One-Pot Thai Peanut Shredded Chicken

Have you ever had an idea for something you want to eat, and it comes together exactly as you hoped it would? This Thai Peanut Shredded Chicken dish was that meal. Quite often, we start talking about our “weekend food” early in the week (like, Tuesday morning 😉 ). If we can, we try to cook something new on the weekends, because it can often take longer to make than a standard weeknight meal and we have more time.

I made a batch of my slider buns the previous weekend, so the plan was to do pair those with something. Our first thought was pulled pork (because we love it), but then I saw a few recipes float by online that used tantalizing words like Vietnamese and lemongrass and slow-cooked.

So my brain took those words and ran in a completely different direction and came up with: chicken breast, poached in a Thai broth, shredded and tossed in a spicy peanut sauce.

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Have you ever used the poaching method to cook anything other than eggs? We’ve poached fish before, but nothing else. I must say, this method was the main reason this meal came together so quickly, it’s fast and easy, and keeps the meat juicy and flavourful.

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As a bonus, I found this was so quick to make that it could easily be moved into the weeknight meal category… and it only uses one pot… and you get super tasty leftovers…

What’s not to love!

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We ate this Thai peanut shredded chicken piled high on the slider buns, topped with slices of fresh, juicy pineapple. It was a match made in Saturday-night food heaven.

I bet it would be equally fantastic in a taco or alongside a crunchy salad, or simply straight from the pan. This wild-card recipe is definitely going to be added to our weeknight rotation!

One-Pot Thai Peanut Shredded Chicken
 
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Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 500 g boneless skinless chicken breast, or 750 g bone-in chicken breast / thighs
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and diced
  • 2 to 4 Thai red chilis (depending on how spicy you like your food)
  • 1 stalk lemongrass (bottom ⅓ thinly sliced, middle ⅓ chopped into large pieces, upper ⅓ discarded)
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 - 3 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 lime, zest + juice
  • 1 handful cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp peanut oil, or neutral oil
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, saute the garlic, ginger, lemongrass slices and red Thai chilis in peanut oil until soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the chicken broth, chicken pieces and lemongrass chunks. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and poach the chicken until the meat is cooked, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  3. Remove the chicken and place it on a plate to cool. Once it is cool enough to handle, shred the meat with 2 forks.
  4. Skim off any fat from the chicken broth and return the pot (with broth) back to the stove top. Add the peanut butter and soy sauce and whisk to combine. Over medium-low heat, allow the mixture to reduce and thicken. This should take about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the lime juice and zest and chopped cilantro.
  5. Add in the shredded chicken and stir to combine. Once the chicken is warmed through, it's ready to serve.

Enjoy this One-Pot Thai Peanut Shredded Chicken!

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One-Pot Sausage and Chickpea Bowl with Goat Cheese

The holiday season seems to ensure we consume more than our daily quota of sugar intake, which is probably why we crave our veggies and greens. With Vancouver still reeling from its unusual cold snap, we’re also embracing our veggies roasted or sauted. This one-pot sausage and chickpea bowl with goat cheese hits many of our winter food requirements:

  • It’s hot (hello, roasted goodness)
  • It still has lots of colour (hello, tasty veggies)
  • It’s satisfying (hello, chickpeas and local sausage)
  • It has cheese (enough said) 🙂

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This meal is quick to put together (think, under 30 minutes) and I like to think of it as more of a broad pairing-guide, than a recipe. During the winter, we usually have roasted vegetables 4 or 5 times a week and change-up the protein as our cravings desire. So this recipe is more of a “what to add to your warm veggies” meal, than anything else.

I know I’ve mentioned it before, but we like spicy food. We picked up a few pork Habanero sausages from the local butcher, and they really added a great flavour to this meal. Pair that with a few cloves of garlic, a glug or two of white wine, and a sprinkle of tangy goat cheese, and this meal definitely elevated our roasted veggies up a notch or two.

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I can see this sausage and chickpea bowl coming together in one of two ways:

  1. The lazy-man’s approach: Roast your veggies and chickpeas together on a tray in the oven. Cook the sausages at the same time, flipping them every 7 or 8 minutes, until they’re cooked through. Then throw everything into a large bowl, mix with the fresh herbs, and top with a sprinkling of goat cheese.
  2. The slightly more active-man’s approach: Saute the veggies and chickpeas together in a large pot on the stove. Cook the sausages in the oven, flipping them every 7 or 8 minutes until they’re cooked through. Then throw the sliced sausages, fresh herbs and a sprinkling of goat cheese into the veggie pot.

