This past weekend, three separate storms blew through the Pacific Northwest. We had lots of rain and lots of wind and there were generally times when we wanted to do nothing but hole up in the apartment with a bowl of warm food and a good movie. So, in between the climbing and the van work, that’s exactly what we did! I love meals like this Chicken Burrito Farro Bowl. This one-pot meal is full of protein, nutrient-dense carbs and lots of veggies. It requires minimal prep time, and minimal hands-on time. And did I mention it only uses one pot? These are the meals that make me happy 🙂 When we need to fuel our bodies for a big climbing day, this is the type of food we love to eat.
There are certain foods we like to buy every week, to make our lunch and dinner prep much easier. One of these is a roasted chicken from a local grocery store, which we split and keep in the fridge, using the leftovers as one of our meal-savers.
Need to bulk out your lunch? Add some roast chicken.
Want to make your dinner omelettes more interesting? Leftover chicken to the rescue!
The inspiration for this meal came from this Chicken and Rice post; as soon as I saw it, I knew I wanted to try a simplified version. To make it quicker (hello, roast chicken!) without sacrificing flavour, and add a bit more nutritional heft (hello, nutty farro) without taking away the goal of using only one pot.
This recipe is one of those that can be whipped up on a weeknight when your time might be crunched. We diced up fresh heirloom tomatoes, but using canned tomatoes along with roasted leftover chicken means the prep for this meal is minimal. And while it may not look like much, it is unbelievably tasty!
We’ve made it a few times now – the first, we added big dollops of guacamole to it, and nibbled it on the weekend, alongside some tortilla chips and a Netflix movie.
The second time, we were more civilized and ate at the table.
And the bonus of a one-pot meal like this is that, for a household of two, there is more than enough left over for lunch the next day! And believe me, you want to eat these leftovers.
The idea is the same as a basic chicken-and-rice meal, where everything is simmered under enough liquid to cook the rice. Think of it like making risotto, but with less hassle in the stirring department. The spices and black beans take it into “Burrito Territory″ and, although we prefer the nutty bite of farro to standard rice, we have made it with brown rice and it still tastes great.
Again, like many of these one-pot meals, it’s easy to customize depending on your dietary preferences or what you have in your pantry! I bet tofu or chickpeas would make a great substitute for the chicken. Maybe try quinoa or cauliflower rice instead of the farro! So many variations, so few stormy weekends 😉
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- 1 medium red pepper, diced
- 2 - 4 red thai chilis (depending on your spice tolerance, omit if necessary)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp paprika
- 1 tsp chipotle powder
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper (or less, depending on your spice tolerance)
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 700 g fresh tomatoes, diced (or 1 - 14 oz can)
- 1 cup uncooked farro, rinsed and drained
- 1 14-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed thoroughly
- 250 g (~2 cups) roasted chicken, cut up into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- 1 lime, zest and juice
- In a large pot, heat a small amount of oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion, garlic and red thai chilies and saute for a few minutes, until the onion starts to soften.
- Add the cumin, chipotle powder, cayenne powder, paprika, sea salt and tomato paste. Stir around until the onion mixture is completely coated, then add the red pepper and saute for a few minutes until the pepper starts to soften.
- Add the diced tomatoes (and juices), uncooked farro, black beans, roasted chicken and broth. Stir until everything is mixed together.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer until the farro is cooked, about 30 to 40 minutes. Stir every so often to prevent sticking to the bottom.
- Once the farro is cooked, add in the lime juice and zest and sprinkle the chopped cilantro over the chicken mixture. Stir to combine, and serve!