Let’s be honest here.
I am sitting at the studio looking at this gorgeous memory of a meal from last week, pretending like I have myself put together and that I’m going to write a nice, thoughtful post about how much I love these chicken quinoa bowls with marinated kale WHICH I DO LOVE SO VERY MUCH.
Considering the following:
- that I returned home late last night from an epic weekend getaway with my girlfriend squad (pictures to come! you know I cannot resist)
- that said trip took place in the always-perfect weather of Arizona
- that I am returning to the sub zero arctic of Minnesota where I live which feels pretty much 😭 😭 😭 😭 right now
- that my mind is a blob of crushed end-of-vacation feelings
- that my whole self looks like I walked straight from a pool straight onto a plane straight into bed and straight into work, BECAUSE I ACTUALLY DID THAT,
… I think I might be better of just coming clean with you and just admitting that today is all about playing email catch up, sipping on an extra coffee, getting my lion’s mane of hair officially untangled, and finding my way back into easy + delicious + clean post-weekend-trip food.
I mean, if I could just eat A SINGLE VEGETABLE today and maybe wear something semi-clean, I’d be winning.
You’re feeling Monday too? In the not-best-possible way? Come with me, friends. I want you alllll aboard this yummy train.
This bowl is everything clean eating should be: nutritious, full of flavor, multi-textured, satisfying, colorful, and all-around happy. That’s because it’s loaded with seasoned quinoa, lemony chicken, and the magical thing known as marinated kale which is actually, um, just like it sounds. Marinated Kale. Mind blown, right? Also – you know there’s gotta be an avocado half on that bowl because VEGETABLES, and don’t think for a second that we are going sauceless. Load it up with that sun dried tomato sauce, guys. Just load it up.
It comes together quickly, it’s really pretty to look at, and it’s flexible to whatever ingredients you have on hand –> I just got a flash vision of grilled asparagus on top of this which is not at all seasonal in this hungry minute, but maybe someone will happen to find this in the summer someday and be able to use that glimmer of a good idea – it’s like a recipe message in a bottle for someone in a happier summertime place.
Dinner tonight! I’m thinking this rainbow bowl + you, me, Ben, and all the right reasons. I didn’t just say that tho.
Power to the Monday!
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- a few good squeezes of lemon juice (totaling about 3 tablespoons)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups uncooked quinoa
- 1 bunch kale
- 1 avocado
- 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
- sesame seeds or crushed red pepper flakes for topping
- 1 16 ounce jar sun dried tomatoes, drained
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- ½ teaspoon salt (more to taste - I prefer more like 1 teaspoon)
- juice of one lemon
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ cup almonds
- MARINATE: Whisk the marinade ingredients together. Cut the kale. Marinate the chicken and the kale (separate bags, please!) in the marinade sauce in the fridge. In terms of timing, your best bet is to let the kale go overnight, but the chicken doesn't need quite as long - the lemon juice starts to mess with the texture after a while, so if you can, try for 30 minutes to 2 hours of marinating with the chicken.
- COOK CHICKEN: Place a nonstick pan over medium high heat. Add the chicken and saute until golden brown on both sides and cooked through. Let stand a few minutes before cutting.
- QUINOA: Cook the quinoa according to package directions. When the quinoa is done, stir ½ cup of the sauce throughout to distribute.
- SUN DRIED TOMATO SAUCE: While the quinoa cooks, make the tomato sauce by pulsing everything together in a food processor (add almonds last to preserve a little bit of crunchiness).
- SERVING: To serve, fill bowls with quinoa, kale, chicken, avocado, and sun dried tomato sauce. Top with sesame seeds, red pepper flakes, olive oil, or anything else you want because it's a free country and food is delicious!