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Either way, the result is quick, flavourful and healthy meal that will ease any guilt you might have after taste-testing all those extra rugelach, for quality-assurance purposes 🙂

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One-Pot Sausage and Chickpea Bowl with Goat Cheese
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
This healthy one-pot meal comes together in under 30 minutes. Use any veggies you'd like, to completely customize your dinner.
Ingredients
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced into half moons
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 medium bell peppers, sliced into strips
  • 1 pint (~350 g) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 red thai chilies, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 small bunch of kale, thinly sliced or shredded
  • 1 can (398 mL) chickpeas, drained and rinsed thoroughly
  • 150 g (~2 large) pork Habanero sausages (or flavour of your choice)
  • Glug of white wine, or white wine vinegar
  • 50 - 75 g soft goat's cheese
  • Handful of fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • Handful of fresh mint, finely chopped
Instructions
  1. Prick the sausages and place on a tray. Broil in the oven for 25 minutes, or until cooked completely, flipping every 5 to 7 minutes. Allow to cool briefly before slicing into pieces.
  2. At the same time, heat a small amount of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  3. Add the onions, garlic and chilies and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the bell peppers, tomatoes and chickpeas and cook until softened, about 10 minutes.
  4. Deglaze the pan with a glug of white wine, then add the chopped kale and stir until the kale starts to wilt.
  5. Add the sliced sausage, cilantro and mint to the pot and stir until combined.
  6. Divide into bowls and top with the goat cheese.

Enjoy the One-Pot Sausage and Chickpea Bowl with Goat Cheese!

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One-Pot Chicken Burrito Farro Bowl

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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

Highly recommended.

The second time, we were more civilized and ate at the table.

Equally tasty.

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.

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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 😉

One-Pot Chicken Burrito Farro Bowl
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Inspired by the recipe from How Sweet It Is
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes (and juices), uncooked farro, black beans, roasted chicken and broth. Stir until everything is mixed together.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!
Notes
If you want to keep this vegetarian, use vegetable broth instead and replace the chicken with another protein, like chickpeas or tofu.

Enjoy!

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Easy One-Pot Farro Jambalaya

We have made this easy, one-pot Farro Jambalaya a few times, and the flavour never disappoints! It’s quick enough to make on a week night, and is also a fantastic freezer-meal. Make it on the weekend, and you can have lunches for the week!

We were craving a nice warm “bowl food” dinner but wanted to load up on protein and good complex carbohydrates. I did a quick search online for a jambalaya or gumbo recipe, and decided to wing it with a mish-mash of various recipes.

Traditionally, jambalaya is usually made with Andouille sausage, chicken, shrimp, white rice and a few different spices. We branched out and used Hot Italian sausage instead of Andouille, pinto beans instead of chicken, and farro instead of white rice.

While the Pearson-ified version is a bit of a deviation from the traditional, we were more than happy with the end result! We have been on an ancient-grain kick, adding either quinoa or farro to our meals. I love the nutty taste and chewy bite of farro, and it added the perfect texture to this meal.

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The combination of farro (which, incidentally, has the same amount of protein per cup as quinoa), sausage, beans and shrimp give this meal a whopping 18 g of protein per bowl! Adding in the good carbs, from the farro, and this meal will keep you full, with your energy levels up, all day. Are you hooked yet?

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If you’re still battling with cool / wet / white spring weather, and you’re not sure what to have for dinner tonight, give this easy weeknight farro jambalaya a try. It is the perfect healthy comfort food to warm up your day or evening 🙂

Easy One-Pot Farro Jambalaya
 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 6 - 8 bowls
  • Serving size: 1 bowl
  • Calories: 340
  • Fat: 15.7 g
  • Saturated fat: 5.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 33 g
  • Sugar: 7.1 g
  • Sodium: 600 mg
  • Fiber: 8 g
  • Protein: 18 g
  • Cholesterol: 64.8 g
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 - 4 red thai chili peppers, optional depending on your love of spicy food
  • 2 cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • ⅓ cup white wine, optional
  • 1 - 796 mL (28 fl oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 medium (~350 g) Hot Italian sausages
  • 1 - 398 mL can pinto beans, drained and rinsed very well
  • 1 cup dried farro, rinsed under running water and drained
  • 200 g prawns or shrimp meat
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
The spice mix
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
Instructions
  1. Prick the sausages with a fork and cook under the broiler until brown on all sides, about 15 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before cutting the sausage into thick slices.
  2. Heat a small amount of oil over medium heat in a large, heavy-bottomed pan.
  3. Add the onion and saute until they start to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, red thai chilis, bell peppers, and spices (thyme, cayenne pepper, paprika and oregano), stirring to combine everything. Continue to saute another 5 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften and brown.
  4. De-glaze the pan with the white wine, if using, then add the can of diced tomatoes (with its juices) and 2 cups of low-sodium chicken broth.
  5. Add the chopped sausage, pinto beans and farro, and stir to combine.
  6. Bring the jambalaya up to a boil then add the bay leaves, partially cover with a lid and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until the farro is tender, but still has a bite, about 25 minutes.
  7. In the last 5 minutes, add the prawns or shrimp meat and stir to combine.
  8. Just before serving, remove the bay leaves and add the chopped cilantro.
Notes
This jambalaya tastes even better the next day, and also freezes well.

