Six weeks of bowl meals: Roasted Comfort Bowl


With temps in Michigan hovering in the 80s, forcing me to spend extra hours in the sun, water and everywhere else I can take it all in, the kitchen and the creation of a bowl meal for this week was successfully avoided at-all-costs. Mainly, the family, along with myself, has been surviving off salads, burgers on the griddle, avocado toast, apples with drippy nut butter or hummus with raw veggies and organic tortilla chips: All of our favorite staples for a busy life. By Friday I was feeling over it[bloated and uncomfortable] and craving something grounding that would keep my kitchen clean with friends, fun and all the paddle boarding calling my name for as far as the weekend would stretch.

Holistic health and nutrition says[rule of thumb] to eat locally grown seasonal produce as much as possible. When it’s hot outside bodies tend to crave light, watery and cooling foods. I agree with all the things and consider each one, but real life argues raw veggies everyday are boring while also tough on my pure bred Dutch gut. When your body and all it’s cells were literally created and duplicated from boiled root vegetables, roasted meats and all the variations, the rules of the seasons are a fleeting expectation. Also, there are rules and then there are facts. Facts are not rules.

Fun fact: Friday, Saturday and Sunday kicked ass.

Minutes before the kids were released from the school bus to start the weekend, this roasted chicken with root veggies was tossed in the oven. My favorite cold weather ingredients, with the exception of the potatoes—just harvested in August—were inhaled all weekend long with a simple gravy ladled on top. I’m not really sure why I hesitated to share this when the truth is living a healthy lifestyle by dedicating as little effort as possible is one way to make it sustainable for the long-term which is everything I stand for.

Roasted Comfort Bowl

By Audrey Byker, Health Coach

Serves 6-8

For the veggies fat and protein

-1 3-4lb whole chicken, organs and gizzards removed

-6-8 carrots, scrubbed and roughly chopped(large pieces)

-Drizzle of olive oil

-Sea salt

-Fresh ground black pepper

For the carbs and flavor

-6-8 medium russet potatoes, peeled and quartered

-2 Tbls Stubbs BBQ seasoning or preferred seasoning—sugar and preservative free

-1/2 cup chicken stock or homemade bone broth

-2 Tbls corn starch(non GMO) or arrowroot

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large dutch oven or ceramic crock pot insert, add potatoes and carrots. Drizzle with olive oil then toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add whole chicken on top of veggies then sprinkle seasoning onto chicken then massage into with both hands. Be sure to rub seasoning into chicken cavity and under skin as much as possible for the best flavor. Add a little salt and pepper. Add lid to dutch oven or cover crock pot insert with foil then put in oven. Roast for 2-2 1/2 hours or until chicken leg is easily pulled off the bone.

Remove chicken, potatoes and carrots from the pan. Add remaining juices to a medium saucepan. Place on a burner on medium heat. Meanwhile mix chicken broth and cornstarch in a mug or liquid measuring cup. Stir well. Slowly whisk corn starch mixture into the chicken juices and turn heat to med-high. Whisk until liquid comes to a gentle simmer. Turn to low and simmer for a few minutes until desired gravy consistency is reached. Add more chicken broth and corn starch if more gravy is needed. Serve in a bowl, layering potatoes, carrots, chicken, then gravy.

Bollywood Sweet Potato Saute'

Friends.  It’s not that I haven’t been inspired, working hard or dedicated lately, but because I haven’t found a recipe that really wowed me enough to share another blog post with you...since September.  Please accept my apology!!  Surely this will make up for it!

Major shout-out to my friend, JP, for inspiring me to invent this quick and easy sautéed meal by delivering a fresh package of Garam Masala spice straight from India.  I can’t wait to travel there myself soon!

Not only is this dish worth celebrating, it’s full of plant nutrients, perfectly clean eats, and might even be white linen worthy in flavor.  I’m sharing it with you before refining and hoping I can guess the measurements I used—hahaha.  I invite you to also become a whole foodie and throw stuff together in a pan like me, not taking yourself too seriously, and enjoying every successful bite along the way.


Bollywood Sweet Potato Saute

by Audrey Byker, Health Coach

-Dairy free, gluten free, soy free, nut free, with vegan option

-Serves 2

Avocado oil-2 turns of the pan

1/4 lb *ground turkey (know your farmer or go for certified organic if at all possible)

1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 1/2in. pieces

1 small apple, peeled and chopped (I used a gala)

1/4 cup sweet onion, chopped

2-3 pinches of sea salt, or to taste

1 1/2 tsp Garam Masala spice mix

2 Tbls. broth (veggie or chicken)

1/2 cup coconut milk (full-fat, from the can, shake well)

Quinoa if desired (follow directions on the package before beginning your sauté)

In a large, 10in. skillet with a lid, sauté oil with ground turkey and onion on med-high heat until cooked through.  Add sweet potato and saute' for 1-2 min.  Add apple.  Stir all together, sauteing for a few minutes more, then add the lid.  Turn heat to low.  Let simmer until for tender, resisting the urge to lift the lid, about 5 min.  Lift the lid, add the spice, salt and give a quick toss.  Drizzle the broth and coconut milk around the edge and turn heat to med.  Stir and incorporate while scraping the bottom of the pan. Allow to simmer just enough to coat and create a sauce.

Serve with quinoa, rice or on it’s own.

*For a vegan option omit the turkey and add more fruits and veggies or tofu