I love barbecue. In the middle of a Chicago winter (albeit a mild one right now), it’s reminiscent of smoky summer nights in the backyard and eating outside around a fire. Pork shoulder isn’t the most macro-friendly, though, so I began experimenting to find a lightened up (but still delicious) way to enjoy my Sweet Baby Ray’s.
A few weeks ago, we went to a restaurant nearby called Kinfork. It was right after I started my fitness journey, and I was a bit nervous about sticking to my goals while eating out. Luckily, I picked out a salad that was so filling and satisfying, I didn’t feel I was missing anything at all without my usual mashed potatoes and corn bread.
I was craving it so much after, that I decided to make it for myself with a few changes. I nixed the fried onion strings and added some extras to really make this a power bowl. With quinoa for protein and fiber and avocado for healthy fat, this balanced bowl will keep you going all day long.
For 4 servings:
Olive oil non-stick cooking spray
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2-3 breasts)
1 tbsp. paprika
1/2 c. Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey Chipotle Barbecue Sauce (plus additional for serving if desired)
4 c. romaine lettuce, roughly chopped
1 c. cooked tricolor quinoa
1 medium avocado
1/4 c. shredded Colby jack cheese
Optional additional toppings: corn, cherry tomatoes, roasted peppers, Tabasco chipotle hot sauce
- Check to make sure a large saucepan will fit between the racks of your oven; if not, remove the top one (I forget this almost every time and then have to go in with three layers of oven mitts to carefully remove a burning hot oven rack). Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Spray a large saucepan with olive oil cooking spray and add your onion and garlic. Stir to coat. Sauté until onions are translucent, 2-3 mins.
- Add your chicken and paprika, then stir to combine.
- Add your barbecue sauce and stir to coat. Bring to a simmer.
- Cover your saucepan and place in the oven. Cook at 350 degrees for 90 minutes.
- After 90 minutes, remove the pot from the oven. Transfer your chicken breasts to a large bowl and use 2 forks to shred. Pour liquid left in the saucepan over the shredded chicken and stir.
- Quarter your avocado, then slice. If you want to be extra fancy, slice almost all the way through to the end, then fan out your avocado slices.
- It’s time to assemble! Layer 1 cup romaine lettuce, 1/4 cup cooked quinoa, 1/4 of an avocado, 1 tablespoon of shredded Colby jack cheese, and 1/4 of the chicken in each of 4 bowls. At this point, you can add any additional veggies. I like to add a bit of Chipotle Tabasco sauce to give mine a bit of an extra kick, as well as a few tablespoons of corn when I have some left over.
- Enjoy! This recipe is perfect for two people to eat for dinner with leftovers for lunch the next day. Just squeeze a bit of lemon or lime juice on the avocado slices so they don’t go brown overnight.
Macros (without additional toppings):
Protein: 30.5 g
Carbs: 23.25 g
Fat: 9.15 g
What will you top your bowl with? Have you ever found a lightened up version of a favorite comfort food is just as delicious as the original? What was it? Let me know!