When looking for a quick, healthy dinner to throw together for the family, I often turn to a variation of a Japanese fast-food favorite that I experienced during my time in Okinawa: a Teriyaki Chicken Bowl. The original dish was made with white rice, chicken, and broccoli florets, served in a bowl, all swimming in a sea of Teriyaki sauce. As with everything that I touch in the kitchen, I tweaked it a bit to our family’s tastes and healthy lifestyle. The result? A low calorie, low fat dinner that satisfies everyone!
The only major preparation is the marinade. I usually throw this together the night before, or if I have enough time before leaving for work. I would suggest marinating the chicken for a minimum of four hours, but it can be done for anywhere from 12-24 hours. In a large Ziploc bag, add four chicken breasts, a bottle of teriyaki marinade (reserving a ½ cup for garnishment), an inch chunk of ginger that has been peeled and thinly sliced, four sliced scallions, and three teaspoons of minced garlic. Zip up tight and place in the refrigerator, flipping every several hours, if possible.
When you are ready to prep for dinner, cook the brown rice. Honestly, cooking rice is as simple as boiling water, stirring in the rice, cooking for 5 minutes, covering the pot and turning off the heat, and letting it sit for 15 minutes. That is it. <time hack – keep precooked rice in Ziploc baggies in the freezer. Microwave covered, in a microwave-safe container for 3 minutes per sandwich-sized baggie. Easy-peasy!>
While your rice is cooking, remove the chicken breasts from the Ziploc bag and throw away the marinade. Spray a skillet with olive oil, and cook the chicken breasts on medium-low heat, flipping often. While the chicken is cooking, steam six cups of fresh broccoli florets,
and four cups of sliced carrots. I use my Pampered Chef micro-cookers to do this; it saves time and steams your vegetables beautifully. <time hack – chop your veggies the night before, so all you have to do is steam them when you are preparing dinner>
Continue cooking the chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from the skillet. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, slice into bite-sized pieces. Place the chicken on a plate and cover to rest while you finish the rest of your meal prep.
While the skillet is still hot, add one teaspoon of olive oil and 8 ounces of sliced button mushrooms. The olive oil and moisture cooking out of the mushrooms will start to loosen up some of the delicious caramelized teriyaki sauce at the bottom of the skillet. Continue to sauté, scrape and stir until the mushrooms are cooked to your liking.
It’s assembly time! You could, of course throw all of this into a bowl, cook your broccoli so much that it is almost unrecognizable as broccoli by its brown color, remove the carrots and mushrooms, and douse it with Teriyaki sauce/marinade and you would have a fairly close version of an Okinawan cuisine. But we are going healthy here, right? So layer all ingredients as follows: brown rice, steamed carrots, steamed broccoli, sautéed mushrooms, chunks of chicken, and drizzle with Teriyaki sauce/marinade or soy sauce to taste.
Viola! I like to serve this Asian-inspired dish with steamed Edamame and an Asian-kale salad. Look at all that green! My Old Man would be proud! Enjoy!
** To my Pescetarian friends, you could simply substitute salmon for the chicken. I would only marinate the salmon for a few hours though. Same thing for my Vegetarian friends – substitute tofu chunks for the chicken. I don’t have a lot of experience with tofu; however I would only marinate extra-firm, water packed tofu for at the most two hours, before pan frying it.**
Teriyaki Chicken Bowl – Minus the Bowl
4 chicken breasts, thawed
1 bottle of Teriyaki marinade/sauce, 12 ounces minimum, reserving ½ cup for garnish
1 inch chunk of fresh ginger, sliced thinly
4 scallions, sliced thinly
3 teaspoons of chopped garlic
6 cups of cooked brown rice
6 cups of fresh broccoli florets, steamed
4 cups of fresh carrots, steamed
8 ounces of fresh button mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon olive oil
- Place chicken, Teriyaki marinade, ginger, scallions, and garlic in a Ziploc bag. Marinade in the refrigerator for four – 24 hours.
- Remove chicken from the Ziploc bag and dispose of the marinade. Cook chicken on medium-low heat until it reaches an internal temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from skillet, slice into bite-sized chunks, and place on a plate, covered, to rest for 10 minutes.
- In the same skillet you cooked the chicken in, add olive oil, and sauté the mushrooms until desired tenderness, scraping the caramelized teriyaki sauce off the bottom of the skillet and stirring into the mushrooms.
- Layer brown rice, steamed carrots, steamed broccoli, sautéed mushrooms, and chicken on a plate. Drizzle with additional Teriyaki marinade or soy sauce.