For as much as I don’t usually want foods to touch, I’m 100% on board for foods that go together served in a bowl. Bring on all the bowl meals! Build your own! Love it! I made these bahn mi bowls as a quick dinner that could have been made more perfect, but speed is the name of the game here. I figured out the best
cheat workaround to not pickling veggies for 24-hours in advance!
I’d totally make these with leftover pulled pork too! I skipped pickling the carrots mostly because I forgot. My workaround? Pickle juice! A few spoonfuls of pickle juice from our fav local pickles was exactly what this needed. That touch of tart flavor was perfect.
Quick & Easy Bahn Mi Bowls for 3-4
3-4 thin sliced pork cutlets
1 cup brown rice
2 cups broth/water
3-4 thin pork chops
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar (optional)
2 tablespoons mayo
1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
1/4 cup pickle juice
Marinate the pork in the soy sauce and rice vinegar overnight, or before cooking.
Cook the rice with broth or water. (I cooked mine in the pressure cooker).
Pan fry the pork in the marinade over medium heat until cooked to 145-degrees using a meat thermometer- just 3-4 minutes on each side.
Chop the carrots and cucumbers into matchsticks. Then slice the pork and chop the cilantro.
Pour the cooked marinade into the rice and mix. (Only from the pan, not any from the raw pork.)
Stir together the Sriracha and mayo.
Spoon rice into each bowl, then add sliced pork, cucumbers, carrots, cilantro, and sriracha aoli. Then drizzle with pickle juice.
This was fun for a speedy dinner. The pork is soooo fast to cook just being careful not to overcook. Overcooked pork is tough and tasteless. I meant to pickle the carrots but forgot until it was literally time to make this- thus my pickle juice being added on there. Rice in the pressure cooker is so amazing. Brown rice cooks in no time and I love how soft and sticky it gets. It makes great leftovers or can be on a roll or as a bowl.
The little one liked it since he is 100% game for rice, any day of the week.
My grocery store’s grain offerings are scant and uber expensive so amazon prime came to the rescue! I love texture and nuttiness of different grains and had leftover farro from a lunch I packed. The beauty of this breakfast bowl is the base could be any leftover grain.
Here’s by bowl formula:
grain: farro; cracked wheat; brown rice; lentils; bulgar, wheat berries, quinoa, cauliflower rice
greens: baby spinach; kale; chard
meat: bacon; sausage; ham
topper: fried egg; soft boiled egg; avocado; sauteed mushrooms; cheese
So much of this can be prepped in advance, which is perfect for breakfast, or dinner! I used leftover farro and made some everything bagel seasoning in advance. My spice drawer does not need one more jarred spice so I make my own seasoning, but I’ve seen this for sale.
Farro Breakfast Bowl with Egg, Bacon & Everything Bagel Seasoning
~1 cup prepared farro (or other grain)
1 teaspoon minced onion
1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
dash kosher salt & cracked pepper
3 strips of bacon
2 cups fresh baby spinach
Cook the grain or use leftovers.
Add minced onion, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, salt & pepper to a small dry pan to medium heat for 2-5 minutes. Then remove from the pan immediately (that minced onion goes from toasted to burnt quickly!)
Then pan fry the bacon until crisp and remove to drain on paper towel.
Drain the bacon grease from the pan and saute the greens for 3-5 minutes with a tiny bit remaining in the pan.
Assemble the bowl with the farro, greens, half of the bacon, and a teaspoon of the everything bagel seasoning all mixed together.
Fry or soft boil the egg and add on top, with a last sprinkle of everything bagel seasoning and remaining bacon.
I looooved this. It has some of my thinking of a bacon, egg and seasoning breakfast grain bowl, but was sooo much better because of the greens and the runny yolk. You are winning your day if you eat something green before 9am.
I’ll totally want to get a sausage, egg, and cheese with everything bagel seasoning variation going because that’s my go-to bfast sandwich choice.
I know, you can totally figure this out on your own, but here are a few ways to amp up your burrito bowl. Mexican Street Corn and a quick dressing makes this so. much. better than just leftover taco filling…which is where I started. Taco night leftovers are the best leftovers out there but I love them in a completely different format.
