Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Healthy Eating Habits

Wild Rice & Quinoa Chipotle Rubbed Grilled Chicken Bowl

Over the last several years, the push to end obesity in America has driven efforts supporting healthier eating habits in homes, on the go and in schools.  The Campaign to End Obesity (CEO), the Let’s Move campaign driven by Michelle Obama and Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution are amongst a few.  Some of the ideas are welcomed but, there is still far more resistance to tackle than there is support, and these concepts are ones I believe shouldn’t be pushed aside. 

A common response I hear when asking why fast food options are chosen over cooking meals at home is accessibility and ease.  It is far easier to pull up to the drive thru and have dinner in hand within a matter of minutes than it is to rush home and prepare a meal each night.  I understand the premise of fast food, and honestly cannot argue the ease it offers but, for me, fast food isn’t something I get from a drive thru, fast meals are ones that I create at home, with quality ingredients some freshly prepared and some prepared beforehand that offer nutrition, sustenance and are easily adapted to satisfy even the most aggressive cravings.

On Sundays, I prepare a few staple items to last throughout the work week making lunch and dinner preparation much easier.  There is always a super food which alternates between quinoa, wild rice, winter berries or faro, legumes in the form of chick peas, black or kidney beans, grilled proteins such as fish, chicken and lean cuts of beef and grilled or roasted vegetables.  Taking a little time out of my Sunday afternoon to prepare ingredients opens up much more of my time after work allowing me to maintain a healthy fitness regime, catch my favorite TV shows and even relax before bed with a glass of wine. 

Here is an original recipe that I often turn to during the week is different takes on the classic “burrito bowl.”  This one dish wonder is, in my opinion the easiest to prepare and the most versatile.  Taking the premise of the recipe and alternating between your favorite ingredients this adds a whole new twist to the ordinary idea.

Wild Rice & Quinoa Chipotle Rubbed Grilled Chicken Bowls

Serves 1

¼ cup plain wild rice
¼ cup quinoa

One boneless skinless chicken breast
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp chipotle powder
½ tsp garlic powder
Half zucchini sliced length wise
1 or 2 tsp grapeseed oil
Bell Pepper

Bring 1 cup of water to a boil, then stir in the rice and quinoa, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until tender, about 25 to 20 minutes.

Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium high.

Toss the zucchini slices with a light coating of grapeseed oil, season with salt and pepper.  Grilled until tender about 2 minutes per side.

Evenly coat both sides of the chicken with one teaspoon of grapeseed oil, black pepper, chipotle and garlic powder then grill 3 minutes on each side and allow to rest for ten minutes before thinly slicing.  Season with salt to taste.

Layer the prepared ingredients in a bowl, top with avocado slices and chopped bell pepper to serve.  

A great breakfast variation of this dish is to simmer the cooked quinoa and wild rice in a mixture of almond milk, cardamom, vanilla extract and cinnamon, topped with dried fruit, toasted unsweetened coconut flakes or almond slices and a light drizzling honey or agave nectar.Wild Rice


  1. I have never combine quinoa and rice in the same dish. Nice idea and nice to change it up for a breakfast too.

  2. This sounds great, I like that it's so versatile. Great idea to be able to prepare it ahead too.