Quinoa bowls are my lunch of choice. I usually throw them together based on what we have in the refrigerator, and what flavors I'm in the mood for. No recipe usually, it's just more of a "use what I've got" thing. But when I came across this combination in Cooking Light, I was immediately in love.
Carrots were an easy and low-maintenance option for the roasted veggie, but I think butternut squash, parsnips, or beets would also work really well with the rest of the flavors. So many fall comfort foods are heavy and calorie-laden, but this is so fresh, light, and healthy.
These quinoa bowls make a pretty easy and healthy dinner, and the leftovers make for a fabulous lunch. This was also a great meal for the kids as well. I kept their portions "deconstructed," if you will: carrots, grapes, and chicken, plus a side of quinoa, and a little bowl of the dressing for dipping.
The combination of roasted carrots and grapes intrigued me, and I couldn't stop myself from adding some crumbled goat cheese to the bowl as well. With a sweet and smoky balsamic dressing, these quinoa bowls became an instant favorite. I pretty much love everything about these bowls: lots of protein from the chicken, quinoa, yogurt dressing, and goat cheese. Little bursts of sweetness from the grapes and carrots. Tangy, creamy, goat cheese. Crunchy almonds. Fresh and crisp lettuce. Perfection all around, I tell you.
Harvest Quinoa Bowls with Grapes and Goat Cheese
adapted from Cooking Light, September 2014
- 2 cups (3/4-inch) diagonally cut carrot
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
- 5 Tbs Greek yogurt
- 2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tbs honey
- 1 Tbs water
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 1/2 cups shredded (cooked) chicken breasts
- 1 1/2 cups seeless red grapes, halved (quartered if large)
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds
- 1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
- 6 cups mixed salad greens, roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss the carrots with the oil and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Arrange in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, or until they are browned and tender.
Meanwhile, combine the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt, yogurt, vinegar, honey, water, cumin, and black pepper in a small jar. Cover and shake to combine.
In a large bowl, combine the carrots, chicken, quinoa, grapes, scallions, parsley, almonds, goat cheese, and mixed greens. Toss gently with the dressing to combine.
Divide among bowls and serve.