Grain bowls are trending right now! Not only are they super delicious and incredibly easy to prepare, but they’re exploding with healthy ingredients that pack fiber, protein, and flavor in every bite! Seniors will discover that grain bowls are the perfect vehicle to gather all of your daily essentials. In addition, easy grain bowls eliminate the worry of strenuous prep of a traditional home-cooked meal.
These simple all-in-one bowls typically contain four main elements, which vary in coloration, texture, and flavor. Yet, all ingredients tie together, offering a flawlessly harmonized dish. To make a grain bowl gather the following components:
Whole grains are the base for grain bowls. Whole grains are a fiber-rich food also containing b vitamins, an essential part of an aging adult’s diet. Choose one of the following whole grains for your grain bowl; farro, brown rice, quinoa, barley, bulgar.
Healthy proteins, such as chicken, shrimp, salmon, tofu, flaked fish, or seared steak, are often the star of the grain bowl. According to AARP, aging adults should load up on healthy proteins, as protein helps build and maintain muscle mass.
Another vital component of the grain bowl that brings texture, color, and a healthy dose of nutrients and fiber is vegetables. Vegetables may be either raw or cooked. Popular veggie choices often include halved cherry tomatoes, fresh avocado, diced red onions, cucumbers, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, red and green peppers.
Sauce and Toppings
When finishing off your grain bowl, you may choose to add sauces and toppings for added flavor. Imagine this final step as to how you would prefer to dress a salad. Typically, garnishes included feta, goat cheese, walnuts, sesame seeds, tahini sauce, olives, or Greek yogurt. The possibilities are endless!
Easy Greek Chicken Grain Bowl
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Total Time: 35 Minutes
A delicious all-in-one meal prepared with tender shredded chicken over a bed of quinoa and brown rice and fresh vegetables served with a creamy feta yogurt dressing.
Feta Yogurt Dressing
- 1 clove fresh garlic, minced or 1/2 teaspoon pre-jarred garlic
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/4 feta cheese crumbles
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 tablespoon water
- salt and pepper, to taste
Add the minced garlic, Greek yogurt, feta crumbles, lemon juice, water, salt, and pepper to a food processor or blender. Process until completely smooth. If the dressing is too thin, add a teaspoon of water at a time until the sauce thins to your liking.
Easy Greek Chicken
- 2 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 chicken breasts (skinless and boneless)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 packages of quinoa and brown rice (ready to eat)
- 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives
- Wash and dry the produce. Thinly slice the cucumbers and halve the cherry tomatoes. Set aside.
- Carefully slice the chicken breasts in half lengthwise, resulting in four thinner chicken breasts. Season both sides of chicken breasts with salt and pepper to taste.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken breasts to the skillet, careful not to overcrowd the pan. Cook each side, about 5-7 minutes. Cook until the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees on a digital instant-read thermometer. Slice or shred chicken when cooked. Set aside.
- While the chicken breasts are cooking, prepare the brown rice and quinoa in the microwave according to package directions until warm.
- To assemble: Divide the quinoa and brown rice between two bowls. Top each bowl with the sliced chicken. Next, divide the sliced cucumber, halved tomatoes, and Kalamata olives into each bowl. Finally, drizzle the feta yogurt sauce on top of each dish. Serve and enjoy!
Cooking Tips While Aging in Place
Our recipe calls for a luscious homemade feta yogurt sauce. However, seniors with hand and wrist mobility issues may find using pre-made sauces more convenient. We recommend Trader Joe’s Greek Style Feta Dressing for a similar taste and texture, or you can simply opt for crumbled feta as a tasty garnish.
Although our easy Greek-inspired grain bowls call for raw chicken breasts, a ready-to-eat rotisserie chicken can be another option for aging adults with limited mobility. However, keep in mind rotisserie chicken can have some undesirable ingredients. According to Consumer Reports, shoppers should always be mindful of the nutrition facts label on rotisserie chickens, as they’re one of the worst sodium offenders.
In addition, Consumer Reports noted that ready-to-eat chickens from Krogers and organic chickens from Wegmans were some of the “healthier” options. If you enjoy a rotisserie chicken for convenience, an easy way to avoid excess sodium would be to remove the chicken’s skin.