So one of my favorite places to grab a fast healthy meal in Chicago is Protein Bar. It’s fast, healthy, and delicious! However I don’t have one right by where I live – so I only go when I am right downtown – which isn’t all that often – especially in the summer
because I hate tourists I am not a huge fan of crowds. And Chicago in the summer months -especially the weekends – its really crowded.
So I started experimenting – and created my own Buffalo Chicken Quinoa bowl that I can make at home.
Quinoa (KEEN-WAH) is a whole grain that has gained popularity in the past few years. It is a whole grain, and a complete protein – meaning it contains both essential and non-essential amino acids. Because of this, it is a really good staple for vegetarians, and vegans to incorporate. Because of how nutrient dense it is – no more than about 1 cup is necessary to reap all of these wonderful benefits.
In fact for about 1 cup – that equates to ~220 calories; 4 g of Total Fat; 39 g Total Carb; 5 g dietary fiber; 8 g protein.
So here is what I did:
I prepared about 2-3 cups cooked quinoa – I used the Trader Joe’s variety – because that’s just what I happen to have, but I also like that it comes in a resealable bag. I boiled it using a little bit of low sodium (unsalted) chicken broth.
I grilled two chicken breasts and seasoned them with black pepper, and a little bit of Red Hot (sauce). Once they were cooked I set them aside to cool. While the quinoa and chicken were cooking I chopped up my veggies, 2 Zucchinis, some celery, and a little bit of red onion. I mixed those together in a bowl with a few teaspoons of Red Hot. When the quinoa was done cooking I let that cool for a minute then added that to the vegetables, and then I diced the chicken and added that.
I added a few more teaspoons of red hot, and stirred everything together. I topped it with a little sprinkle of goat cheese.
It was an amazing recreation of one of my favorite meals to get outside of the home.
I have some “rough” macros for you – I really was not that exact in my measurements for this- so when I make it again, I’ll be more exact. So for about 2 cups of the prepare product (I had a green salad on the side – although I found the two cups to be pretty filling).
Total Fat: 10 g
Saturated Fat: 2 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g
Sodium: 129 mg
Potassium: 261 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 65 g
Fiber: 7 g
Protein: 37 g
*This is also a good source of Vitamin C, and Iron.
Again these are “rough” macros- but they shouldn’t be too far off.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did! This recipe is also gluten free, and a easy recipe to make (it’s ready in under 30 minutes), so it’s perfect for a quick weeknight recipe!