As a recipe developer, many people think I have elaborate meals prepared for Ben and myself each night of the week but, ha. Haha. HAHAHA. No! No, I do not. I’m just like every busy person/mom — after a long day of work, all I want is something quick and easy, yet fresh and filling, to put onto the table.
If you’re in the same boat, may I suggest Chicken Power Bowls with Crispy Baked Garbanzo Beans? This make-ahead meal is not only packed with craveable flavors and textures, but protein and nutrition too. It’s the perfect lunch or dinner recipe that won’t leave you searching the pantry 20 minutes after eating!
Protein Packed Power Bowl
Chicken Power Bowls with Crispy Baked Garbanzo Beans is a recipe based on Panera’s hidden menu, which offers “power bowls” that are rich in protein and contain only limited amounts of processed carbs. I love the idea so much that I created my own version!
Baby spinach is topped with sauteed chicken, crispy baked garbanzo beans, hard boiled eggs, shelled pistachios, dried cranberries, and creamy chevre (goat cheese, y’all). This gorgeous bowl of deliciousness will fuel you ALL the way through the day or night, and is so stinking healthy, its borderline ridiculous.
Prep Ahead then Assemble and Eat
The best part though? The cooked elements are make / prep-ahead so all you have to do at meal time is assemble and eat. Layer the ingredients in a mason jar to take for a healthy lunch at the office, or pile into bowls at the end of the crazy day.
Take my advice and add this delicious, protein-filled power bowl to your menu this week!
Step 1: Make the Crispy Baked Garbanzo Beans
Start by making the Crispy Baked Garbanzo Beans, aka healthy Corn Nuts. Yeahhhh! Drain then rinse a 15oz can of garbanzo beans (you might also find them labeled as chickpeas at the store.)
Pour the chickpeas onto a kitchen towel then gently pat/rub until completely dry. Pour the beans onto a baking sheet then toss with extra virgin olive oil and bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, shaking the pan halfway through. Lastly, season with salt. The beans will be crisp right out of the oven, but will get even crunchier as they cool.
Tip: You can make these ahead of time. Be sure to cool the crispy chickpeas completely before storing in an airtight container.
Step 2: Make the Hard Boiled Eggs
Place large eggs in a saucepan then add cold water until it covers the tops by one inch, taking care not to crowd the eggs.
Bring the water to a boil then place a lid on top and remove the pan from the heat. Let the eggs sit for EXACTLY 12 minutes then plunge them into ice water, or run under cold water for a few minutes.
When they’re cool enough to handle, lightly smash the egg against a cutting board then roll with a little pressure until the egg is cracked all the way across the middle. Next, peel! The key to getting eggs to peel easily is to peel them fresh out of the ice bath vs refrigerating with the shell on and trying later.
Tip: the hard boiled eggs can be made and peeled ahead of time. Just slice when you’re ready to serve the Chicken Power Bowls.
Step 3: Saute Chicken Breasts
You can’t have Chicken Power Bowls without chicken, so saute chicken breasts that have been brushed with extra virgin olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper, then let cool for 10 minutes before thinly slicing or chopping. You can also do this ahead of time. Just cool the chicken breasts then refrigerate — save the slicing/chopping until serving.
Step 4: Make the Dressing
Almost done! Make the Lemon-Honey Dressing to drizzle on top of the bowls next. You could use any salad dressing you have in your fridge for these bowls, but this homemade dressing is simply divine.
Combine the fresh lemon juice with extra virgin olive oil, honey, fresh garlic, salt, and pepper in a jar or bowl then shake or whisk to combine. That’s it!
Finally, add baby spinach to bowls then top each with the prepared hard boiled eggs, crispy baked garbanzo beans, and sliced chicken, plus shelled pistachios, dried cranberries, and crumbled chevre (goat cheese.) Drizzle with the Lemon-Honey Vinaigrette, then dig in. I hope you love this healthy, filling, fresh meal – enjoy!
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Chicken Power Bowls with Crispy Baked Garbanzo Beans
Chicken Power Bowls with Crispy Baked Garbanzo Beans is packed with protein to keep you full for hours! Fresh, healthy, and filling.
- 15oz can garbanzo beans (also called chickpeas)
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 chicken breasts (12-14oz,) pounded to an even thickness
- extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 4 eggs
- 9oz baby spinach
- 1/2 cup shelled pistachios
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 4oz chevre (goat cheese)
- For the Lemon-Honey Vinaigrette:
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 6 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 1 garlic clove, microplaned or minced
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drain garbanzo beans then rinse and pat dry with a towel (the dryer the better!) Pour onto a baking sheet then add extra virgin olive oil and toss with your hands to coat. Bake for 35-40 minutes, stirring halfway through, or until caramel in color (beans will continue crisping as they cool.) Sprinkle with salt then set aside to cool completely. (Can be done ahead of time. Bake then cool completely before storing in an airtight container.)
- Place eggs in a saucepan then cover with cold water 1″ above the tops. Bring to a boil, place a lid on top, then remove pan from heat and let sit for 12 minutes. Drain then plunge eggs into ice water or run under cold water for a few minutes. Peel eggs when cool enough to handle then slice. (Can be done ahead of time. Cook then peel eggs and store in the refrigerator, and then slice before serving.)
- Brush chicken breasts on both sides with extra virgin olive oil then season with salt and pepper. Saute in a skillet over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes a side, or until no longer pink in the center. Cool for 10 minutes, then thinly slice. (Can be done ahead of time. Cook then cool and refrigerate, and then slice before serving.)
- Divide spinach between four bowls then top each bowl with 1/4 cup crispy baked garbanzo beans, 1/4 of the cooked chicken, 1 sliced hard-boiled egg, 2 Tablespoons each pistachios and dried cranberries, and 1oz crumbled goat cheese.
- For the Lemon-Honey Vinaigrette: combine all ingredients in a jar or bowl then shake or whisk to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary then pour over salads and serve.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.