Updated: Oct 9
What's on your travel bucket list?
One place I really want to visit (whenever we aren't in a worldwide pandemic) is Greece. The islands look absolutely beautiful, the resorts all seem so luxurious and relaxing, and - maybe most important - their food is delish!
I love a good Greek/Mediterranean meal. Lean meats, lots of veggies, creamy hummus, pita bread? Whew! Since I've been in a travel slump pretty much all of 2020, I thought I could make a meal prep that reminds me of somewhere other than home.
These Greek chicken quinoa bowls are so good. It looks like there's a lot of effort involved, but have no fear - most of your time is spent marinating your chicken in a Greek yogurt mixture. Normally, my impatience prevents me from marinating meats longer than 20 minutes if I can help it. However, throw your chicken marinade together and sit it in the fridge while you go do something else for a couple of hours - I promise it's worth it! The Greek yogurt gives your chicken such a juicy texture, and the oregano and lemon provide the perfect seasoning base to bring you to Mykonos (or your favorite Greek takeout spot.)
Everything else comes together in about 20 minutes. Don't be afraid of the quinoa if you don't have any experience with it; this was my 2nd time making it and it's honestly really easy as long as you follow the techniques I mention below!
Mediterranean food culture emphasizes lots of fresh veggies. A simple cucumber and tomato salad perfectly complements this bowl & is so tasty, you may forget you're eating your vegetables.
Finally, no Greek plate is complete without tzatziki sauce, right?? Well have no fear, I have a beautiful and super easy recipe for you right here. This makes a good amount of sauce, so keep any leftovers in your fridge for later.
Feel free to remix this to your taste - I'm envisioning some olives, homemade pita bread, and hummus to make your dinner trip complete!
This recipe makes 4 bowls and can easily be scaled up or down based on your needs. For those of us cooking for one, this makes a great dinner prep that you can make on Sunday and avoid having to be in the kitchen every day after work.
Chicken Breasts | 4 ct. | $3.99
Oregano | 2 tsp. | $0.03
Plain Greek Yogurt | 3 tbsp. | $0.06
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil | 3 tbsp. | $0.33
Lemon Juice | 1 tbsp. | $0.17
Quinoa, dry | 2/3 cup | $0.20
Cucumber, medium | 1 ct. | $0.59
Cherry Tomatoes, halved | 6 oz. | $1.20
Red Onion, chopped | 1/2 ct. | $0.33
Zesty Tzatziki Sauce | 1/2 cup | $0.79
1. Add oregano, Greek yogurt, and lemon juice to a large Ziploc bag with some salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Seal and massage the bag using your hands to mix thoroughly.
2. Add chicken to the bag, seal, and massage so the marinade covers all of the meat. Set in the refrigerator to marinate for about 2 hours.
3. Rinse the quinoa under cool water in a fine-mesh strainer. Drain, then add to a pot on medium heat for about 2 minutes to remove all moisture.
4. Add 1 and 1/4 cup of water to the pot, bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat. Simmer quinoa for about 15 minutes until nice and fluffy. Season with salt, pepper, onion powder, and oregano.
5. Chop the cucumber into bite-sized pieces. Add cucumber, tomatoes, chopped red onion, and 2 tbsp. of olive oil to a large bowl. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and oregano and stir thoroughly. Set aside.
6. In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil on medium heat. Lay marinated chicken breasts in the pan (leaving some room for them to breathe) and sear for about 6 minutes, flipping once. (Keep in mind - cooking times may vary based on the thickness of the chicken.)
7. Create tzatziki sauce using this recipe (or bring out the jar if you've previously made it!)
8. Assemble your bowls. I like to serve a quarter base of quinoa, a half base of cucumber salad, a quarter base of chicken, and a dollop of tzatziki on top. Sometimes I spice it up with some feta cheese and olives and serve with pita bread. Enjoy!
This recipe also makes a great meal prep option. I usually keep all of the elements separate in Tupperware and assemble each night for dinner.
The Coined Breakdown
Total Cost per bowl: $1.92
Total Cost (4 bowls): $7.69
Those Other Guys: $14.99 per serving
Total Savings: over $50 in lunch/dinner savings!