Thai BBQ Chicken Bowl

Walnuts are the perfect complement to this Thai inspired barbeque bowl that’s a  mix of brown rice, roasted red peppers,  BBQ chicken, arugula, garbonzo beans and  drizzled with  a warm  sweet and sour sauce.IMG_4371

Disclosure: I received free samples of California walnuts mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Walnut Commission and I am eligble to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

Versatily, variety and the pleasure of eating! Yep, that’s what I’m talkin’ about, and it all starts here with these..IMG_4333.. I would eat them for their delicious crunch alone, but they’re also a powerhouse of good nutrition providing important components of a healthy diet- an ounce of walnuts has 2.5 grams of the essential plant-based omega 3 alpha-linolenic acic (ALA), 4 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber to keep you feeling full. I love to  gooble them up by the handful, but  they’re also a perfect complement to other whole foods! In her book, the Vegetarian Flavor Bible, Karen Page  lists over 100 whole foods that pair with walnuts, from apples to zucchini. Talk about versatility!

 Because I ‘m a creature of habit, I  tend to eat foods that are familiar to me.  So when given a two pound bag of delicious walnuts, here’s what I’d typically do with them (besides eating them by the handful):

• make banana nut muffins

• prepare a nut roll

• use as a coating for chicken and fish

• add to cereals and granola

• add to salads

• add to smoothies

• make nut butter

Now don’t get me wrong, there ‘s nothing wrong with any of the above. However,  today the challenge is to play matchmaker and create clever pairings for this hard working nut and other whole foods to give you ideas for a healthy pantry makeover. You see, the folks at the California Walnut Commission are smart; they  know that the walnut hasn’t reached it’s culinary potential! Incorporating walnuts and other whole foods into nutritious dishes with  exciting new tastes and textures will improve your eating pleasure. So let’s get started!

Today I’m focusing on variety in one single bowl. That’s right, one bowl with layers of nutritious and tasty ingredients including a whole grain,  both plant and animal proteins,  raw and cooked veggies, and delicious California walnuts. The sweet and tangy sauce drizzled over the top will excite your taste buds even more. I hope you will continute to enjoy California walnuts in your favorite  traditional walnut dishes and in this extraordinary  BBQ bowl!IMG_4362

Thai BBQ Chicken Bowl, serves 4

by Diane Boyd

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 4-8 cups fresh arugula
  • 2 red peppers, sliced
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 cup  garbonzo beans
  • 1 cup walnuts

for the marinade

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons cooking sherry
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 minced garlic gloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes

for the dipping sauce

  • 2/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce

Instructions

1.Preheat grill

1.Combine all ingredients for marinade in bowl and stir well to dissole the sugar.

2. Add chicken and red pepper slices. Cover and place in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 2 hours.

3. Make diping sauce by adding all ingredients into a sauce pan. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat slightly and keep on a gentle boil. When sauce is reduced to 1/3,remove from heat. The sauce will thicken with time. You can make this ahead of time, but add a little water when you reheat.

4. Brush grill grates with oil or spray with cooking spray.

5. Place chicken and red peppers on grill grate and grill on medium heat , turning oaccasionally. Remove when chicken is fully cooked and peppers are charred.

5. In 4 serving bowls, layer brown rice, arugula, roasted red peppers, garbonzo beans, grilled chicken, and walnuts. Drizzle with warm sweet and sour sauce.

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Grilled Salmon Skewers

Get your party started this summer with nutritious and delicious grilled salmon skewer appetizers. Grilledsalmon skewer appetizers (1)If there’s a trend I can get behind, it’s outdoor living!  I love creating spaces where I can read,  enjoy a bite to eat or just chill. Now that I’ve successfully refinished the surface of an old table (#inlovewithmyminisander), I’ m ready to reveal my latest project…

IMG_4296

..call it a patio, porch, or veranda, but I call it Keeper’s bedroom. Here’s where Keeper, my 16 year old labrador retriever  hangs out  most days and some nights too!IMG_4311

My new dog friendly zone ties in with the al fresco dining part this month’s Recipe Redux theme : Small Plates for Sunny Days.

Small bites are perfect for trying many different tastes. Take tapas style eating outside for al fresco dining or a simple picnic. Or maybe you’re serving small bites at a bridal or baby shower or a graduation party. Show us your healthy take on small plates and finger foods. 

Hanging out with Keeper, in his shady exterior  room, I’m enjoying my delicious small bites, Grilled Salmon Skewers. (BTW, all my dogs love salmon). These little kebabs, high in protein and omega 3 fatty acids,  make a dynamite combo with other  finger foods or salads; I paired a couple with some tabouli, made with ingredients from my CSA (community sponsored agriculture) box.IMG_4272 I  bet there are some more great links from my Recipe Redux colleagues  at the bottom of this post for recipes that will pair delightfully with my Grilled Salmon Skewer appetizers. Please let me know in the comments section what you think looks yummy!

Grilled Salmon Skewers (Appetizers)

by Diane Boyd

Ingredients (serves 12)

  • 1 pound salmon filet, skinned
  • 3 tablespoons pesto sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • lemon slices

Instructions

Thirty minutes before grilling, soak twelve 6- to 8- inch wooden skewers in water. Drain. Set aside.

Preheat gas grill.

Rinse salmon; pat dry with paper towels. Cut salmon filet in half lengthwise, then cut each piece crosswise into 6 pieces.

Combine pesto, lemon juice and salmon. Toss. Allow to stand 5 minutes. Tread one salmon pice onto each wooden skewer.

Reduce heat on grill to medium. Arrange skewers on greased grill rack. Cover. Grill for about 3 minutes then turn. grill for 3 to 5 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Serve with lemon wedges.

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