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I’m waving the white flag. Exactly one week into summer vacation and I’m over it. Just kidding, sort of.
I took the whole weekend, holiday included, off work. This might not sound like a big deal, but for me it’s HUGE. I work a lot. And by a lot, I mean A LOT, at least 2 full-time jobs worth of working. Working from home means there’s no real ‘clock out’ time. If I need a few hours in the day for a doctor appointment or such, no big deal, I can just work after the child goes to bed. But this is has only worked out for me because she was in school then at daycare 5 days a week.
Daycare was closed today, so that meant Elizabeth was home. Her best friend Lorelei goes to the same daycare, and her mom, a fellow single mom, needed a place for her to go. In the past, if Elizabeth is home and I need to work, I can get more done if Elizabeth has a friend over, so I offered to have Lorelei come over thinking they could occupy each other, and I can get to work.
Hahahahahaha. NO, not so much.
Those two girls are more like sisters than friends. One moment they are comparing who has the better cartoon on their underwear, the next they are begging for something to eat (15 minutes after their last something to eat), then they are bickering over who gets to be the ‘mommy’ and who has to be the ‘baby’ and then finally they are applying temporary tattoos all over each other.
The weather was fantastic today, so like any good caregiver, I kicked them out of the house. As a kid, I left in the morning and came home at dinner time. I know times are different now than they were back in the 80’s, but I live in a throwback to the 1950’s suburban neighborhood; mothers with children were aplenty outside. Directly across the street from my house, which I can see from my kitchen window, is “the bowl,” a grassy drainage ditch to prevent flooding. Kids love that thing with hills on all four sides. Well anyway, I sent them out there to play, thinking (erroneously, I might add) that that would keep them happy, content, and basically out of my hair while I worked, hoping for at least an hour.
Nope, that didn’t work either. In and out. I could hear every adult from my childhood: parents, grandparents, babysitters, all come out in me with every “shut the door,” “stop running in and out,” “stay in or out,” and my personal favorite “you’re letting the flies in.” Eventually, they did end up playing outside with all the neighborhood kids and I was able to at least get some cooking done. Which was good because I was having a few people over to celebrate end of school/beginning of summer/Yay the sun has FINALLY come out/Wait that means mosquitos will be back/ gathering.
I didn’t want to do anything overly complicated, but wanted my meal to be delicious, fairly easy, and nutritious. I wanted an element of fun as well. I decided I’d make these Grilled BBQ Chicken Quinoa Bowls. I’d get everything ready and people could assemble them themselves, adding or omitting what they wanted.
Grilled BBQ Chicken Quinoa Bowls
No-Ketchup BBQ Sauce
- 1-15 oz can tomato sauce
- 1 cup Swanson Chicken Broth
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp butter
- 3 large garlic cloves; grated/minced
- 2 tbsp grated onion; (about 1/4 of a small onion; any variety)
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp honey
- 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tbsp ground mustard
- 1/2 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon
- dashes of hot sauce +/- to taste , and optional
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 cup truRoots Quinoa
- 2 cups Swanson Chicken Broth
- Juice from one lime
- 1 avocado; diced
- 1-15 oz can black beans , drained and rinsed
- 1 cup corn (frozen or canned, fresh must be cooked first)
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes
- 1/4 cup cilantro
- No-Ketchup BBQ Sauce
- 4 chicken breast; pounded thin
- salt/pepper; to taste
- No-Ketchup BBQ Sauce
- When planning your meal, make the sauce ahead of time, or the day of, but letting it sit for a few hours after being made is recommended.
- Minutes before being ready to grill and make the quinoa, pull the chicken out of the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature, season with salt and pepper.
- Before making the quinoa, heat the grill.
No-ketchup BBQ Sauce
- In a medium size sauce pan, add the butter and tomato sauce.
- Pour the broth into the tomato sauce can and swish to get all the residual sauce from the can, add to the sauce pan.
- Add all apple cider, garlic, onion, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, ground mustard, paprika, cumin, chili powder, lemon juice, and hot sauce (if using), whisk together and heat on medium high.
- Bring to a boil and allow to reduce by about a quarter to one-third (about 5-7 minutes)
- Reduce heat to medium low and add the tomato paste, whisk in until smooth.
- Simmer on medium low for about 20 minutes then turn off heat and leave in the pan.
- Combine the quinoa and broth in a sauce pan.
- Bring to a boil over medium high heat; stir.
- Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes or until the water is absorbed.
- Once done, fluff with a fork.
- Dice the avocado and place in a bowl.
- Pour the fresh lime juice over the avocado, gently toss with a fork, making sure the avocado is thoroughly coated.
- Open, drain, and rinse the black beans; place in a bowl.
- Thaw or drain the corn, place in a bowl. (If using fresh, remove kernels from the cob, place in a pot of salted boiling water and cook for about 5 minutes, drain--then place in a bowl).
- Shred/grate the cheese and place in a bowl.
- Chop fresh cherry, grape, or roma tomatoes and place in a bowl.
- Chop fresh cilantro and place in a bowl.
- Heat the grill on high, then lower the heat to medium-low.
- Place the seasoned chicken on the grill; cook 2-4 minutes (depending on how thick the meat is)
- On the naked side, brush No-Ketchup BBQ Sauce, and flip.
- Brush the now grilled side with No-Ketchup BBQ Sauce, cook for 2-4 minutes (depending on how thick the meat is.)
- Flip again to quickly warm/char the bbq sauce.
- Remove from grill and allow to rest for a couple of minutes before slicing.
- In a bowl, scoop in quinoa and then layer with desired toppings.
- Drizzle (or pour) No-Ketchup BBQ Sauce over the top, garnish with more cilantro (optional).
- Serve and enjoy.
In preparation for my little outdoor summer grilling/cookout party, I went to Sam’s Club to get a few ingredients I didn’t already have on hand. Since I was making BBQ sauce, a no-ketchup version, I needed more Swanson Chicken Broth, which is sold in a nice 32 oz-6 pack. I can extoll the virtues of a Swanson broth 6-pack like any college student could for their favorite other liquid 6-pack. Swanson broth has always been my go-to broth and I can’t tell you how many ounces I go through in a week. These cartons are quite handy since I always need random amounts, I can just put the cap back on and toss it in the fridge until I need it again. Now I know you’ve got to be thinking, what could she possibly need broth for in a summer grilling recipe, isn’t that mostly for soups and stews? Nay friends, I use Swanson broth when making my homemade BBQ sauces instead of water. It enhances the flavors in my sauce perfectly. I also use it in place of water when making my quinoa. Sam’s Club has truRoots Quinoa, a Certified USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, Gluten Free product, something that sounds like bunch of fancy words, but simply means I am getting a quality product I can feel great about serving my family and friends (particularly my Celiac friends). Plus quinoa still has an ancient, exotic feel to it that can be served up in hip and modern ways. I didn’t want to play with truRoots Quinoa too much.
I wanted to retain its natural flavor, so I only added Swanson broth to it, no herbs or seasonings, that was going to come with all the goodies I’d lay out on the table for the party. If you’re not familiar with quinoa or how to cook it, it’s simple and similar to rice, just follow the package directions and you’ll be golden. Hope you enjoyed this Grilled BBQ Chicken Quinoa Bowls. What exciting ways will you be using Swanson Broth and truRoots Quinoa for your next Block Party/Summer Cookout?