I imagine I’m not alone when I profess my love for one dish meals. It probably goes without saying that we all feel like we don’t have enough time in the day. One of my favorite survival techniques on particularly busy weekdays is to prepare meals that leave us with leftovers. My Pineapple-Chicken Rice Bowls definitely fit the bill. They’re quick and easy to prepare, cover the major food groups, and depending on the size of your family you’ve got lunch the next day. It’s also completely customizable. If you want to make it with shrimp instead of chicken, go for it. If you want to toss in a handful of diced broccoli, or some scrambled egg (for a more traditional fried rice), knock yourself out. Usually I ransack my produce drawers and use up neglected veggies that are looking for a job.
The sauce that flavors the rice is quick and easy to prepare and gives this meal an Asian flavor profile. Think Fried Rice with a slightly different technique and some non-traditional ingredients. If you’ve been missing Chinese food due to food allergies, this may be just what you’re looking for.
Recipe Notes: Feel free to use gluten-free soy sauce instead of coconut aminos. If you do use the soy sauce, reduce the soy sauce to 3 tablepoons with one additional tablespoon of water to make up the 1/4 cup of liquid. Soy sauce is much saltier than coconut aminos so I like to dilute it a bit. For a delicious gluten-free/corn-free soy sauce, Kikkoman makes this one. Regarding the pineapple juice, finding juices that are free of corn additives or sweeteners (citric acid, ascorbic acid, etc.) can be a minefield. Trader Joes is now carrying small cans of pure pineapple juice with no additives. Since we don’t live close to a TJs we usually juice a portion of the pineapple in the Breville juicer. If you want to use canned pineapple, Dole sells small 8 oz. cans of pineapple chunks in clarified pineapple juice that has no other additives. You have to read carefully as many of their varieties do have added ascorbic acid or citric acid. I hope all this helps!
- 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 6 cups cooked rice
- 3/4 cup sugar snap peas, chopped
- 1 bunch scallions, chopped (white and light green portion)
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped small
- 1 cup diced carrot (steamed 2 minutes in microwave to give them a head start on cooking )
- 3/4 cup chopped pineapple
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- sea salt and pepper for seasoning
- additional oil for sautéing
- 1/4 cup coconut aminos (see notes above recipe if you want to use gf soy sauce instead)
- 1/4 cup pineapple juice (orange juice works well too)
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil or oil of choice
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoons agave syrup (or other liquid sweetener)
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste (red pepper flakes will work too for added heat)
- 1. In a small bowl whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce. Set aside at room temperature to allow flavors to meld.
- 2. Sprinkle the uncooked chicken pieces liberally with sea salt and pepper to taste.
- 3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil of choice over medium-high in a large frying pan. When the pan and oil are very hot, working in two batches, brown the chicken on all sides for 3-4 minutes. Remove chicken and set on a plate (the chicken shouldn't be cooked completely through at this point). Repeat with remaining chicken and then set aside.
- 4. Using the same pan, heat a bit more oil to medium-high and add the red bell pepper and slightly pre-cooked carrots. Sauté for 2 minutes and then add the sugar snap peas and scallions. Continue to sauté, stirring constantly for 2-3 additional minutes or until veggies are tender.
- 5. Return chicken to the pan with the veggies, scraping any accumulated juices from the chicken into the pan too. Pour the sauce you made earlier over the chicken and vegetables, stirring.
- 6. Allow the sauce, chicken and vegetables to bubble and simmer for 3-4 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
- 7. Turn off the heat and stir in the cooked rice and cilantro. Toss well to distribute the sauce and all ingredients.
- 8. Garnish with pineapple chunks and serve.