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I know some people are very organized with their meal planning and know what they are cooking a week or more ahead. My mum was that way – I, on the other hand, am not. I am, however, pretty good at making leftovers into lunches. Sometimes it works just as it is, other times as with this Thai-style chicken Buddha bowl, it’s repurposing things a little. But this tasty bowlful makes a couple of leftovers and a few other ingredients into a delicious, wholesome meal in only a few minutes.
Buddha bowls have become a bit of a “thing” recently and while I was initially a little skeptical, I have definitely fallen for them big time. They get their name from the fact they are usually served in a wide bowl, a little like Buddha’s round belly, and are usually packed with a range of tasty, wholesome ingredients. They go by many other names, too, and have various forms, but in general, they contain:
Some grains – e.g. rice, quinoa, couscous or farro
Some protein – e.g. chicken, beef, fish or make it vegetarian by adding tofu or a legume, like chickpeas or edamame
Some greens – pick your favorite!
Other veggies – again, options are endless and it’s a great way to use up leftovers
A tasty sauce/dressing – this is the best way to inject some great flavor, as with the coconut peanut sauce I’ve used here.
I’ve made a couple already in the last two or three months, with my leftover steak and quinoa bowl being an immediate favorite and one we’ve already repeated. I also loved all the colors in my rainbow crab rice Buddha bowl which is so easy. This Thai-style Chicken Buddha Bowl with Coconut Peanut Sauce is probably the easiest yet, though. And definitely delicious.
For this Buddha bowl, all you need is some leftover cooked chicken and rice – I sometimes cook a bit extra of both or else you can quickly cook some up as you are cooking other things and keep in the fridge ready to make into lunches. You could also use rotisserie chicken for this. Then, add some ready-cooked edamame, a handful of greens and some sliced red pepper. Mix up the easy, tasty peanut sauce-style dressing and drizzle it over. That’s it!
You can easily prepare everything apart from adding the greens and dressing ahead of time, then just add the greens and dressing when you are ready to eat (or in the morning if you’re taking as a lunch). I’ve given quantities of everything below but don’t worry about being precise, and you can change the odd ingredient to taste as well.
This Thai-style Chicken Buddha Bowl with Coconut Peanut Sauce is a great way to use up some leftovers, or if you’re more organized, to prep meals ahead of time. Colorful, and with a lovely range of textures, the coconut peanut sauce really finishes it off for a wonderfully satisfying, healthy meal.
Thai Style Chicken Buddha Bowl with Coconut Peanut Sauce
For the Buddha bowl
- 1 large cooked chicken breast or other leftover cooked chicken eg a whole leg
- ⅓ red pepper
- 1 cup cooked rice - I used a wild rice blend but use as you have/prefer
- 1 large handful greens - I used arugula but again as you prefer
- ¼ cup cooked edamame
- 2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
- ½ tablespoon coconut cream
- ½ tablespoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon water
- Slice or shred the cooked chicken. Cut the pepper into thin slices.
- Arrange the bowls by placing each of the chicken, pepper, rice, greens and edamame in a little pile next to each other, using half of each for each bowl.
- Blend together all of the dressing ingredients and add to the bowls, mixing in as you eat.