These are totally my kind of weekday lunch or dinner.
They have texture, layers of flavor, and SO much color. A few months ago when I was writing the HBH cookbook manuscript, there was day after day of non-stop writing. No joke, non-stop writing. Typically, my days are filled with cooking and writing at night, so this was a bit of an adjustment for me, since I was basically doing zero cooking all week-long. This is when I turned to Sunday meal prep. That way, come lunch and dinner, I actually had food other than avocado toast and eggs to eat…not that there’s anything wrong with avocado toast and eggs, but you know, variety is occasionally needed in one’s diet.
I’m not sure why it took me so long to do something like this, but honestly, I am so excited about it! I love the idea of making a healthy delicious meal that can be enjoyed throughout the week.
OK, here’s how this whole meal prep thing works…or at least here’s how I do it. First, I highly recommend investing in some pretty glass storage containers. Not only are these convenient, but for me, they make the process a little more fun. And yes, I am so weird, but I like pretty things! I just ordered these Rubbermaid Glass Storage Containers on Amazon. I think they would be great for this recipe, and they clean up really nicely, which is always a huge bonus.
Second task, grocery shop! Look carefully at your recipe, read the ingredients closely, and then make your list! Once at the grocery store, try to physically cross off all of your items as you go. Most of us at one time or another, have gotten home only to realize that we forgot the most important ingredient! That is the worst…like the worst.
Once home, put everything away, get organized and then it is GO time. To prep for this recipe, you’ll need a couple of baking sheets and a pot for the couscous (or quinoa if that’s more your thing). Pretty simple.
The first step is to marinate the chicken for half an hour or so. If you’re short on time, you can definitely skip marinating, but I find it really tenderizes the chicken, making it much more moist and juicy. <–sounds really weird saying that out loud, but it’s true. I always start with the chicken, then while it’s marinating, I prep all the veggies.
The next step is to arrange the marinated chicken on one sheet pan and the sweet potatoes fries and asparagus on another. Then throw them all in the oven and roast. While those are cooking, I like to make the couscous. Sometimes I’ll use quinoa, but couscous is very middle eastern, so it fits more with the this recipe and its middle eastern roots. During this time I’ll also make the garlic tahini yogurt and then gather all the toppings, storing each in their own little container for easy access. When everything is done cooking, I let it all cool, then store everything in separate glass containers. I prefer to store ingredients separately so I can easily assemble my bowls when getting ready to serve. However, if you’re planning on taking these to work as lunch or you need your dinner completely assembled (maybe to take to a potluck), you can assemble the bowls like you see in the photos, just leave the avocado and lettuce off, as those are best to add right before eating.
Once everything is packed up, throw it in the fridge and DONE. How easy was that? Probably about an hour of work for a weeks worth of healthy lunches or dinners.
Um, yes please!
Honest, these bowls saved the day while I was writing the book. Now I am kind of hoping they will save yours too! And guys, if you’re not into meal prepping and you are simply in need of an easy dinner, this recipe is pretty dang good for that too.
Hello, shawarma chicken, sweet potato fries, garlic tahini yogurt, couscous, avocado and goat cheese. Yup, dinner (or lunch) perfection!
Chicken Shawarma and Sweet Potato Fry Bowls
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size chunks
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt and pepper
- juice of 2 lemons
- 4 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 sweet potatoes, cut into matchsticks
- 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
- 4 cups cooked couscous or quinoa
- 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives and oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, oil drained
- crumbled goat cheese, shredded lettuce, avocado, sliced cucumbers, pickled red onions, pine nuts, lemons, mint, and or cilantro, for serving
Garlic Tahini Yogurt
- 1 cup plain greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1. In a large gallon size zip-top bag, combine the chicken, honey, paprika, cumin, salt, pepper, lemon juice, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, and 2 tablespoons olive oil, toss to combine. Seal and chill for 30 minutes or up to 12 hours.
2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
3. Place the sweet potatoes on a large baking sheet and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper. Transfer to the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes, then flip and bake for 15-20 minutes more.
4. Place the asparagus on a baking sheet and toss with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, kosher salt and pepper. Transfer to the oven and roast for 10-15 minutes.
5. Place the marinated chicken on a large baking sheet and spread in an even layer. Transfer to the oven and roast for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
6. Divide the couscous among 4-6 storage containers and arrange the chicken, sweet potatoes, asparagus, olives, and sun-dried tomatoes on top. Alternately, you can store the couscous, chicken, and veggies in separate containers and assemble when ready. Food will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week.
7. Before serving, warm each bowl if desired and top with garlic yogurt (see below) and your desired toppings.
Garlic Tahini Yogurt
1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking. Keep stored in the fridge for up to 1 week.
AND it’s healthy too. You see, the bestest!
ps. while naan is not pictured, I highly, highly recommend it along side these bowls.