A protein, a grain and a veggie zipped up with the perfect sauce make a delicious and healthy rainbow bowl. Karen Schneider / For The Forecaster

Other than pizza, tacos, and my famous chicken noodle soup, this colorful bowl comprised of a protein, a grain and vegetables is a meal my two youngest grandchildren will eat, especially when I cut up all the components and let them build it themselves.

For your crew or just for yourself, choose a grain (quinoa is our favorite, with brown rice as second choice), a protein (this recipe also works well with salmon or shrimp), some favorite vegetables and herbs (both raw and cooked for textural interest), a smattering of nuts or seeds, then have some tasty sauce at the ready to bring it all together.

Just like grown-ups, kids like to make their own decisions. I just set out all the ingredients and let them choose. The only guideline is that we try to make a rainbow in the bowl.

Karen Schneider cooks and writes in the village of Cundy’s Harbor. You can reach her at iwrite33@comcast.net or 504-0545.

Adults and children alike will also love this crunchy treat, the ultimate topping for yogurt, oatmeal, or even ice cream. And if you decide to sit back and just toss a handful or two into your mouth, I won’t tell anyone.

The “granola” has just enough crunch and sweetness to satisfy if you’re looking to make your breakfast routine a bit dressed up and fancy. I’ve even seen my 6-year-old granddaughter lose all restraint and heap it on top of her buttered and be-jammed toast. Now she knows how to live.

Use the coconut chips that are big shreds looking like they came off the coconut with a vegetable peeler. You’ll find them in the produce section of the grocery store or health food store, or in the baking aisle.


For the nuts, I like walnuts, flaked almonds, cashew pieces and sunflower and pumpkin seeds. For the fruit, dried cherries are my favorite, but cranberries and apricots are also delicious.

This jumble of goodness can be stored in an airtight container in the pantry or cupboard for up to two weeks. (If it’s still around by then, you win a prize for your willpower.)

Rainbow bowl with sautéed chicken

1½ cups quinoa

3 cups chicken or vegetable stock

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced


3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed

1 teaspoon garlic powder

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup red onion, diced (cooked or raw)

1½ large carrots, shredded

1½ cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half


1½ cups colored peppers, julienned

1½ cups purple cabbage, thinly shredded

1 cup fine green beans or edamame, steamed

2 avocados, peeled, pitted and sliced

4 scallions, sliced, for garnish

Sesame seeds, chopped cashews or flaked almonds, for garnish


Cilantro, chopped, for garnish

Cook quinoa in chicken or vegetable stock according to package directions. Set aside, keeping warm.

In a sauté pan over medium heat, add olive oil and sauté garlic. When the garlic is lightly browned, add chicken to the pan and season with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Sauté until fully cooked, about 8-10 minutes.

Assemble each serving bowl starting with a scoop of grain, then add the chicken or other protein and the vegetables. Drizzle with sauce and top with garnishes.

Yield: 4 servings


1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon soy sauce or coconut aminos


1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey

3/4 teaspoon sesame oil

1 clove garlic, minced

Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl.

Yield: 1/3 cup

Grain-free coconut granola

1/2 cup coconut oil


1/2 cup maple syrup or honey

2 teaspoons vanilla

4 cups unsweetened coconut chips

2 cups nuts and seeds of your choosing

4 tablespoons chia seeds

1 cup dried fruit of your choosing, chopped


1 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Melt coconut oil and maple syrup or honey in a small saucepan until it begins to simmer. Stir in vanilla.

In a large bowl, mix coconut chips, nuts, seeds and chopped dried fruit.

Pour the coconut oil mixture over the dry ingredients and mix well. The consistency will vary depending on the ingredients you use. If there isn’t enough of the mixture, just stir in more coconut oil and maple syrup or honey in equal parts until all the dry ingredients are well coated.

Spread the mixture on the parchment-lined pan and bake for 15-20 minutes, stirring halfway through baking time, until it starts to brown. Remove and allow to cool, then crumble into pieces, adding chocolate chips if you wish.

Yield: 4 servings

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