Hello again! I’m back with another recipe. And not surprisingly, this one is inspired by my love for Asian cuisine.
To be fully transparent, this is a recipe that I found before I was on the CKD diet. It’s Weight Watchers, which is great, but because of the salt, some of the veggies, and use of brown rice, I had to adjust it slightly to work now. But it works just as well (if not better!) and I continue to love it. This recipe is completely customizable too. You can add any veggies you’d like to this dish or if you want to swap chicken for shrimp or beef or just leave it as veggie, feel free! It’s really simple and comes out just as delicious. I’ve admittedly tried this with many, many varieties and like it all the same. Also, this can easily be transformed into a side dish if you want to take out the protein altogether.
Also, because I’ve made this so many times, I’ve found a slightly better order to cook everything, as laid out in my instructions below. The method in the original Weight Watchers recipe works fine too – but I like actually stir frying the rice separately so it gets a nice yummy crispiness.
1/2 cup(s) uncooked scallion(s), chopped, green and white parts
2 clove(s), medium garlic clove(s), minced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 medium red pepper, diced
12 oz uncooked boneless skinless chicken breast(s), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 cup(s) cooked white rice
1/2 cup(s) frozen green peas, thawed
3 Tbsp of cilantro, chopped
3 Tbsp coconut aminos
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
OPTIONAL: 1/2 cup(s) uncooked carrot(s), diced
NOTE: If you have a wok, this is ideal for this recipe. If not, I would recommend using a large skillet that is pre-heated until hot. You can use a cast iron or nonstick, but it’s important to make sure it’s hot before you begin cooking anything. That creates the nice sear on the bottom like a wok would. It also should be a larger size – there’s a lot of food in this recipe!
Pre-cook the rice according to package instructions. Set aside and allow to cool.
After skillet has warmed up, coat with 1 tablespoon of canola oil and add the chicken. Cook until done, when no longer pink inside, about 5 minutes. Add the peppers, optional carrots, minced garlic and ginger. Stir together and allow to cook for 4-5 minutes or until peppers have softened.
Remove from skillet and set aside.
Coat skillet with remaining 1 tablespoon of canola oil and add the pre-cooked rice. Spread the rice out around the skillet so as much of it is covering the surface as possible. Allow to sit (untouched) for 5 minutes or until slightly browned on the side. Stir around the pan and allow other side of rice to cook for additional 3-4 minutes.
Once the rice is browned, add back in the chicken, peppers, garlic and ginger. Add in the coconut aminos and rice wine vinegar. Add the frozen peas and stir together. Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes until combined.
In the center of the skillet, make a hole by pushing back the rice-chicken-veggie mixture towards the outer edges. In the hole, add the egg whites and stir. Egg whites will cook quickly so make sure to stir rapidly until they are scrambled. Once they are fully cooked, combine the eggs in with the rest of the mixture.
I remember the first time I went into Chipotle. It was awhile ago – probably 7 or 8 years ago – and everyone at my office had been raving about it. I always liked Mexican but I couldn’t imagine how fast-food Mexican could be different than Taco Bell. But one afternoon, I decided to go and fell in love. There was so much goodness in that one bowl…the creamy guacamole, the spice of the salsa, chicken, beans, rice…it was like someone managed to take all of the best parts of a plate of nachos, throw them on rice, and call it a day. It was like heaven and I think I went back at least a dozen times.
And then two things happened: 1. I read an article online about the calorie and fat content of Chipotle and nearly fell out of my chair. My amazing dream of a lunch was close to 52 grams of fat and 1,000 calories (and that’s without the side of chips). And did I mention the sodium? It was more than half of the recommended daily intake. And then a couple of years later, #2 happened: I went on the CKD diet and all thoughts and forms of fast-food became a hazy memory.
But in my quest to find food that fit the diet and I enjoyed, I was in my office, watching someone eating Chipotle, and it occurred to me that the basics of the burrito bowl I had fallen in love with a few years ago were, in fact, on the diet. If I removed the beans and the cheese, all of the individual items I included in my bowl were acceptable. I ran home that night to make it, so here is the recipe.
I will note that there are two ways to make this: 1. With rice as your base and 2. With lettuce as your base. Sometimes I make this for dinner (see #1) and sometimes I make this for lunch (see #2) – it’s flexible and easy.
Serving Size: 2 people, if you want more, just double it
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
1 cup uncooked white rice (if you want to make this for 4 people, just double this)
4 peppers (I prefer red)
2 tablespoons of canola oil
1 lb lean ground turkey
1-2 chopped jalapenos
2 cups frozen corn
1 small red onion, chopped finely
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1/2 cup cilantro
Sour Cream (optional)
Hot Sauce (Optional)
Roast the Peppers (This step is optional): If you prefer your peppers roasted, set your oven for 400 degrees. Slice the peppers into thin strips and toss them in 1 tablespoon of canola oil. Roast them in the oven for 20 minutes. Flip them onto the other side and put them back in the oven for another 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool. Once at room temperature, dice them into smaller, bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
Cook the rice according to the package instructions. Set aside.
Defrost the corn in the microwave by adding corn and a tablespoon of water in a microwave-safe bowl. Depending on your microwave, start at 90 seconds and see if it’s done. Add another 15-20 seconds until defrosted. Drain and allow to cool.
ALTERNATIVE: You can make the Corn Salsa from my recipe and use this instead. If you choose to do this, omit the jalapeño and red onion from this recipe.
Pour 1 tablespoon of canola oil to a large pan on medium heat and add the chopped red onion. After 2-3 minutes when it starts to soften, add the raw ground turkey. Break up into small pieces and allow to cook all the way through, about 8 minutes.
After all of the pink has disappeared from the ground turkey and it is cooked through, add your spices – the paprika, cumin and cayenne pepper. Stir together so all of the turkey is coated. All to sit for 3-4 minutes so the oil/juice is soaked up and the meat has turned a dark red color from the spices.
While the turkey is cooking, start to assemble your bowl. Place some rice at the bottom, then add the roasted red peppers and corn. Then add some of the jalapeños (be careful not to add too many if you don’t like it spicy…remember, the turkey is spicy too). If using avocado, cut up a few small chunks and add it to the bowl. When the turkey is done cooking, add it to the top.
If you’re using sour cream, add a tablespoon on top of the turkey and then sprinkle on your chopped cilantro. If you like hot sauce, add this as well. Finally, squeeze the lime over the whole bowl. Repeat for multiple people/bowls.