These Southwest Chicken Meal Prep Bowls are the very best way to kick off 2019! Full of healthy fat, carbs and protein – this is not your average boring desk lunch!
These are Southwest Chicken Meal Prep Bowls. And they are mind-blowing. For several reasons.
Let me tell you why:
- the chicken is so beautifully juicy, seasoned to perfection thanks to something i just recently learned (which i’ll share below!)
- the chicken is also seasoned with a homemade southwestern spice blend (yasss to pantry spices!)
- so many delicious veggies (juicy corn, spicy red onion, cilantro)
- red salsa quinoa (yes yes yes!)
- 100% dairy free!
- they are so meal prep friendly!
Recently I conducted a poll on my Instagram asking what recipes y’all would like to see in 2019. Several people said meal prep recipes they could bring to work! Others said dairy free recipes! So I figured for the very first recipe of 2019, I’d combine the two! Of course, feel free to add cheese or sour cream if that’s your thing. I just think with these mind blowing flavors that these Meal Prep Bowls don’t need it!
These are also made and topped with my Easy Homemade Salsa! I swear, you will never go back to eating canned salsa again after you make this! It’s ultra flavorful, so juicy and delicious! Make it as spicy as you’d like by adding lots of jalapenos!!
Meal Prep Tips:
- Chop all of your garnishes (onion, cilantro, etc.) in advance and keep it in Tupperware for the week. Do this for the corn as well. However, I don’t recommend this step for the avocado as they brown very quickly.
- Make 2 chicken breasts so you can have enough chicken for several times throughout the week. Just make sure and double the Southwestern seasoning amounts below!
- This amount of quinoa made in this recipe yields 3 cups – definitely enough for a few days worth of meals!
- Ration out your quinoa, chicken and corn to Tupperware containers at the beginning of the week – add the extra salsa, onions and garnishes and greens after you heat them up.
- Want to make these vegetarian? Replace the chicken with black beans! Add the same spice mixture to the black beans and heat them up each day with your quinoa.
Life Changing Chicken Seasoning Tip:
Season your chicken breast (or breasts, depending on how many you cook) 1 whole day in advance. I recently learned this from the book Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat. She is a world trained chef and she highly recommended it. So I did it. And OHEMGEE. The chicken was mind blowingly delicious.
It was beautifully seasoned from the inside out! Even my husband noticed the difference! For me, I placed my chicken breast in glass tupperware, used about 1-1.5 tsps of salt on the chicken and rubbed it in. Place it in with a lid in the fridge overnight. You’ll be so pleasantly surprised at what a difference it makes! If you don’t have access to her book, check out her Netflix special which shares the title of her book mentioned above. It will really change the way you cook!
I really hope you guys really enjoy these Southwest Chicken Meal Prep Bowls! They’re perfect for meal prep at work, lunch or dinner at home! Cheers to delicious meals in 2019!
Be sure to follow ourbalancedbowl on Instagram and tag me with your photo! You can also post a photo of your recipe to the Our Balanced Bowl Facebook page! I always love to see your re-creations! If you do make it, be sure to rate and comment so I can get your feedback! Xo!
Southwest Chicken Meal Prep Bowls
These Southwest Chicken Meal Prep Bowls are the very best way to kick off 2019! Full of healthy fat, carbs and protein - this is not your average boring desk lunch!
- 1 lb chicken breast
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- crack of fresh pepper
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup easy homemade salsa (or jarred salsa)
Meal Prep Bowl Garnishes
- 1/2 chopped red onion
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (stems and all)
- 1 14 oz. can of whole kernel corn
- 1 avocado
- 1 lime
The night before you make your chicken, season it with 1 tsp of salt by rubbing it into the chicken. Place in glass tupperware overnight.
The next day, dice your onion and cilantro. Set aside. Open your jar of corn and pour into a bowl. Set this aside also. Cut your avocado in half, and then into large thick slices.
Next, make your salsa! You can either make my Easy Homemade Salsa (which I'll link below) or you can just forget this step and used jarred salsa instead.
Bring 2 cups of water, 1 cup of quinoa and 1 tsp of salt to boil in a medium pot. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and let cook for 15 minutes. Take off the heat and let sit for 3 minutes. Fluff with a fork. To the quinoa, add 1/2 cup of the fresh salsa. Taste and adjust for salt if needed
While your quinoa is cooking, quickly stir together your spices and make your southwestern seasoning in a small bowl. Sprinkle the southwestern seasoning evenly on both sides of chicken, rubbing it in with your hands.
In a non-stick frying pan on medium heat, add olive oil and let it heat up. Once your oil is hot, add your chicken. Cook for 5-6 minutes on each side or until done. Use a meat thermometer or cut open chicken to make sure it’s fully cooked. Once done, I sliced mine in half to divide it between meals.
Assembling your Southwestern Chicken Bowls
Add your quinoa to the bowl first (I added about 1/3 of a cup), followed by the corn (1/3 of cup) and about 1/4 cup of red onion. Add 3-4 slices of avocado. Add 1/2 of the cooked chicken breast. Garnish with a squeeze of lime, more salsa and chopped cilantro! Enjoy!
For meal prep, make sure and only add the quinoa, chicken and corn to the tupperware container to be heated. Then garnish with cilantro, avocado and salsa.
New Years Resolution Thoughts:
Happy New Year, my friends! So exciting to think we are officially starting a New Year. I always cherish this special time – it feels new, lovely and like I can do anything! I especially love looking back on my life on each New Year’s. For example it’s the 5 year anniversary of me taking back my health and losing 80 pounds! You can read more about how I lost the weight and began recovering from my eating disorder after losing the weight HERE if you’d like. Wow, what a journey it has been from there. In a two year span, I lost 80 pounds, met my future husband, graduated college, got engaged, moved away from my home of 22 years, and got married. DANG. What a life! Since then, I am fully pursuing my dream job, we bought our very first home and we have been happily married for over 2 years! I swear, some days my life is a dream!
So, for this reason, I really never ever roll my eyes when someone says they want to “eat healthier” in the New Year. Because, I WAS that person 5 years ago. Actually, I was that person my entire life. But 5 years ago, I actually stuck to it. This year, I encourage you to cultivate and eating plan of BALANCE. That’s what my entire blog is about. Yes, eat these Southwestern Chicken Meal Prep Bowls for lunch everyday. But also, eat a square of chocolate every night for dessert! Don’t fully remove all of the “unhealthy” foods in your life. The sooner you do that, the sooner you will binge eat and quit eating healthy all together like I used to do.
You control your own life. Not food. Remember that going into this New Year! I believe in you!