Tag Archives: quinoa

Greek Chicken Bowl

Spring is here! Fall is my favorite season, but spring has to be a close runner up. It’s so great to have the sun out more, a little warmer weather, and feel like everything is coming alive again. I have definitely spent more of my waking hours today outdoors than in, and I love it.

Spring also feels like a great time for some lighter, faster meals. Still filling, but with a fresh feeling. I love these Greek chicken bowls for lunch or dinner. Easily adaptable to whatever tastes you have in your house. Also easy to use some store bought ingredients to save yourself some time. Enjoy!

Greek Chicken Bowls (Serves 4 at least)

Greek Chicken Bowl

1 cup quinoa
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons lemon juice
4 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 chicken breasts
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
¼ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp oregano
1 cup nonfat plain greek yogurt
¼ tsp garlic powder
2 tsp lemon juice
½ seedless cucumber, diced small
½ cup hummus
¼ red onion, thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, diced
½ seedless cucumber, diced small
½ cup feta cheese
kalamata olives, optional

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with foil.

2. Combine quinoa, broth, and lemon juice in a pot. Cook quinoa as long as package directs. Fluff with a fork.

3. Place sweet potatoes on one baking sheet and chicken on another. Drizzle sweet potatoes with oil. Combine salt, pepper, oregano, and garlic. Toss half over potatoes, rub half on chicken. Bake for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender and chicken is 165 degrees (rotate pans halfway through cooking time).

4. Combine yogurt through chopped cucumber in a blender, pulse until combined. (tzaitziki sauce)

5. To serve, place 1/2 cup quinoa, 1/2 sliced chicken breast, 1/4 of the sweet potatoes, 2 tablespoons hummus, some red onion, some tomatoes, some cucumber, and 2 tablespoons feta in a bowl. Drizzle with tzaitziki sauce and olives to taste.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 652
Protein: 54 g
Fat: 18 g
Saturated Fat: 5 g
Cholesterol: 120 mg
Carbohydrates: 70 g
Fiber: 10 g
Sodium: 787 mg

Recipe notes: This recipe looks complicated. You can simplify if you have rotisserie chicken meat on hand. Also, buy storebought hummus (any flavor) and tzaitziki sauce if you like. The toppings listed here are yummy, but you could also throw in some spinach or any vegetables you like.

Source: adapted from Everyday Reading

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Peanut Butter Quinoa

Shortly after my husband and I got married, we put together a picnic dinner. I was so excited to make a delicious quinoa salad. We started eating, and I noticed my husband wasn’t eating any of my salad. I asked him, and he said he doesn’t care for salads like that. I had just bought a big package of quinoa, and I needed a new way to fix it. I found lots of recipes for casseroles or soups, but not many regular side dishes.

So, I finally took a salad recipe to make this side dish. And it turned out great. This is great with fish or chicken. Or stir in some chicken and make a meal out of it. Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Quinoa (Serves 6-8)

Peanut Butter Quinoa

1 cup uncooked quinoa or 2 cups cooked quinoa
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 rib celery, sliced thin
2 carrots, sliced thin
½ medium onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
¼ cup peanut butter
3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
dash sriracha
½ teaspoon ground ginger

1. If not already cooked, cook quinoa according to package directions.

2. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet or saute pan. Add celery, carrots, onion, and bell pepper. Saute 5-7 minutes, until vegetables begin to be tender.

3. Mix together remaining ingredients in a small bowl. It is not essential that they combine perfectly. You can heat it in the microwave for 15-30 seconds and they will combine better.

4. Add quinoa and peanut butter mixture to vegetables. Stir and cook until well combined and all is heated through. Serve.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 172
Protein: 6 gm
Fat: 8 gm
Saturated Fat: 1 gm
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrates: 21 gm
Fiber: 3 gm
Sodium: 253 mg

Recipe notes: You could substitute any vegetables you like. The “sauce” is pretty thick. You could add in some water or more soy sauce to thin it out more, if you like a saucier side. I liked mine fairly thick, almost like a fried rice.

Source: adapted from Ambitious Kitchen

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Vegetable Moussaka

My husband and I went on our first date to a Greek restaurant.  We went back to that same restaurant several times, including for one of our last meals in Chicago.  They had these sampler plates that had several traditional Greek items that I usually got.  But for our last visit, I just got a big plate of moussaka.  I loved every cheesy, eggplanty bite.

I like this vegetarian version of moussaka since it gives you all the goodness of the traditional dish, without the expense or saturated fat of the beef (or lamb if you are being very traditional).  My husband is not a big fan of mushrooms, so I usually have to avoid meatless casseroles like this.  But I followed a tip online that you can sub cauliflower for mushrooms.  I did that for about half with great results.

Enjoy!

Vegetable Moussaka (serves 6)

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2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 cups finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup water
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 (28-ounce) can unsalted diced tomatoes, undrained
2 large eggplants, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices (about 2 1/2 pounds)
Cooking spray
12 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
1/2 medium head of cauliflower, chopped into small pieces
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
2 (5 ounce) containers plain, fat-free Greek yogurt
1/3 cup feta cheese crumbles
2 large eggs
1 large egg white
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, divided

1. Heat saucepan with 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add onion, and cook until tender (about 6 minutes). Add garlic, and cook 1 minute more, or until garlic begins to be fragrant. Add 1 cup water, quinoa, tomato paste, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until quinoa is tender. Remove from heat.

2. Preheat broiler to high.

3. Line a baking sheet with foil and coat with cooking spray. Place eggplant slices on sheet and lightly coat both sides with cooking spray. (You may need to work in batches.) Broil 5 inches from heat source for 5 minutes per side or until lightly browned. Set aside.

4. Reduce oven temperature to 350.

5. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with remaining olive oil. Add mushrooms and cauliflower. Cook 8 minutes, or until cauliflower is slightly tender. Add water and soy sauce; simmer 4 minutes. Remove from heat.

6. Combine yogurt, feta, eggs, egg white, and 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese in a bowl, stirring until smooth.

7. Coat a 13×9 inch glass or ceramic baking dish with cooking spray. Spread half of the tomato sauce on the bottom. Arrange half of the eggplant over the sauce. Spread all of mushroom mixture over eggplant and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers of tomato sauce and eggplant. Spread yogurt/cheese mixture over the top. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until top is lightly browned.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 321
Protein: 21 g
Fat: 11 g
Saturated Fat: 4 g
Cholesterol: 77 mg
Carbohydrate: 39 g
Fiber: 11 g
Sodium: 465 mg

Recipe Notes:  I’m guessing you could probably sub rice or another grain for the quinoa, but you would need to adjust the cooking time and water added accordingly.  If you like mushrooms, you could skip the cauliflower and do 24 ounces of mushrooms instead. But I kind of liked the mix of cauliflower and mushrooms.  You do need to cut the cauliflower down to fairly small pieces.  The original recipe added wine to the mushrooms.  I don’t have wine in my house, so I just used water.  You could use wine or some low sodium broth if you’d like.  I had to skimp on the eggplant in mine, since part of one was going bad – so yours will look more “eggplanty” than mine.  If you have a lasagna pan (or a pan just slightly larger than 13×9), I would use that.  I used mine, and it fit fine.  It might be kind of tight squeezing it into a regular 13×9 pan.

Source: adapted from Cooking Light

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