• Brianna Rhodes, RD, CD

Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Bowl

Fresh and spicy, this easy quinoa bowl is going to rock your world. This bowl recipe features spicy buffalo chicken, savory quinoa and it’s loaded with veggies—tomatoes, avocado, spinach, asparagus and eggplant.

Hopefully I didn’t lose you with that last one. I know eggplant is not on most people’s list of favorite vegetables. I probably would not have used it, but I happened to get some through my produce group this week. My girls were helping me put away the vegetables and they were just mesmerized by the deep beautiful purple of the eggplant. They really wanted to try some for dinner, so I decided to cook it up! If you have never tried eggplant before, this is a good way to try it out! But if you really don’t want to use it, you can definitely enjoy this recipe without the eggplant.

The base recipe is the buffalo chicken and quinoa. Throw the quinoa into your rice cooker with a little chicken bouillon—super easy!! The chicken is cooked up in a skillet with a little seasoned salt. Once the chicken is cooked through, you add the buffalo sauce and cream cheese, stir it up and let it simmer. Chop up your favorite veggies and you have a bowl meal.

For kids (or adults) who don’t do spicy, feel free to make this with plain chicken. I cooked up about ½ a chicken breast with just a little seasoned salt first, then cooked the rest with the buffalo sauce so I had some kid-friendly meat too.

Now to the eggplant. For many of you, this may feel a bit adventurous. But who doesn’t need a little more adventure in their life? Before this, I had only made eggplant twice, and neither time turned out very good. I tried an eggplant parmesan recipe, and I’ll be honest—it was a DISASTER. It was terrible! The eggplant soaks up oil like a sponge, and so I ended up using way too much trying to get that crispy breaded eggplant, and it was still mush in the end.

This time, I tried a new method. Roasted. It was super easy, super quick, and a definite win. One thing I learned about eggplant—the skin on larger eggplant is a little bitter, so it’s best to remove most of it. I left some strips though just for color. Cut off the top and bottom, dice the rest. Toss it in a little oil, spread it out on a cookie sheet, and broil for 12-15 minutes. Broiling is my favorite way to roast vegetables—it makes them crisp and brown, and it’s quick.

Give it a try this week!

The Meal:

  • ½ cup Quinoa

  • 4 oz buffalo chicken

  • 1 cup spinach, ¼ cup tomatoes, ¼ cup cucumbers

  • ¾ cup roasted asparagus and eggplant

  • ½ avocado

  • 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro

Recipe Used in this meal:

Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Bowl

Serving size: 2 cups

6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups uncooked quinoa

  • 3 cups of water

  • 3 tsp chicken bouillon

  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed

  • 3/4 tsp seasoned salt

  • 3/4 cup buffalo wing sauce

  • 4 1/2 Tbsp cream cheese

  • 6 cups of chopped green leaf lettuce

  • 1 ½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 3 avocados, sliced

  • 6 Tbsp diced fresh cilantro

  • optional: drizzle ranch dressing

Directions

  1. Combine quinoa, water and chicken bouillon in a rice cooker. Start the rice cooker, and allow to cook. Fluff with fork when done.

  2. In the meantime, cute chicken breast into cubes. Cook in a large skillet, season with seasoned salt. Once chicken is thoroughly cooked, add wing sauce, and cream cheese. Mix everything together and make sure all the chicken is coated with the sauce. Simmer about 3 minutes.

  3. Prepare the veggies and avocado by washing, and slicing.

  4. Assemble the bowls. Add ½ cup of quinoa, 1 cup of spinach, ½ cup of the buffalo chicken mixture, cherry tomatoes, sliced avocado, and fresh cilantro. (optional: drizzle ranch dressing on top). Serve immediately.

Roasted Eggplant and Asparagus

Serving size: ¾ cup

6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 medium Eggplant

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 lb Asparagus

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil

Directions

  1. Wash and clean eggplant and asparagus. Peel most of the eggplant (leave some strips of skin)

  2. Chop the eggplant into bite-size squares. Salt and stir in a bowl. Allow to sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes until the eggplant begins to form droplets. Rinse and place into a large ziplock bag.

  3. Chop the asparagus into bite-size pieces. Add to the ziplock bag.

  4. Add oil, shake to coat. Spread the vegetables out in a single layer on a cookie sheet.

  5. Broil for 12-15 minutes until roasted/browned and tender. Stir/flip half way through.

  6. Serve hot on top of buffalo quinoa bowl

Nutrition Facts Label for Entire Meal:

Nutrition Facts Label for Buffalo Chicken Quinoa:

Nutrition Facts Label for Roasted Eggplant & Asparagus:

RD and Me

Brianna Rhodes, RD, CD

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© 2016 RD and Me Nutrition Consulting, LLC