Chicken power bowls get you going with a great blend of healthy carbs, fat and protein. And the sauce? Rounds everything out with a bit of sweet heat. Make these ahead and don’t let junk food ruin your healthy day.Jump to Recipe
You never know how good you can feel until you cut the heavy carbs from your life. And it’s not that hard to do as long as you don’t get H-U-N-G-R-Y.
That means you need to fill up and stay that way so cravings stay away and your energy levels stay up. Do that with these easy to prep power bowls!
What is a power bowl?
Power bowls are a delicious, nutritious way to get a healthy dose of protein, carbs, and fats all in one go.
They generally start with carbohydrate, in this case sweet potatoes, that is topped with your choice of protein and a serving or two of healthy fats.
Finish it off with the addition of a tasty sauce and some fresh herbs and you’re all set.
Power bowls are often grain-heavy. I try to avoid excessive grains due to the way they spike blood sugar so I like to use sweet potatoes here instead.
That being said, if you choose to use grains as your leading carb, consider cooking them in homemade stock for added protein.
Are power bowls served hot or cold?
Either way! I tend to enjoy mine warm but there is nothing wrong with wrapping them up in a to-go container and taking them for a chilled lunch.
Quinoa works nicely as a backbone grain if you eat grains and know you are going to enjoy your nutritious power bowl cold.
Ingredient ideas to put in power bowls
Power bowls are highly customizable. You can really choose any protein, fat, and carb you wish. Here are some ideas for you. Mix and match as you wish and let me know if you come across any favorite combinations.
- Eggs. Aside from being a great source of protein, eggs pack a good punch of immune-boosting, bone-strengthening vitamin D as well as choline which boosts liver and brain health as well as metabolism.
- Beef is high in protein and iron, which is helpful in making sure oxygen gets from your lungs to the rest of your body. Good stuff.
- Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which are beneficial in reducing blood pressure, inflammation, and more.
- Sardines are another wonderful source of protein and Omega-3 fatty acids. They are also high in calcium and vitamin D, which support bone health.
- Chicken or turkey. Both are high in lean protein and low in saturated fats. They contain a wide array of beneficial vitamins and minerals such as vital B vitamins, iron, and zinc. They are also high in niacin, which aids in regulating cholesterol levels.
- Tofu is not my favorite due to the fact that it is high in estrogen compounds but it is high in protein so, if you must, you must.
- Avocado. Not only are they delicious and creamy but they are loaded with monounsaturated fats, potassium, fiber, and carotenoids all of which are champions in fighting off disease throughout the body.
- Egg yolks are chock-full of choline (good for brain development), cleansing antioxidants, and tyrosine, an amino acid that can help prevent heart disease.
- Olive oil is packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. A regular, healthy dose of this nutritious fat has been linked to decreases in cardiovascular disease, dementia, cancer, and more.
- Hemp hearts are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. We already talked about how great Omega-3s are but omega-6s are good for promoting hair/skin/nail health, bone growth, reproductive health, and even metabolism.
- Flax seeds are an excellent source of fiber, which is essential for maintaining regular digestion. They are also high in omega-3s.
- Olives are an excellent source of antioxidants which can help reduce the risk for a vast array of diseases.
- Aged cheeses. Aged cheeses are a great source of fat and protein and also carry a hefty dose of probiotics which are helpful in maintaining a healthy digestive system and a balanced immune system.
- Sweet potatoes are high in beta-carotene and vitamin A. Both promote eye health. They have also been shown to lower bad cholesterol.
- Roasted potatoes are loaded with vitamin C, a key antioxidant. They are also high in potassium which we need to keep our brains, hearts, and muscles happy.
- Grains such as rice and quinoa are high in fiber, essential vitamins and minerals, and even protein. A healthy dose of grains can help regulate digestive health, cholesterol, blood pressure, and weight. Note that grains can spike blood sugar levels. Use in moderation.
- Legumes. Lentils, beans, and chickpeas are high in low-fat protein and fiber as well as potassium, folate, iron, and magnesium. They are magnificent for digestive health, hair and bone health, and much more. I suggest buying sprouted lentils like these from Thrive market and when it comes to chickpeas, make sure they are organic because they are a pesticide-heavy crop.
Sauces and toppings to add to power bowls
When it comes to toppings, you can’t go wrong with fresh herbs (I have been loving parsley and dill) and/or a heaping serving of sprouts.
Take it one step further and drizzle a yummy sauce or dressing on top.
If you can, avoid using store-bought products. They are often full of less-than-health-conscious additives.
Instead, whip up a simple Asian or Mediterranean dressing or aioli. Or just go with a simple olive oil and vinegar or olive oil and lemon mixture.
How to make power bowls ahead of time
These customizable power bowls are a great make-ahead meal.
Prep and/or cook all of your ingredients ahead of time (ie. cook and dice your sweet potatoes, mix your dressing, and cook your protein and grains).
Seal everything in separate airtight containers and store them in the fridge for up to 3 days. When you are ready to enjoy, dice up the mango and avocado and throw everything together.
Finish it off with your dressing and dive in.
Tip: Add these ingredients later
Mango and avocado will oxidize if sliced too far in advance causing them to change color and flavor. Save these items and slice them fresh for your power bowls.
How long will power bowls last in the fridge?
I’d say four or five days is as far as I’d push it. Good luck keeping your avocado from going bad in that time!
Craving more bowl inspiration?
Try one of these great variations:
Chicken Power Bowls
- 4 small sweet potatoes cooked (see note 1) and mashed or diced
- 1 14-ounce can black beans rinsed and drained
- 2 cups cooked chicken diced or shredded (see note 2)
- 1 cup mango diced
- 4 green onions diced
- 2 avocados sliced
- Divide the cooked sweet potatoes, beans, chicken, mango, green onions and avocados evenly between four bowls or jars.
- Mix the lime juice, vinegar, soy sauce, honey, garlic, cumin and salt together in a jar or bowl. Whisk in the olive oil or shake to combine. Divide over the bowls as desired.
- Store leftover dressing in the fridge for up to two weeks. If storing your power bowls, add the mango and avocado just upon serving.