Enjoy!

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10-Spice Chocolate Chicken Chili

This 10-Spice Chocolate Chicken Chili is a flavourful, filling meal that is guaranteed to warm you up on a chilly, rainy (if you live in Vancouver!) evening.

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We were off on vacation last week, and spent our days cooking, eating, cycling and climbing. The two warm, sunny days we had, which were great for cycling, quickly morphed into cold days with heavy rain, so we made the best of it and did a lot of indoor climbing! On those days, we gravitated towards warm comfort foods, and this was one of those meals.

For some time, I have been eyeing a 10-Spice Chocolate Chili recipe from the My New Roots cookbook, and I finally got around to making it. I modified the recipe to accommodate our pantry stock, and upped the protein by-way of a roasted chicken, which we picked up the day before.

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The chili was really easy to make, requiring only a bit of chopping. I would say it took just under an hour to get dinner on the table, and most of that time was just letting the chili simmer away, leaving it to generate a great flavour.

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If you are concerned about using cocoa powder in a savory stew, don’t be! Just make sure to use a good-quality, unsweetened cocoa powder. Although I’ve never had it, I think the 10-spice chocolate combo would be along the same lines of a Mexican molé sauce – spicy, with a great depth of flavour 🙂

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If you lead a very active lifestyle, this 10-Spice Chocolate Chicken Chili is a great meal for a few different reasons:

The sweet potatoes:

  • These little power-houses are a rich source of vitamins and minerals (A, C, D, iron, potassium, to name a few). They are also high in fibre, making them a slow-burning carbohydrate – perfect for keeping your energy levels up during the day!

The chicken and beans:

  • If you are vegetarian or vegan, the chicken can be left out and replaced with tofu or another variety of bean or lentil.
  • You will get a major boost of protein in one bowl, which will keep you full for the afternoon.

The flavour factor:

  • The chili tastes great the day you make it, and even better the second day. It freezes  well too, so make a big batch and portion the leftovers for those rushed days when you need dinner on the table quickly.

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We served this with a sprinkle of cilantro and a squeeze of lime, along with a few unsalted tortilla chips; it worked surprisingly well!

Whether you are still in the depths of winter or not, this is a great one-pot meal to have in your recipe book, and can be customized endlessly, based on your taste preferences – gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian or meat-filled – anything goes 🙂

10-Spice Chocolate Chicken Chili
 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 8 - 10 bowls
  • Serving size: 1 bowl
  • Calories: 175
  • Fat: 3.2 g
  • Saturated fat: 0.9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 29 g
  • Sugar: 9.1 g
  • Sodium: 175 mg
  • Fiber: 9.4 g
  • Protein: 12 g
  • Cholesterol: 18.8 mg
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Based on the vegetarian chili recipe in My New Roots cookbook.
Ingredients
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 medium bell peppers (any colour), diced
  • 3 small sweet potatoes or yams, cubed
  • 2 - 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp chipotle powder (less, if you don't want it too spicy)
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cayenne pepper (less, if you don't want it too spicy)
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 4 - 5 dried bay leaves
  • 30 g (1/4 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 large on-the-vine tomatoes, diced
  • 1 (398 mL) can unsalted diced tomatoes
  • 2 - 3 cups water
  • 1 (398 mL / 14 fl oz) can black beans, rinsed well and drained
  • 200 g cooked chicken, cut into cubes (we used a good-quality roast chicken from the grocery store)
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 2 limes, zest + juice
  • ¼ cup (handful) fresh cilantro, finely chopped
Instructions
  1. In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat a dash of oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the diced onion and garlic to the pan and saute for 1 to 2 minutes, then add the ground cumin and ground coriander and stir to completely coat the onion. Saute for a few more minutes, until fragrant.
  3. Add the remaining spices (cinnamon, chipotle powder, black pepper, ground cloves, cayenne pepper, salt, thyme, oregano, bay leaves and cocoa powder) and cook for a few minutes.
  4. Add the fresh tomatoes, canned tomatoes with their juice, bell peppers, sweet potatoes, black beans, maple syrup and 2 cups of water. Stir to combine. You want enough liquid in the pot to just cover the vegetables. If necessary, add more water.
  5. Bring the chili to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover and let simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.
  6. About 5 minutes before you are ready to serve, add the cooked chicken, lime juice and zest, and chopped coriander. Taste and season to your liking, adding more salt, if necessary.
  7. Serve hot, garnished with additional cilantro and a few unsalted tortilla chips.
Notes
This recipe tastes better the longer it sits, so feel free to make it the day before serving. It also freezes well.

Enjoy!

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