vegetables from dinner or your Sunday lunch you can add them to the salad instead of the broccoli and butternut.
- For a vegetarian version replace the chicken with chickpeas and lentils. Simply season them with the same spice mix and warm in a pan for a few minutes before plating.
SPICED CHICKEN SALAD BOWLS
- 100ml plain yoghurt
- small handful fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
- ½ tsp lime juice
- 1 cup small butternut cubes
- olive oil for drizzling
- salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- 2 free range chicken breast fillets, flattened
- 1 cup fresh broccoli, cut into florets
- 2 cups baby spinach leaves
- 10 mini plum tomatoes, halved
1.) Preheat your oven to 190ºC. Combine the yoghurt, coriander leaves and lime juice in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside.
2.) Line a small tray with baking paper. Arrange the butternut cubes in an even layer, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes or until the butternut is cooked through.
3.) Meanwhile, pop the pumpkin seeds into a dry frying pan. Toast the seeds for a few minutes until fragrant and the shells start to pop and crack. Remove the pan from the heat, transfer the seeds to a small bowl and set aside.
4.) Place the ground cumin and ground coriander in a another small bowl along with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Drizzle the chicken fillets with some olive oil and season with the spice mixture.
5.) Heat a frying pan over a medium heat and cook the chicken fillets for 3-4 minutes per side until cooked through. Remove from the heat and shred the chicken. Set aside.
6.) Heat a dash of olive oil in the same pan and sauté the broccoli for a few minutes until bright green and just tender.
7.) Divide the spinach leaves between two wide bowls or arrange on a large serving plate. Arrange the plum tomatoes, chicken, butternut and broccoli on the plates. Drizzle with coriander yoghurt and sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds. Serve immediately.