I’m a big fan of Quinoa. But it hasn’t been a mainstay at our table for a while since it’s hard for the little ones to eat. But lately my three-year-old son has developed an adventurous streak when it comes to comes to food (note: only when he’s with our babysitter!) and announced to me a few weeks ago that he “loves Quinoa salad with black vinegar sauce”. Turns out it’s a delicious balsamic vinaigrette with Dijon and honey as made by our babysitter as a part of her lunch. Sounded yummy to me too, but what to serve it with for those of us who do not consider a bowl of Quinoa alone to be a complete meal?
Pinterest to the inspiration rescue once again! Lately my feed has been full of “bowls” – salad bowls, rice bowls, etc. I particularly liked the idea I saw posted of a bowl with grains, sweet potato (I’d pretty much leap at any excuse to eat sweet potatoes…yum!) and avocado. I decided to add a bit of chicken for a greater variety of texture and some protein, but I think chickpeas would also make a delicious combo for a vegetarian version.
So there you have it! Chicken and Quinoa Bowl with Sweet Potato, Avocado and Balsamic Vinaigrette – my son was happy, I was over the moon and my husband, who is not afraid to let me know when “he’s not a fan” made a point of commenting on the meals deliciousness. What else is there to know?!
INGREDIENTS (Serves 4):
1 1/2 CUPS QUINOA
3 CUPS WATER
1 LARGE CHICKEN BREAST
1 TBSP HONEY
1 TBSP DIJON
1 TBSP CANOLA OIL
2 AVOCADOS – sliced
2 SWEET POTATOES – peeled and chopped
1 CUP SHREDDED KALE – I often use a chopped kale salad mix, substitute for any chopped greens
1/2 CUP SUNFLOWER SEEDS
1/2 CUP DRIED CRANBERRIES
For the Dressing:
1 TBSP HONEY
1 TBSP DIJON
1 CLOVE GARLIC – minced
1/4 CUP BALSAMIC VINEGAR
1/4 CUP OLIVE OIL
Preheat oven to 400⁰.
Peel and chop the sweet potatoes and toss with a little oil on a large baking sheet. Bake until slightly browned (approx 30 min).
Meanwhile, mix the honey, Dijon and canola oil in a small bowl. Add chicken to a small baking dish and coat with the marinade. Bake until cooked through (approx 20 min). Let rest and then slice.
Add the Quinoa to a medium sauce pan and add the water. Cook uncovered on high until it reaches a boil, then turn the heat down to low, cover and simmer until all water has been absorbed.
Peel and slice the avocado and set aside.
In a bowl, combine dressing ingredients and whisk well until emulsified.
Toss the cooked Quinoa, kale, sunflower seeds and cranberries with 3/4 of the dressing and serve out into large bowls.
Top with slices of chicken, avocado and sweet potato. Drizzle with remaining dressing.
Serve and enjoy!
Prep Time: 15 min
Cooking Time: 30 min