Burrito Bowl (for 2)
1 cup brown rice, cooked
1/3 cup ranch dressing
2 tablespoons cilantro
1 teaspoon taco seasoning
1 cup corn, cooked and cooled
1/4 cup crumbled feta
1 tablespoon mayo
1/2 teaspoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 cup ground turkey/chicken/pork/beef spiced with taco seasoning
1 cup shredded lettuce
1/2 cup black beans
Cook the rice.
In a small food processor, mix together the ranch, cilantro, and taco seasoning. Blend well and chill until serving.
Mix together the corn, feta, mayo, lime juice, and chili powder. Chill until serving, or make in advance.
Assemble together the rice on the bottom then top with ground meat, beans, lettuce, and street corn.
Drizzle with the dressing.
Serve and enjoy! I wish I’d had tomatoes, but we ate them all the night before. I had avocados but totally forgot! I started eating and then remembered salsa! Add whatever you have: tortilla chips; cheese; sour cream; queso; jalepenos…whatever you like!
I can’t stopppp! I love these bowls with a few elements tied together with a quick drizzle of sauce for a balanced, speedy, and fun dinner. I appreciate these qualities most during my busy time of year at work and with meals the toddler can eat before/after us. Next time this one could use more texture, but it was tasty and added some good variety to the week.
Chicken & Sweet Potato Grain Bowl with Peanut Sauce
Ingredients (for 3-4 bowls):
1 cup cracked wheat (or any grain of your choosing: rice/lentils/farro/couscous/quinoa/etc)
1 1/2 cups water
3 chicken thighs, boneless & skinless
1 -2 sweet potatoes
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon lime juice
touch of Sriracha sauce
1 avocado (or 1 cup edamame)
Marinate the chicken overnight, or for 3+ hours in Italian dressing & some soy or teriyaki sauce. Then heat up the grill.
Cook the grain: I used cracked wheat + 1 1/2 cups water to a boil, then covers and cooks over low for 20-ish minutes.
Micro the sweet potato(es) for about 5 minutes. Flip them once and poke holes with a fork.
Grill the chicken until cooked through.
Add the peanut butter, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, sugar, lime juice, and hot sauce to a bowl.
Whisk together, and add in a splash of water. Whisk again, and add more water if needed. (I started with about a tablespoon and added another teaspoon). It should be drippy enough to drizzle over the top of your bowls.
Once the chicken has sat for a few minutes, slice into strips. Once the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, slice in half, then scoop from the skin with a spoon and slice into bite-sized pieces.
Assemble the bowls with 1/4 of the grain in the base of each bowl, then add chicken, sweet potato, and avocado. Drizzle the peanut sauce on top.
I loved the peanut sauce being creamy from the pb and salty from the soy sauce and a little wake up from the ginger and sriracha sauce. I cooked the sweet potato the night before so these were even speedier than they seemed! I thought I had edamame int he freezer – that would be a better texture to each bite than the soft avocado with soft sweet potato.
What’s my next bowl? I need a new theme!
You know how I’m obsesssssed with grain bowls? This one was on my list for awhile and we all loved it. In the words of Joey Tribiani: what’s not to love? chicken? good! rice pilaf? good! avocado? good! bacon? goooood!
My other favs: Italian Grain Bowls with cracked wheat & Falafel Grain Bowls with couscous. The little one likes the challenge of eating rice. This would also be a good way to use any leftover grilled chicken and it is an easy way to stretch chicken since you wouldn’t need much at all here. We used our fav: chicken thighs.
Marinaded & grilled chicken
3 strips of bacon
honey mustard dressing
Marinade the chicken in salad dressing or your fav marinade for 4+ hours, or all day. Then grill the chicken to cook through.
Cook the rice pilaf according to the package and fluff with a fork.
Chop the bacon and then pan fry until the bite-sized pieces are crisp. Then remove and drain on paper towel.
Slice the avocado, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Slice the chicken.
Assemble and drizzle with honey mustard.
This was a hit. It worked out perfectly to grill on an unseasonably warm night. I liked this twist since I’d been thinking more Mediterranean/Thai. This was comforting and felt casually fun. Bring on all the grain bowls! Plus, it is so amusing to see the determination of a toddler scooping and then spooning rice into his mouth!
