I was digging under my bed the other day, discovering books that had slid out of sight and found one called “Food in Bowls”. I vaguely remember reading the book and being charmed by bowl foods. It was a good term to use for those meals you throw together that are delicious but really fall in no one recipe category.
Leftover chicken is my favorite leftover. I admit to favoritism. It’s the most versatile meat, being great in soups, salads, stews, chilis, casseroles, soups, and just thrown together bowls of goodness. Although I wanted to try some of the recipes in “Food in Bowls”, I was going to invent one of my own first.
I opened my fridge and besides the leftover roast chicken I had fresh broccoli and red bell pepper. I opened the nearest cupboard and decided quinoa hadn’t seen daylight in my kitchen in months, and I’d make it with chicken broth. There, lots of savory flavors and I’d serve them in a bowl!
I started the quinoa in a skillet. Weird, I know, but I was going to do a one pot wonder kind of dish. I got the skillet and chicken broth going and realized I’d need to use another one to stir fry. Oh well, a two pot meal isn’t a lot of dishes.
The second skillet was heated with a drizzle of oil and I sauteed the red bell pepper I’d diced for a few minutes. I added the broccoli and let it saute for a few more minutes. I’d liked to have had diced onions in the saute as well but I was out. I’d add a handful of chopped green onions near the end, no problem.
When the vegetables were close to fork tender I added some garlic powder, salt, pepper a pinch of cayenne and the chopped chicken. I let it sit on low heat to await the quinoa.
When the quinoa was done I added it to the pan with the vegetables and chicken along with a handful of shredded Parmesan to tie it all together.
I also added about ¼ cup chopped green onion. Rather than a sauce, I just used cheese to blend the flavors together in one bowl. I taste tested, added a little salt, and dinner was served. Fast and fairly painless!
The bowl meal was excellent. Making the quinoa with chicken broth gave it a lot of flavor. Backed up by sweet peppers, broccoli and chicken it was bowl where every bite was interesting.
Whether it was the bowl and spoon or the comforting flavors, it was a success. It was even great reheated for lunch the next day. Sticking with the simple basics is sometimes a good idea.
Quinoa Broccoli Chicken Bowl
2 cups quinoa (I use a gluten free, organic brand)
4 cups chicken broth
1 red sweet bell pepper; diced
2 cups broccoli florets
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
Generous pinch of cayenne
2 cups roast chicken; diced in large chunks
½ cup Parmesan; shredded
¼ cup green onion; thinly sliced
Cook quinoa according to package directions using 2 cups of quinoa and 3-4 cups of chicken broth. Mine said to use 1 ½ cups per cup of quinoa but I made it in a skillet and the liquid reduced down to the point where I had to add a 4th cup of broth. Oddly it hadn’t told me to cover the pot as most quinoa suggests.
In another skillet, heat to medium high with a drizzle of oil and saute the red pepper for a few minutes. Add the broccoli and saute it to fork tender, another 5 or 6 minutes.
Add garlic powder, salt, pepper and a good pinch of cayenne to the vegetables. Add the chicken and heat through on low until quinoa is done.
Add quinoa to the skillet, stir in Parmesan cheese. Taste test for seasoning and serve in a bowl.