Chicken, Quinoa, Pesto Bowl

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The inspiration from this dish comes from one of my all time favorite lunches. On nice sunny warm days I love taking the opportunity to walk to one of my favorite lunch spots, Protein Bar . While their menu is full of great healthy options, I’m particularly fond of their spinach pesto bowl. Given that the closest location is nearly a mile from my office, and the temperatures this winter have been absurdly terrible, I haven’t felt like making the trek there at lunch so, I decided to try to re-create the bowl myself.

I substituted kale for the spinach and added some grape tomatoes because I like their fresh bite. I used chicken thighs for the meat because that’s what I had but chicken breasts would work just as well if not better. This didn’t come out exactly like Protein Bar’s bowl, but it was pretty darn close and still pretty good!

Chicken, Quinoa, Pesto Bowl
4 chicken thighs or breasts
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 bunch of kale (about 6 leaves)
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup quinoa
3 Tablespoons pesto
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
salt
pepper
fresh parsley (optional)
fresh basil (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil into a baking dish and place your chicken on top. Season the chicken with half of the rosemary, oregano and some salt and pepper. Turn the chicken over and season the other side with the rest of the spices. Bake in the oven for about 45-60 minutes until cooked (cooking time will depend on the size of your chicken pieces).
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2. While the chicken is cooking begin preparing your kale. Wash the kale and cut into bite sized pieces. Add 1 Tablespoon of olive oil to a medium pot. Then add the kale and season with salt and pepper. Cook the kale until it begins to soften and wilt, about 7 minutes.

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3. Next, add the chicken stock to the pot with the kale. Then add the quinoa and bring to a boil. Turn it down to a simmer and let it cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 10-15 minutes. When the liquid is gone stir in your pesto.

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4. When the chicken is cooked, take it out and use two forks to pull apart the meat. Add the meat to the quinoa and stir to combine. Finally, turn the heat off on the pot and stir in your tomatoes. Season with more salt and pepper if needed and top with fresh parsley and basil if you want. Enjoy!

Kale, Pesto and Red Onion Flatbread

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Last week, for the first time since I’ve lived in the DC area, we actually got some real snow! Nothing crazy, probably just about 3 inches in my area but I was excited none the less. To make it even better, the snow allowed me to work from home for a day, extending the already long weekend! I really enjoy days when I work from home because I have extra time to make lunch and dinner.

Given the chilly temperatures and the lack of quick snow removal in this area, instead of finding a new recipe to try and going out to buy all the ingredients, I rummaged through the cupboards and fridge to see what I could develop with what I had on hand. I always have ingredients for dough, I had kale and these adorable red pearl onions (sorry if adorable is a weird word for onions, but these really were) from my week’s farm basket and a jar of pesto my friend brought me from Italy that I’ve been excited to try. I put it all together and came up with this flatbread. If you don’t want to make dough, you can use frozen pizza dough as a shortcut.

Kale, Pesto and Onion Flatbread
Dough:
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup warm waterflatbread2
2 Tablespoon yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon
pepper

Topping:
1 bunch kale, stems removed and washed
1/2 cup red pearl onions peeled and chopped (or 1 small red onion)
3 Tablespoons pesto
1 Tablespoon  plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
salt
pepper
a few shavings of parmesan cheese

Begin by making your dough. Add the water and yeast to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and let sit for ten minutes. Then combine the flour and salt in a separate bowl and add them to the water and yeast mixture. Using the dough hook, begin to combine and slowly add 1 tablespoon of olive oil while it’s all mixing. Continue mixing until a ball of dough had formed. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with a towel and let rise for an hour.

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After the dough has risen, preheat your oven to 400 degrees (if you have a pizza stone it really helps to bake these on a hot pizza stone). Divide the dough into two equal pieces and roll each piece into an oblong shape. Drizzle the additional olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper on top of the rolled out dough. When the oven is ready, place the dough on your pizza stone or on a baking sheet if you don’t have a pizza stone. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the dough just starts to get a little brown.

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To make the topping add the olive oil and onions to a pan on medium-low heat. Cook the onions for about 5 minutes then add your kale to the pan. Add your desired amount of salt and pepper. Continue to cook for about 8-10 minutes, until the kale has wilted.

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Remove your dough from the oven and spread a a layer of pesto over it. Top with your kale and onions. Add a few shavings of parmesan cheese, enjoy!

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