I am a planner. It makes me feel at SO ease to have things written out and/or sequenced in my mind. Who can relate? Being someone who enjoys planning, I don't often go grocery shopping without a list. But I happened to do so a couple of weeks ago when picking up snacks for my sisters and ingredients for a workweek lunch prep from HEB. Since the grocery store can be an overwhelming hot mess of options, I have a kind of go-to formula for workweek lunches that keeps me from getting caught up with a full cart of things I don't need. This week's lemon garlic chicken & veggie bowls are the delicious result of following that formula one weekend.
What I go for when I don't have a specific meal in mind is a quick-cooking protein, a mix of veggies, and, depending on the workouts I have planned, some type of starch. For the protein, I like ground turkey, chicken breast or thighs cut into bite-sized pieces, or shrimp. This orange maple chicken breast is a great protein choice that cooks up quickly, too. Veggies present so many different options, depending on the season. Spinach, squash, peppers, tomatoes (recently got very into baby tomatoes), mushrooms, and carrots are all solid picks. For the starch, I'll go with sweet potato, brown or yellow rice, quinoa, or sometimes pasta. This is basically the formula my mom used for making most of our childhood dinners.
This recipe make about four servings, which is perfect for a workweek where you want to treat yourself on Friday or maybe have a lunchtime meeting one day. You can also make this for an easy weeknight dinner for the family. Perhaps the best part of these lemon garlic chicken & veggie bowls is that they cook up in just 20 minutes with only five minutes of prep. You can't beat that, can you?
Do you plan your meals in advance? It's one of the most helpful practices for a smooth workweek, in my routine. If you need help in that area, check out my meal prepping and meal planning crash courses. You'll probably also like these soul food power bowls. Thanks for reading!
Quick and easy lunchtime rice bowls made with lemon garlic chicken and sweet and spicy tomatoes and spinach
- 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
- 1 juice and zest of one lemon
- 4 cloves garlic chopped or minced
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- sea salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- olive oil
- 1 pint sweet baby tomatoes I used Kumato sweet baby tomatoes from HEB.
- crushed red pepper to taste
- 9 ounces fresh baby spinach
- 10 ounce package saffron yellow rice
Cook yellow rice according to package directions.
Meanwhile, add about 1 tablespoon olive oil to a skillet over medium-high heat. Cut chicken breast into two-inch (bite-sized) pieces. Season with sea salt and black pepper, then squeeze lemon juice over top, and add lemon zest and half the garlic.
Cook chicken breast in olive oil until cooked through (about 6 minutes). Remove from pan and set aside.
Turn heat down to medium and add a bit more olive oil to pan. Cut your tomatoes into halves then add them to pan with remaining garlic and crushed red pepper to pan.
Allow tomatoes to cook down for about two minutes or until the skin is very glossy and starts to wrinkle. Stir in spinach and cooked until wilted (about 3 minutes).