If you like Greek food, you will love this meal. This dish is the perfect dish for lunch. It is super flavorful and fresh tasting. It is filling and only takes a few minutes to put together if you have already prepped earlier in the week. For example, cooking the quinoa and chicken earlier in the week or day makes this a quick and easy meal. Though this recipe is a simple one, it provides a lot of nutritional value.
Greek Quinoa Bowl
1 cup quinoa cooked in chicken broth
1 clove garlic, minced
8oz grilled chicken breasts, chopped
1 red onion, diced
½ cup Kalamata olives, chopped
1 bell pepper, diced
¼ cup feta cheese
¼ cup fresh parsley
½ tsp. salt
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
Directions: Stir all ingredients together in a large bowl until thoroughly mixed.
Kalamata olives play a big role in this dish. They are much more flavorful than black olives and can be a bit of an acquired taste, but once you get used to them you will love them. Like olive oil, they are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, which are important for heart health as they help lower bad LDL cholesterol while increasing good HDL cholesterol. They are a surprisingly good source of iron, which is especially important during pregnancy where iron deficiency is common. They are also full of antioxidants, including vitamins A and E to help fight inflammation.
Red onions are some of the most nutritious onions out there. Onions are rich in vitamin C, flavonoids and other phytochemicals that are anticancer, anti-inflammatory and supportive of heart health. If the flavor of onions is too strong for you, you can always cook them, which helps mellow out the flavor.
Parsley is another key player in this recipe. I always like to use fresh herbs when I have them, but if you don’t have them on hand you can use dried. The ratio is 3:1 fresh to dry for herbs in general so if it called for 1 tbsp fresh, you can use 1 tsp dried. Parsley, like many herbs, is full of health-promoting nutrients. Studies have linked the parsley consumption with cancer prevention, decreased insulin resistance and even improved bone health.
In a recipe, you typically combine ingredients for complementary flavor and taste. However, combining healthy ingredients does more than make a delicious meal. Cooking with ingredients high in nutritional value helps fill your daily nutritional needs. When cooking with fresh and healthy ingredients, you build up your nutritional stores, giving you the energy to do what you need to do each day.