Last week it was mason jar salads, this week? Quinoa bowls.

No, no, no, we’re not trying to go all hipster on you with cutesy or trendy foods. This stuff is just good, you guys. It’s easy, nutritious, and filling food that we actually eat… AND we enjoy it.

You will, too, once you know how to master the very versatile quinoa bowl. There are 11 amazing recipes linked up over at Mind Body Green, ranging from sweet blueberry  to savory pesto and poached eggs breakfast quinoa bowls, to hearty Thai, or Southwestern, or Greek-style dishes. All of these look excellent!

The components and concepts of a quinoa bowl remain the same, even if the flavors can run the gamut. You need cooked quinoa, fruits and/or veggies, some healthy fats like nuts, avocado, and/or cheeses and maybe a little sauce or dressing. One example of  quinoa bowl done right is the Balsamic Chicken Salad with Lemon Quinoa from Cafe Delites, which Mind Body Green showcased as #5 on their list. We love that you can prep all the components ahead of time and since this recipe makes 6 servings, you’ll have extra for tomorrow’s lunch, too!

Balsamic Chicken Salad with Lemon Quinoa

Lemon Quinoa
½ cup dry quinoa
1 cup vegetable or chicken stock (or water mixed with 1 teaspoon vegetable stock powder)
Pinch of salt to season
Juice of ½ a lemon

6 boneless chicken thigh or breast fillets, trimmed of fat
1 tablespoon garlic (or plain) olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Juice of ½ a lemon
1 teaspoon vegetable stock powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder/granules or 1 clove garlic, crushed

6 cups (200g | 7oz) lettuce, washed and shredded
200g | 7oz grape tomatoes, halved
½ medium red onion, thinly sliced
100g | 3.5ozpitted kalamata olives
50g | 1.7oz reduced fat Feta cheese
½ cup parsley

Dressing (if you don’t want to use a bottle brand)
2 tablespoons garlic olive oil
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

1. Make the lemon quinoa: in a small saucepan, combine quinoa, stock and salt together. Bring to the boil; reduce heat to gentle simmer, cover with a lid and cook for 15 minutes or until broth has absorbed and quinoa is soft. Remove from heat and set aside while still covered and allow to steam. After about 2 minutes, fluff with a fork. Allow to cool slightly and add the lemon juice.

2. Make the chicken: in a large skillet or nonstick pan combine chicken with the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, stock powder and garlic powder/granules. Saute the chicken until crispy and golden on both sides, and cooked through. Remove from heat; allow to cool slightly, and slice into 1-inch strips.

3. Make the dressing: mix oil and vinegar in a small bowl, and whisk until mixed through.

4. Make the salad: combine the lettuce, tomatoes, onion, olives, Feta and parsley together in a large salad bowl. Top with chicken slices and quinoa, and drizzle with the dressing. Toss to combine. Serve with lemon wedges.<

Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition info per serving: Calories 341 | Fat: 21g | Carbs: 7g | Protein: 28g
Nutritional information is provided by Cafe Delites.

Have you made quinoa bowls before? What are your favorite flavor combinations? Tell us in the comments below!

Keep Moving,
– Team Fitstar