My friend Jessica Levinson is a meal planning maven, and she always posts the best dinner ideas. She’s a dietitian, so her recipes are nutritious, but they’re also easy and accessible. Not to mention, most of them are dairy free or very easy to adapt! So I scheduled one of her recipes in, with the help of her new guide, the 52-Week Meal Planner. I decided to try her miso-glazed chicken, but adapted it just a bit to make this miso chicken bowls recipe.
About the 52-Week Meal Planner
I’m addicted to lists, but for some reason I’ve always been challenged by meal planning. I’ve followed Jessica’s blog for years, in awe of her organization. Now she’s sharing her easy format in the 52-Week Meal Planner, and I couldn’t be more excited!
This is an organizational book that gives you the guidance and the structure for meal planning. A helpful intro covers tips, and then leads you into templates that are left blank for you to populate. I’ve used daily planning guides like this for years, but never thought to use one for meal planning. It’s brilliant! Plus, it can be used for any diet or household – it’s ready for you to fill.
The template pages start with 52 weeks (1 week per 2-page spread, like shown below) of meal planning. Then you get 16 pages for logging your go-to recipes, followed by a price comparison log (clever), and weekly shopping lists (love this!).
Recipe Notes: Miso Chicken Bowls
I’m just starting to try out the 52-Week Menu Planner myself, and as mentioned, this miso chicken bowls recipe happened in week one. It’s easy, delicious, versatile, and the leftovers are perfect for lunch.
Jessica uses chicken breast, but I had chicken thighs on hand. I also use garlic powder (due to family IBS issues) and ginger powder (because I was out of fresh ginger!). I reduced the amount of meat, and thinned the glaze, because I’m a sauce girl. BUT the glaze is amazing as is. You really could go either way. The glaze (without lite coconut milk added) is enough to baste 1 1/2 to 2 pounds of chicken. I was a little concerned that the rice vinegar would overpower the glaze, but it was balanced with just the right amount of sweet and savory.
And I added the “bowl” element. I like to sneak cauliflower into the rice. Rather than going 100% cauli-rice, which can be a little much for my cauliflower-hating husband, I go roughly 50-50 for a nice, seamless blend. If you use brown rice, the cauliflower will be more visible.
Special Diet Notes: Miso Chicken Bowls
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, and peanut-free.
For vegan miso tofu bowls, use 1 to 1 1/2 lbs tofu. Slice the tofu into 1/2-inch thick slices or cube into 1/2-inch cubes. Marinate as directed below, and bake as directed, but spread the slices or cubes out in a single layer in your baking dish.
- ⅓ cup unseasoned rice vinegar
- ¼ cup white miso paste
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce or wheat-free tamari (for gluten-free; can sub low sodium)
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- ⅛ teaspoons ginger powder (can sub 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger)
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder (can sub ½ tablespoon grated garlic cloves)
- 1¼ pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs (can sub chicken breasts; see post above for vegan option)
- ¼ cup lite coconut milk, or as needed
- 1 lb cauliflower florets, riced*
- 2 to 3 cups cooked rice
- Cooked vegetables (like sauteed bell pepper or bok choy or steamed carrots or broccoli)
- ¼ cup chopped green onions (green part only), for garnish
- In a large bowl, whisk together the rice vinegar, miso paste, honey, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic. Add the chicken and stir to coat with the sauce. Cover and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 400ºF. Remove the chicken from the marinade (reserving the marinade) and place it in a single layer in a large baking dish.
- Bake the chicken for 15 minutes. Baste with the marinade and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until cooked through.
- While chicken is baking, transfer the marinade to a small saucepan and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the sauce is reduced by half and thickened. Whisk in the lite coconut milk until it reaches your desired sauce consistency.
- Place the cauliflower "rice" in a microwave-safe bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Heat on high for 3½ to 4 minutes.
- Carefully pull the plastic wrap off the cauliflower bowl (hot steam will release!). Stir the cauliflower rice into the cooked rice, and divide the mixture between 4 bowls.
- Top the rice with any steamed or sauteed vegetables. Slice the chicken and place it on top of the rice bowls.
- Drizzle the miso sauce over the chicken and vegetables, and sprinkle with chopped green onions.