sweet potato bowl

lunchbox life: sweet potato bowls with chicken and spinach

image1(22)Welcome back! It’s Week 2 for the 2015-16 school year, and I’m happy to report that Week 1 was excellent. Seriously. I have great students who are willing to try new things are ready for a year of hard work and challenges, I’m settling back into a routine of teaching five classes per day, and I’m happy to be reunited with my work buddies. One adjustment, however, is getting back into the groove of inhaling my lunch five time per week. During my summers at GHP, we have a 90 minute lunch break, but during the school year, I have about 25 minutes, including any microwaving that I need to do. I’ll get used to it again, but it’s certainly an adjustment.

This week’s lunch comes from a serious love for sweet potatoes. Instead of a brown rice or quinoa bowl, this spin uses sweet potatoes as a healthy starch while keeping the dish grain-free. Ever since my Whole30 experience this summer, I’ve been making a conscious effort (probably 80% of the time) to follow the Whole30 guidelines, being particularly intentional for breakfasts and lunches during the week. This sweet potato bowl has everything you need for an energy boost: roasted sweet potatoes for fiber and starch (energy), chicken for protein, and spinach for all of the leafy green action (Vitamins A and K, folic acid, fiber, etc.). I seasoned the sweet potatoes with turmeric, which has multiple health benefits, including its role as an anti-inflammatory spice.

As I’ve done before here on the blog, I used already prepared rotisserie chicken for this dish. Sometimes I do this because of time constraints, but I also go this route quite frequently during the spring and summer months because I just don’t love the idea of having the oven on for that long in our house. Added heat? No thank you!

Sweet Potato Bowls with Chicken and Spinach

3 large sweet potatoes

1 large sweet onion

1 large or two small whole rotisserie chicken(s), organic if possible

1 lb. organic baby spinach

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. turmeric

1.5 Tbsp. ghee (clarified butter)

salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 F. Halve and peel the onion, then thinly slice each half into half-moon shapes. Place the onion slices on a cookie sheet. Next, peel the sweet potatoes, then cut each peeled sweet potato into 1/2 inch circles. Largely dice the circles, then place them on the cookie sheet with the onions. Add the olive oil, turmeric, 1 Tbsp. salt, and 1/2 Tbsp. pepper to the onions and sweet potatoes, mix them around in the sheet with your hands, then roast in the oven for about 35 minutes.

When this is in the oven, begin to break down your rotisserie chicken. Remove the skin and all bones and place both white and dark meat in a mixing bowl. When this step is complete, use your hands to shred the chicken. Don’t worry about the shreds being exactly the same size.

Next, melt the ghee in a large pan on the stovetop. In batches, add the baby spinach and 2 tsp. salt. Use tongs to saute the spinach in the pan, then add the shredded chicken and toss to combine.

For each bowl, evenly distribute the sweet potatoes, then evenly distribute the chicken and spinach. When you’re ready to eat, reheat the bowl in the microwave on high for about two minutes, adjusting accordingly for your preference of heat.