What’s Cookin’ Good Lookin’: Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Bowls

This week, it’s Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Bowl inspired by Protein Bar

photo cred @theproteinbar denver

photo cred @theproteinbar denver

There are a few things that are just always better when someone makes them for you. A big sandwich with lots of toppings. A hearty and tasty salad. SUSHI.

But I’ve been on a mission as of late to make easy, cheap and just-as-if-not-more healthy versions of my favorite take-out foods. Especially since many of my favorites can be over $10 a pop, but I’ll eat them more than once a week. Additionally, I’m always looking for healthier ways to satisfy my cravings, one of which are hot wings.

Man, do I love buffalo wings! And I used to eat them almost once a week after playing some part serious, part Guiness-fueled volleyball games. And I was almost able to justify this with the protein! But then I really learned how they make wings and I knew something had to change.

This little recipe totally hits the buffalo wing craving spot, is pretty easy and is JUST as delicious as the original from The Protein Bar. (I wish this amazing spot would expand but so far as I know, you can only get their delicious eats in Chicago, DC and Denver, but they include yummy breakfast bowls, chili, bar-ritos including breakfast ones, and salads.)

What I bought:

Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Sauce (no need to only go with Frank, but he’s a close personal friend of mine)
Celery
Carrots
Cucumbers
Free-range chicken breast
Organic quinoa
Yogurt based Blue Cheese Dressing or Greek Yogurt

I went for dressing since I’m going out of town and it lasts longer instead of just pure blue cheese. I held up a regular blue cheese dressing to the yogurt based one and holy moly, NO CONTEST. And it was still delicious! Otherwise you an top with blue cheese crumbles, or mix up your own blue cheese and yogurt mixture. Since you have the Frank’s in there too, I’ve found when I wing it and just mix yogurt, blue cheese and some spices, like onion powder and/or garlic powder, it still does the trick.

Other optional ingredients:
Onion powder
Garlic Powder
Green onions

What I did:

I marinated the chicken in the buffalo sauce, onion and garlic powders, and baked it in a glass baking dish at 400 degrees, flipping a few times, until it was cooked through. Now, while this works fine, it definitely makes for drier chicken, so if you have a slow-cooker, I would HIGHLY recommend going slow-cooker style on this! Makes for very moist (are my friend Hilary and I the only people that HATES that word? ), pullable chicken. 

Then just combine ingredients, ratios as you like ’em! (I just go on look ;)), and VOILA. Tastes decadent, fills my buffalo sauce craving, but really isn’t at all! Protein and fiber central.

I am all about efficiency, so I like to try to use the ingredients in other ways as well. Maybe some dip with those veggies, or I often use the extra quinoa and just store-bought Amy’s Organics Chili to make a quinoa chili bowl (topped with cheddar cheese and greek yogurt for another Protein Bar inspired meal).

Since Pinterest is full of geniuses there are a lot of variations on the web, so definitely suggest if you have a variation you prefer it! And of course, Happy Friday, and have great weekends. XO

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