My new fav dinner are these grain bowls! I made Falafel Bowls and was chomping at the bit to make another! I am obsessed with the toppings, how filling they are, and having a bite of this, with a bite of that! Roasted veggies with raw veggies with cheese and meatballs. Yes. Yes. Yes.
My base was cracked wheat, but risotto/rice/orzo would all be good. I topped them with roasted asparagus, chopped tomato, fresh mozzarella, and meatballs with a drizzle of pesto. Seriously, I could eat this weekly. The little guy loved it too!
1 cup cracked wheat
1 1/2 cup water/broth
1 bunch asparagus or a large zucchini
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons Parmesan
3 tablespoons pesto or marinara
Preheat the oven to 375-degrees.
In a medium pot, bring cracked wheat & broth to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for about 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
Trim the asparagus and drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Roast for about 15 minutes.
Heat the meatballs (mine were frozen turkey meatballs).
Slice the tomato and asparagus.
Assemble the bowls with cracked wheat, tomatoes, mozzarella, meatballs, and asparagus. Sprinkle with parmesan.
Drizzle with pesto and enjoy!
This is suchhh a fast and hands-off dinner. It’d be a great use for leftovers. Add in whatever you like: roasted peppers; olives; zucchini; eggplant; mushrooms; etc. You could swap the pesto for alfredo or marinara.
You know when the all the stars align and your seemingly straightforward dinner wows you? This was that moment. I knew it was going to be good, and a nicely balanced meal, and pretty easy, but I didn’t really anticipate how much we’d all LOVE IT.
Excuse me while I pull out the ole soapbox. Get yourself a meat thermometer. Do not cook meat (especially pork!) without one. If you think you don’t love pork tenderloin then it miiiight be that you’ve only had it severely overcooked. Then it’s bland, boring, tough, and yuck.
Mr. J marinated the pork for flavors of honey and lime. Then while he grilled it to perfection, I made some rice with
peaches nectarines, lime juice, peach jam, red onion.
1 pork tenderloin
1/2 cup lime juice + 1 tablespoon
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup rice
1/4 red onion
~ 1 cup cilantro (1/2 bunch)
1/4 cup peach preserves
Marinade the pork in 1/2 cup lime juice, honey, & garlic powder for 4 hours refrigerated.
Get the rice cooking.
Grill flipping to cook each side. Grill to at least 145 degrees. Let it sit about 5 minutes after removing from the heat.
Chop the onion, nectarine, and cilantro and add into the cooked rice.
Add in 1 tablespoon lime juice and peach preserves. Mix well.
Slice the pork and serve with a sprinkle of cilantro over a bed of the rice.
We really did love this. I was so into the peaches with the pork with the onion. The babe couldn’t get enough pork. He had so much and just kept asking for more! Though, he wasn’t into it the next day as leftovers. He liked the rice being kind of sticky…it was much easier for him to spoon from his bowl.
I’m on a bfast quest for some weekly fun not sweet breakfasts and these were so fun! I prepped them Sunday night and they were so perfect to quickly warm and have something delicious to start the day with. These breakfast bowls had bacon, hard boiled egg, everything-bagel-spices, and cracked wheat.
Bacon, Egg, & Grain Bfast Bowl (4-5 servings)
1 cup cracked wheat/rice/lentils/barley
1/4 tsp dried onion
1/4 tsp sesame seeds
1/4 tsp poppy seeds
1/4 tsp garlic powder
salt & pepper
3 strips of bacon
4 eggs, hard-boiled
Cook the cracked grain according to the package. (Mine was cracked wheat).
While the grain is cooking, pan fry the bacon and hard boil the eggs.
In a dry pan over medium low heat, toast the spices, stirring regularly.
Drain the bacon onto a paper towel, saving 1 tsp of the bacon drippings. Add the drippings and the bacon into the cooked grain.
Stir the toasted spices into the grain too.
Chop the hard boiled egg and add that into the grain.
Serve and enjoy!
