Give me this Chicken Quinoa Bowl for lunch any day - EVERY day. It's heavenly!!
One of my favourite places to go for a quick lunch when out is Panera Bread. They always have something I can choose or adapt that I know won't be too bad. Some even have handy little self-order counters, where you can use a little tablet to select your order to your specification without having to explain to the server what you do or don't want in your salad etc
Usually, I go for one of their salads, the Fuji Apple Chicken Salad is my favourite, but this time I fancied something a little different, and spotted the Chicken Quinoa Bowl and just knew that was what I wanted.
It sounded perfect - Chicken, quinoa, rice and lentil blend with fresh kale and spinach with a lemon wheel in a beautiful umami soy-miso broth.
The umami sold me. I mean I love chicken, quinoa and kale, but when a description mentions umami, I know I am on to a good thing.
Umami is not a well-known word but is slowly becoming more popular. It basically is known as the fifth taste and is a word used to describe a pleasant savoury taste which is common in Japanese cooking.
The Chicken Quinoa Bowl was delicious - such beautiful flavours and the kind of food I really enjoy. I love fresh ingredients, ones I can identify and as I tasted every spoonful, I found myself trying to decipher all the ingredients, keeping a mental note, so that I could try and recreate it when I got home.
Next day for lunch, it was all I wanted, so I jotted down the ingredients I was going to combine, to get that delicious umami broth.
I didn't have an miso on hand, but I knew with combining a few typical store cupboard ingredients I could get the flavour I wanted.
In any type of soup or broth bowl, the first thing you would expect is broth, but surprisingly I don't use any stock in this recipe, the flavour comes purely from the delicious blend of ingredients I use.
Fish Sauce is a perfect ingredient for umami and you do not need a huge amount. Don't worry it isn't going to give an overpowering fishy taste like you might expect, it just gives a lovely savoury salty taste.
As well as the fish sauce I also use some tomato paste (puree), balsamic vinegar instead of fresh lemons like in the Panera dish to give that slight acidity to the broth and soy sauce.
Then, of course, you need fresh vegetables and additional flavour which comes from the onion, garlic, garlic, ginger and mushrooms which all help to the flavour that homemade broth in this Chicken Quinoa Bowl.
The quinoa and the chicken are cooked separately because this is a Chicken Quinoa Bowl, rather than a soup and you want those layers of different ingredients.
I didn't add rice or lentils to my version. I love quinoa just as it is, for its delicious nutty flavour, and so saving time because I wanted this ready for lunch, felt there wasn't a need to over complicate the dish too much.
Quinoa is a fantastic alternative to rice and pasta, it's high in protein, and is actually a seed rather than a grain.
Want to try some other tasty quinoa recipes? Check out these:
- Chicken Quinoa Meatballs in a Veggie Sauce
- Greek Style Quinoa Pots
- Coconut Quinoa Pudding
- Crab and Quinoa Cakes
- Chicken, Zucchini, Parmesan and Quinoa Bake
- Zucchini and Parmesan Quinoa Bites
- Quinoa Stuffed Chicken Breast wrapped in Prosciutto
- Apple and Cheese Quinoa Bites
- Beef Quinoa Bites
- Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Quinoa Burgers
- Sausage Sage Quinoa Stuffing
or head on over to my FULL RECIPE INDEX for over 700+ delicious Slimming Eats Recipes
What Kitchen Items do I need to make this Chicken Quinoa Bowl?
- Kitchen Scales
- Measuring Spoons
- Mixing Bowl
- Santoku Knife
- Wooden Spoon
- Chopping Board
- 2 x Saucepan
- Small Frying Pan
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Healthy Chicken Quinoa Bowl | Slimming Eats
This recipe is gluten free, dairy free and Weight Watchers friendly
WW Smart Points - 5
Gluten Free - use a gluten-free soy sauce
*suitable for freezing
- 1 large chicken breast, halved
- ½ cup of quinoa
- 1 carrot, sliced thinly
- 1 onion, halved and sliced thinly
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- ½ tsp of grated ginger root
- 4 mushrooms, sliced thinly
- 2 cups of shredded kale
- 1 tbs of tomato puree
- ½ tbs of fish sauce
- 3 tbs of low sodium soy sauce
- ½ tbs of balsamic vinegar
- salt and black pepper
- 1 tsp of garlic granules
- pinch of dried oregano
- pinch of dried thyme
- Rinse the quinoa thoroughly under cold running water.
- Add to a saucepan and cover with 1 cup (240ml) of water, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer, covered on a low heat, until all water is absorbed. Turn off heat, but leave to sit covered for about 10 mins, set aside.
- Spray a saucepan with some cooking oil spray, add the onion and fry until softened.
- Add the garlic and ginger and continue to fry to infuse the flavour.
- In a jug combine the tomato paste, fish sauce, balsamic vinegar and soy sauce with 3 cups (720ml) of boiling water.
- Pour this into the saucepan and add the carrot, mushrooms and kale.
- Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer for approx 12 mins.
- While the broth simmers.
- Place the halves of the chicken breast on a board, cover over the top with cling film, and flatten with a wooden rolling pin.
- Season with the salt and black pepper, garlic powder, oregano and thyme.
- Heat a frying pan spray with cooking oil spray over a medium-high heat and fry the chicken breast for 5 mins each side till lightly golden and cooked through.
- Remove and set aside.
- Ladle the broth and vegetable once ready into two bowls, add the quinoa, and then slice the chicken, and top each bowl with a flattened chicken breast.
Please see below for full nutritional info and additional details about recipe:
- Calories - scroll down to nutritional info box
- WW Points and other Slimming or Weight Loss programs - due to plans regularly changing and updating, we recommend calculating with the official tools you get as a member to those plans to ensure accuracy of values.
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Nutrition InformationYield 2 Serving Size 1 serving (bowl)
Amount Per Serving Calories 405Total Fat 5.5gSaturated Fat 0.5gCholesterol 64mgSodium 1447mgCarbohydrates 48.8gFiber 15.9gSugar 8.6gProtein 39.4g
Spookily, I found a forgotten pack of Quinoa in my kitchen cupboard this morning when I was looking for a tin of soup (long story ....). I was wondering what to do with it (the Quinoa, not the lost soup) and this fab recipe lands in my mailbox. Dinner this evening - sorted!
Tried this recipe last night and was not disappointed! It was so good I made more for lunch, would definitely recommend.
Shevy (Slimming Eats) says
thank you, Caitlin, for a lovely comment. I am so glad you enjoyed it. I loved this freshness of this dish and so simple too, right?