Saturday, April 11, 2015

Spring Lemon-Basil Quinoa Bowl

I loved today. I needed today. I've found there is little better for my proud heart and busy mind than to kneel down and put my hands in the dirt. It reminds me of my little girl days when I would spend long hours outside with the roly-polies and worms, making tulip houses for the snails and catching caterpillars in jars to show mom. Those were the days when I had no clue life was hard. That was a gift. But, even still, I find so much peace and solace when I'm as close to the earth as possible. Thank God for this day that allowed for it. I planted lots of green things and took lots of deep breaths. Some day I'll learn to do this more.

M and I had a sweet evening---he worked all day and I cooked dinner earlier so we could enjoy a relaxed meal when he got home. I wanted something light and healthy and found this recipe. We loved it. You spoon some quinoa in a bowl then top it with a soupy mixture of chicken, lemon, basil, peas, onion, and zucchini. Perfect for a spring evening, and so quick and easy. We don't have a porch so I insist on making good use of our front steps. I sat, sweaty and covered in dirt, and we snarfed these bowls clean. I want to eat up every morsel of every day that way. I'm gonna try to do it again tomorrow.

Spring Lemon-Basil Quinoa Bowl
serves 4 / modified from

2 T butter
1 T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon herbs de Provence
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups frozen peas
1 cup zucchini, small diced
2 cups cooked chicken breasts or half a rotisserie chicken, shredded
(I did the latter this time and used 1/2 dark and 1/2 light meat, using the other half on salads for another meal)
2 teaspoons lemon zest (2-3 lemons)
3 T fresh lemon juice (~1 lemon)
2 cups cooked quinoa
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped, fresh basil leaves
4 lemon wedges, garnish
Parmesan cheese, optional
2 avocados, optional


1. Heat butter and olive oil over medium heat in medium soup pot. Add onion once melted and cook for 3-5 minutes, until translucent. 
2. Add garlic and stir in herbs de Provence and a couple pinches of salt and pepper once garlic becomes aromatic--about 1 minute in.
3. Add chicken stock, peas, zucchini, chicken, and lemon zest and juice. Stir together, cover, and bring to simmer for 3-4 minutes, adding additional salt and pepper, as needed. Stir in basil.
4. To serve, scoop a couple large spoonfuls of quinoa into bowls and ladle some of the chicken-veggie mixture over top. Top with shredded parmesan, a squeeze of lemon, and diced avocado. 


  1. Yum! and yes! And I'm so glad you had a day like today. Here's to many more like it!

  2. I love this picture of you. :) It makes me happy.