I was going to add in some cheese, but I ended up thinking it didn’t even need it. This was so good. The grain makes it really filling! I split it into 4 servings and I mini serving of the cracked wheat for the little guy. The everything-bagel totally amped up the flavor and I looooved that addition. These would pack up really easily if bfast travels with you to work too. Yum. This is where good morning comes from.
I don’t make soup often enough and this was one I made in stages. It was really good practice to cook in shifts of however long the little one was napping. I baked the chicken when I had the oven on for dinner one night and I made the rice the next morning when I had a few minutes. This soup was so easy and one I’ll definitely make again.
Ingredients: (makes ~4 servings)
4 chicken thighs
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup water
5 carrots (approx. 2 cups)
1/2 cup milk or cream (I used 1% milk)
1/2 tsp dried thyme
Bake chicken until cooked through. (I used a few boneless, skinless thighs and a few drumsticks and then made some broth from the drumstick bones). Cut the chicken into spoon-sized chunks. Prepare rice according to the package directions. (I used Near East Long Grain & Wild Rice Mix which definitely added to the soup flavor).
In a large pot, add the chicken, rice, and broth over low heat.
Cut up the carrots into coins (steam/boil/cook first if eating the soup upon completion, or let raw carrot pieces cook in the soup if you’ll let it simmer longer).
Add the carrots, thyme, & water to the pot.
Cook for 20 minutes then add the milk/cream. (Cook longer if the carrots are raw).
Taste and season with salt & pepper as needed. I didn’t add any salt because the rice mix had a flavor packet that seemed like plenty.
I loved this. I went heavy on the carrots but you could add celery, onions, or whatever veggies you have. The thyme is what makes me think warm, comfort food like stuffing or pot pie.
Add more water when warming any leftovers.
The start to 2014 has been great. Work has been rolling along and getting busy. Hitting my first 3-months at the new job has me feeling more settled and more knowledgeable about everything. I can’t believe it has already been 3 months! Lots of folks at work are all about their fitbit/jawbone/nike fuelband/etc. It’d be a great comparison, thought I don’t exactly have the ability to buy them all and test ’em out. It does have me thinking and wanting to blog something….
I’ve been really appreciating the hibernation-feeling of January. I love having some fun things happening over the weekend but it isn’t non-stop. That’s my favorite. There’s time to make last-minute plans and the freezing temps makes me enjoy hunkering down with some great down-time…perfect for old West Wing episodes (I’m up to season 3). I’m behind on the book I should be reading but I’ll get going. A step aerobics class has brought me back to way-back-when I took step 9 years ago.
For February, I’m psyched for the Olympics. I just watched the Price of Gold story about the ’94 figure skaters, which I remember happening. It was fascinating!
Do you follow me on instagram? I posted a pic of an unbelievable dinner of chicken and waffles Mr. J made. He fried the chicken himself and we couldn’t get over it. Crazy good. Also, I found roasted garlic at the salad bar in the grocery store for dirt cheap. Such a great 40-cent find! Who knew?
In January I redid my traditional lasagna with assembly tips and LOTS of adaptation suggestions.
I posted my cheese fondue party. I repeated the fondue for New Year’s Eve too. I still need to show you what I did with some leftovers. Ahhh-mazing. Stay tuned.
Maple Dijon Chicken is such a simple but fantastic recipe. It takes barely any time and you’ll make it again and again. Just try it.
Need some superbowl snack ideas?
Did you see my Chicken Bacon Ranch Spring Rolls? Doesn’t get much better than that!
To add to your Superbowl Spread….
No-Cooking Required Greek Dip is a base of hummus with chopped veggies, feta, and Greek dressing. Super easy and fresh.
Or Make Everything in a Muffin Tin for easy plate-filling and minimal game distractions.
Apple Cheesecake Dip with apple dippers is an addictive sweet dessert-ish dip
Set up a panini bar or a taco bar or a nacho bar and let your guests make-your-own. The ease is great for the host, and everyone loves to customize their own.
Status of This Year’s Goals:
Year-of-the: self imposed cooking challenge resulted in seeking savory breakfast ideas via Quiche Lorraine
also I bought myself more flowers
I’m not sure what will be on the menu in February yet. I have some kitchen tips I was thinking of sharing. I have some more salad and panini ideas. February is a great time for wintry food so I’ll see what else I come up with.