Grain Bowls

Vacation Detox Chicken, Cabbage & Kale Bowls

chicken cabbage kale bowl

A few weeks ago we got back from a trip to Europe—Lisbon, Porto, and Paris to be specific. The trip was absolutely amazing, but 9 days of drinking copious amounts of wine and real cappuccinos (usually I drink almond milk), and eating Croque Monsieur and steak frites takes it’s toll. Thankfully we walked a ton everyday, but my body was still in need of some serious detoxing. We decided that we’d take a week off from wine, or booze of any sort and eat as healthy as we possibly could. In the midst of that, this yummy grain bowl was born.

I’m a big fan of grain bowls. We make them at least once a week for dinner. But, lately I’ve found that I’ve been eating them nearly everyday for lunch too. Maybe it’s because they’re just so dang easy! We typically have some form of leftover grain in the fridge, like brown rice, quinoa or bulgar wheat and plenty of random veggies, so I just grab whatever we have and put it together. I usually top it off with a spoonful or salsa verde for a little kick. My husband, Rob, never complains about these bowls and there’s usually leftovers, so he can eat as much as he needs—I swear, he has a hollow leg!

healthy bulgar wheat bowl

healthy dinner ideas

easy dinner recipes

The week before we left I’d made this quick pickled cabbage for some tacos and was like, “Oh. My. Gosh. This is reallllly yummy!”, so when we got home, I added it to the grocery list and made a big batch of it to add to my daily grain bowl, which I’ll get to in just a second. What I really love about this cabbage is that you can make it in advance and just store it in the fridge. It’ll last a couple of days (maybe more, I ate it before I could tell you!), and adds a nice crunchy acidic bite to bowls, salads and it’s really tasty on it’s own!

healthy grain bowl

how to eat healthier

This bowl served as my reset for the week and was packed with dark leafy greens, lean protein in the form of pulled chicken (which can also be made ahead, see note in the recipe), a healthy dose of good fats like avocado and sunflower seeds, and omega-3s from the chia seeds. Coupled with drinking a ton of water and getting plenty of rest, I was feeling mostly back to normal by the end of the week! The breakout that had appeared on my face during the last half of the trip was cooling off and on the mend as well—phew!

Have you tried making grain bowls at home? What are your favorite ingredients to use?

Chicken, Cabbage & Kale Bowls
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  1. 1/8 cabbage, thinly sliced
  2. 1/4 lime wedge
  3. olive oil
  4. salt
  5. 1/2 cup cooked grains, I used bulgar wheat here
  6. 3 lacinato kale leaves, stemmed and chopped
  7. 1/4-1/3 cup cooked & shredded chicken
  8. 1/4 avocado, thinly sliced
  9. sunflower seeds, roasted & unsalted
  10. chia seeds
  1. Put cabbage in a bowl and squeeze lime on it. Drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and toss. Let sit at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  1. Steam in the microwave by adding a bit of water to a bowl and covering in plastic wrap. Microwave for 30-60 seconds until wilted.
Assemble the Bowl
  1. There's no real method to this. You can layer it, or section each ingredient off into quadrants like I've done here—it's all going to get mixed up anyway! Top with sliced avocado, sunflower and chia seeds for a dose of healthy fats and omega-3s!
  1. To make pulled chicken, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle some olive oil on a rimmed baking sheet and put chicken in the oil, flip to coat. Season with salt, pepper and garlic salt and roast for 30 minutes. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before pulling with a fork.
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