Who needs CAVA when you have your Aleppo Pepper Chicken & Harissa Nourish Bowl that your Average Arab Girl made just for you? If you've never heard of CAVA, it's a Mediterranean inspired fast food place, basically like the Chipotle of the Mediterranean. It's delicious, but we can't always spend our money out and we know eating at home is better for our health.
So, I've taken my favorite flavors from CAVA and made a bowl inspired by them. This is the perfect balanced meal to make for lunch or dinner, and you're going to obtain all of the macronutrients your body needs to be happy and healthy. You'll get protein from the Aleppo pepper chicken breast, carbs from the rice medley, fiber from the roasted chickpeas, arugula, and spinach, healthy fats from the hummus and harissa, and an extra vegetable source from the mushrooms.
I know these bowls can look intimidating to make, but here is the bright side. If you take the time to make this once, you can make enough to meal prep for the following days. It's a delicious, nutritious, and balanced meal that future you will thank you for.
So grab your ingredients and let me show you how to make this Mediterranean style bowl in under 40 minutes.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
This recipe is dairy free.
1. 1 chicken breast, brined in water, 2 TBSPs white vinegar, squeeze of 1 lemon, and dash of sea salt
2. 1 bag of rice medley (Trader Joe's frozen section to make your life easier, but if you want to make it at home, make plain basmati rice - go to my Back to Basics for that recipe)
3. Hummus (you can buy store bought or make it yourself - I have my Authentic Hummus recipe on my blog)
4. Harissa (my favorite brand is MINA, which I've linked in my Amazon for you)
5. 2 large or 4 small whole white mushrooms, sliced thinly
6. 1 can of chickpeas, drained and washed, poured into a bowl for use
7. 1 handful spinach, finely chopped
8. 2 handfuls arugula, finely chopped
9. Extra virgin olive oil
10. 1 lemon
12. Ground black pepper, Aleppo pepper, garlic powder, cumin, paprika
1.First, preheat your oven to 400 on bake.
2. Make sure you have all of your ingredients at your side. When it comes to making cooking easier for yourself, always have all of the ingredients in front of you instead of grabbing them as you go.
3. Dry your chicken breast that was being brined. If the piece of chicken breast is too thick, place it into a ziploc bag and use a mallet to flatten it out more. It will be easier for the chicken breast to cook evenly in the oven this way and will be more moist.
4. Now grab a mixing bowl. Add in the following seasonings: ½ TSP black pepper, 1 TSP Aleppo pepper, 1 TSP garlic powder, ½ TSP cumin, 1 TSP paprika, and ½ TSP or more of salt. Mix well. Add in the chicken breast into the bowl and make sure the chicken is well coated with the seasoning mix. Drizzle on olive oil to moisten it. Squeeze on the juice of ½ lemon. Make sure the chicken is well coated on both sides.
4. Now, grab a baking sheet and add on aluminum foil. Add the chicken breast.
5. Add in ½ cup of the chickpeas onto the baking sheet on a separate side, don't allow the chickpeas and chicken to touch. Season the chickpeas with ¼ TSP black pepper, ½ TSP garlic powder, ½ TSP paprika or more, and salt to taste. Mix the chickpeas well.
6. Bake the chickpeas and chicken breast in the oven until the inside of the chicken breast is completely white and the juices are running clear. The best and most sanitary way to know if the chicken is done is by using a meat thermometer (it should be 165 F). The chickpeas will be golden brown by then.
7. While you are waiting for the chicken and chickpeas, grab a serving bowl.
8. Add in the finely arugula and spinach. Mix them well into the bowl.
9. Now, grab a medium sized frying pan and place it onto the stove top on medium-high heat. Drizzle in 1 ½ TBSPs of olive oil. Once the olive oil simmers, add in your sliced mushrooms. Salt to taste. Allow them to sauté until tender and darker in color. They will not need more than 5 minutes. Turn the stove off and place them on the side.
10. Have your rice prepared if you are making it yourself or follow the directions on the Trader Joe's rice medley packaging.
11. Let's put the bowl together: Add ½ cup of rice into the bowl, the mushrooms, and the chickpeas. Pre-slice your chicken breast and place it into the bowl. Add 1 TBSP scoop of hummus and 1 TBSP scoop of harissa. Squeeze ½ lemon onto the bowl.