• 45°

The one thing your quinoa bowls have been missing all along

By Ellie Krieger

Special to the Washington Post

Quinoa and corn are a natural combo. They not only pair well tastewise — with quinoa’s soft texture and mild, earthy flavor and corn’s sweet, juicy kernels — they are both staples of traditional Peruvian cuisine, so it seems fitting to combine them as the foundation of these Latin-American-leaning grain bowls.

Ears of fresh corn are grilled out of the husk so they char a bit, adding flecks of smoky flavor to the mix. The kernels are tossed with the just-cooked quinoa (which I invariably find comes out lighter and fluffier when you use slightly less liquid than most packages call for) and served in bowls topped with sliced grilled chicken breast, a crunch of cucumber and radish and slices of buttery avocado.

Those components are all drizzled with a lime-brightened, fresh cilantro and basil sauce that is made simply with a whir of the food processor. The sauce, chicken and corn can all be prepared a few days ahead, so you just need to cook the quinoa (which takes 15 minutes) and slice the vegetables when you are ready to eat.

To switch up the toppings, you could use shredded rotisserie chicken, grilled shrimp, and/or black beans instead of the chicken breast; and jicama, shredded carrot, tomatoes and grilled zucchini would all work in a meatless bowl. However you top it, you are in for a delightful, healthful one-bowl meal.

Corn and Quinoa Bowls with Herb Sauce

— From nutritionist and cookbook author Ellie Krieger.

Makes 4 servings

Make ahead: The sauce, chicken and corn can be refrigerated up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.


For the sauce

• 1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves

• 1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves

• 1 scallion, white and light green part, dark greens sliced and reserved for garnish

• 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

• 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

• 2 tablespoons water

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• Pinch crushed red pepper flakes

For the bowls

• 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, pounded to 1/2-inch thickness

• 3 ears corn, shucked

• 1 tablespoon olive oil

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

• 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

• 3/4 cup quinoa

• 11/4 cups no-salt-added chicken broth

• 1/2 English cucumber, chopped

• 2 medium radishes, thinly sliced

• Flesh of 1 ripe avocado, thinly sliced

• 4 lime wedges, for serving


For the bowls: Prepare a grill for direct heat. If using a gas grill, turn the heat to medium. If using a charcoal grill, light the charcoal or briquettes; when the briquettes are ready, distribute them evenly in the grill. For a medium-hot fire, you should be able to hold your hand 6 inches above the coals for 4 or 5 seconds. Have ready a spray water bottle for taming any flames.

Meanwhile, make the sauce: Combine the cilantro, basil, scallion, the 1/4 cup of oil, the lime juice, water, salt and crushed red pepper flakes in a mini food processor; blend to form a smooth sauce.

Brush the chicken and the corn with the tablespoon of oil and season them with the salt. Then season the chicken with the pepper and the cumin. Transfer the chicken and corn to the grill and close the lid. Cook the chicken for 4 or 5 minutes per side; cook the corn for about 15 minutes, until tender, turning it with tongs every 3 or 4 minutes so it is evenly cooked.

Let the chicken and the corn rest 5 for minutes, then slice the chicken and cut the kernels off the corn (reserving the cobs for another use, if desired).

When ready to serve, combine the quinoa and broth in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Once the liquid comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, so all the liquid is absorbed.

Uncover and fluff with a fork, then stir in the corn.

Divide the quinoa/corn mixture among individual bowls. Arrange the chicken slices, cucumber, radishes and avocado on top. Drizzle with the sauce and garnish with scallion greens and lime wedges.

Nutrition | Per serving (using 6 tablespoons sauce): 490 calories, 33 g protein, 38 g carbohydrates, 25 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 85 mg cholesterol, 560 mg sodium, 6 g dietary fiber, 7 g sugar.

About Post Lifestyles

Visit us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SalPostLifestyle/ and Twitter @postlifestlyes for more content

email author More by Post



Bell Tower Green renamed to honor Stanbacks; Nancy Stanback receives key to city


Commissioners green light additional houses at Cherry Treesort in China Grove


A.L. Brown will hold in-person, outdoor graduation


Granite Quarry awards FEMA contract for Granite Lake Park


City to vote on apartment developments, final phases of Grants Creek Greenway project

High School

High school football: North receiver McArthur a rising star


Carl Blankenship: Pollen and prejudice make their return


Harris pitches $2.3T spending plan on trip to North Carolina


Murder case against ex-cop in Floyd’s death goes to the jury


Sheriff’s office: Man takes deputies on chase with stolen moped


Afternoon, evening COVID-19 vaccination clinic planned Thursday


Concord man charged with woman’s murder in drive-by shooting

Ask Us

Ask Us: Have city, county elected officials received COVID-19 vaccine?


City gives away nearly 100 trees during ‘We Dig Salisbury’ event


Political Notebook: Bitzer expects most ‘Trump-like’ candidate to be favorite in state’s Senate race


Blotter: Concord man arrested in Rowan for indecent liberties with children


Half of US adults have received at least one COVID-19 shot


Police: FedEx shooter legally bought guns used in shooting


Hester Ford, oldest living American, dies at 115 … or 116?


Size of pipeline spill again underestimated in North Carolina


Kannapolis Police searching for suspect who fled scene of homicide


RSS superintendent talks district’s future, strategic plan survey


Complaints and fines pile up against unpermitted landfill in southwest Rowan County


Catawba baseball: Crowd comes out to say goodbye to Newman Park