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15-Minute Chicken & Quinoa Macro Bowls

January 16, 2019

Let’s start with the obvious question: What is a macro bowl?

A macro bowl is a one-dish meal that has all the macro-nutrients you need for a healthy, balanced meal. That means you get plenty of protein, fiber, slow-low carbs, and healthy fats in one convenient package! (More on that later…)

This one uses one of my favorite staples: steamed quinoa. I like to steam it on the weekend in a larger batch so I have it for weeknight meals. You can also buy it frozen and precooked, then simply thaw and reheat. If you don’t have quinoa on hand, wild rice works well here too.

This macro bowl calls for sauteed chicken, but any clean, lean protein will do, including wild-caught salmon or organic pork. Cook it ahead, and this recipe takes just 5 minutes to assemble.

In fact, when you know the basic building blocks of a great macro bowl, the options are endless! Here’s ideas for each of the macro-nutrient categories required to build a balanced meal:

Lean Protein

One of the fastest ways to calm your sugar cravings and ramp up your metabolism is by eating protein. Every meal should include 1-2 servings of clean, lean protein. A serving is 4-6 ounces for women, 6-8 ounces for men.

My Top Ten:

Wild Salmon, Grass-Fed Beef, JJ Virgin’s All-in-One Protein Shake, Legumes, Wild Scallops, Pastured Eggs (if not sensitive), Quinoa, Grass-fed Lamb, Pastured Organic Chicken Breast, Flaxseed or Chia Seeds

Healthy Fats

Fat doesn’t make you fat – sugar makes you fat! Ideally, you should have 2-3 servings of healthy fats at every meal. (Men and athletic women can go up to 4.) Remember, many proteins like wild salmon and grass-fed beef also contain healthy fats.

My Top Ten:

Flaxseed or Chia Seeds, Grass-Fed Ghee, Walnuts, Coconut Oil, Macadamia Nut Oil, Avocados or Avocado Oil, Red Palm Fruit Oil, Hemp Seeds, Almond Butter, Olive Oil

Non-Starchy Vegetables

The more non-starchy veggies you eat, the better! These not only provide plenty of fiber for great heart and gut health, they also give you the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants you need to prevent aging and disease. I want you to get 2 or more servings at every meal. (A serving size is typically 1/2 cup cooked or 1 cup raw.)

My Top Ten:

Brussels Sprouts, Red Peppers, Broccoli, Cabbage, Arugula, Swiss Chard, Kale, Artichokes, Cauliflower, Spinach

Slow-Low Carbs

Carbohydrates aren’t the enemy! You just have to choose those that are slowly metabolized with a low sugar impact for the best results. (I call them “slow-low carbs” for short.) Aim to get 1-2 servings of slow-low carbs per meal; men and larger or more athletic women can have 3.

My Top Ten:

Lentils, Quinoa, Tomatoes, Black Beans, Hummus, Raspberries, Squash, Avocados, Wild Rice, Sweet Potatoes

15-Minute Chicken & Quinoa Macro Bowls

This quick and easy macro bowl recipe has all the protein, fiber, carbs, and fats you need for a healthy, balanced meal, plus plenty of delicious, fresh flavors!

  • Yields: 2 Servings

Ingredients

12 oz. boneless skinless pasture-raised organic chicken breasts (2 small breasts)

1/4 cup avocado oil, divided

2 tsp fresh lemon juice

3/4 tsp sea salt, divided

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 cups cooked organic quinoa

1 small avocado, thinly sliced

1 cup organic broccoli florets (raw or cooked, your preference)

1/2 cup shredded organic carrot

1/4 cup organic sprouts (not soybean)

1/4 cup pomegranate seeds (also called “pomegranate arils”)

2 tbsp grainy mustard

dash JJ Virgin Sprinkles or other low-sugar impact sweetener of your choice*

Directions

1In small bowl, stir together 1/2 teaspoon of the sea salt, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and black pepper.

2Sprinkle both sides of chicken breast with seasoning mix, then drizzle with lemon juice.

3Heat 2 tablespoons of avocado oil in skillet over medium-high heat.

4Saute chicken breasts on both sides until deep golden brown and internal temperature of 165F, about 4-5 minutes per side.

5Remove chicken to plate, cover, and allow to rest while assembling bowls.

6Divide cooked quinoa between bowls, then half of the carrot, broccoli, and avocado slices to each bowl.

7Slice cooked chicken breast and divide between both bowls.

8Top each bowl with half the sprouts and half the pomegranate seeds.

9In small bowl, stir together mustard and remaining 2 tablespoons avocado oil, 1/4 teaspoon seas salt, and dash of JJ Virgin Sprinkles, if desired.

10Drizzle each macro bowl with half the mustard dressing and serve.

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