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Seattle Sunshine Bowl

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Seattle Sunshine Bowl is a bowl of goodness – quinoa, grilled chicken, white beans, chopped veggies, pumpkin seeds, feta, and scallions, all topped with a yellow Sunshine Sauce.

Seattle Sunshine Bowl – a bowl of goodness – quinoa, grilled chicken, white beans, chopped veggies, pumpkin seeds, feta, and scallions, all topped with a yellow Sunshine Sauce.
Seattle Sunshine Bowl

I love bowls! Grain bowls, fajita bowls, sushi bowls, Buddha bowls, smoothie bowls, burrito bowls, poke bowls—we’re eating more food than ever out of bowls. This healthy bowl combines a mix of quinoa, grilled chicken, white beans, chopped veggies, pumpkin seeds, feta, and scallions.

Seattle Sunshine Bowl – a bowl of goodness – quinoa, grilled chicken, white beans, chopped veggies, pumpkin seeds, feta, and scallions, all topped with a yellow Sunshine Sauce.

Hey there, I’m Heather K. Jones. I’m a registered dietitian, a nutrition consultant for Skinnytaste, and the founder of Feel Better Eat Better, an online coaching program for women who struggle with emotional eating, binge eating, overeating, or body image issues. I’m so excited to guest post on Skinnytaste today (thank you, Gina!), because I’m sharing a recipe from the streets of Seattle… literally!

My two sisters and I live in the Seattle neighborhood of Queen Anne, and every Thursday we meet at the local Farmers Market. It’s the best place to get the freshest organic produce, as well as local meat, cheese, honey, flowers and more.

The market is also a Seattle street-food dream – tons of local food trucks and carts gather at the market each week, and it’s so much fun sampling all of the wonderful dishes. One of our favorite food carts, I Love My GFF, also happens to be the healthiest.

Their signature Sunshine Bowl is a delicious (and nutritious!) mix of quinoa, grilled chicken, white beans, chopped veggies, pumpkin seeds, feta, and scallions, all topped with a yellow Sunshine Sauce.

The secret to this bowl is definitely in the sauce—a yummy combo of almonds, lemon, honey, and basil. It took my sister Lori (she’s a wiz in the kitchen) and I a while to re-create the Sunshine Sauce at home, but after a few tries I think we finally nailed it. I hope you enjoy this Sunshine Bowl as much as we do!

Variations

  • Swap the quinoa for your favorite grains. Try farro or barley.
  • Swap white beans for chickpeas or black beans.
  • Keep it meatless and omit the chicken, add more grains.
farmers market

Seattle Sunshine Bowl

almonds and lemon on a plate

blender with ingredients

chopped veggies

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Seattle Sunshine Bowl

5 from 6 votes
6
Cals:401
Protein:34
Carbs:35
Fat:15
Course: Lunch
Cuisine: American
Seattle Sunshine Bowl
Yield: 4 servings
Serving Size: 1 bowl, 3 tbsp sauce

Ingredients

For the bowl:

  • 1 1/3 cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 cups diced grilled chicken breast
  • 1 1/3 cup finely chopped broccoli heads
  • 1 1/3 cup finely diced red peppers
  • 1 1/3 cup shredded carrots
  • ½ cup cannellini beans
  • ¼ cup hulled pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup chopped green onions
  • ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese

For the sauce:

  • ½ cup whole raw almonds
  • 2 cups water, divided
  • Juice from 3 lemons
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 10 basil leaves

Instructions

For sauce:

  • Soak almonds in 1 cup of water for 2 hours.
  • Drain and discard water.
  • In a blender or Vitamix, combine almonds, 1 cup (fresh) water, lemon juice, garlic, honey, turmeric, salt and basil and blend until completely smooth.
  • Put the sauce in a squeeze bottle. (Note: you will only use ½ the sauce.)

Assembly:

  • Put the sauce in a squeeze bottle.
  • In 4 bowls, evenly distribute the quinoa, chicken, veggies (broccoli, peppers and carrots), and beans.
  • In between layers, squeeze in 2 tablespoons of sauce.
  • Top each with 1 tbsp each pumpkin seeds, green onions, feta and drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon of sauce. (Each bowl gets about 3 tablespoons of sauce.)
  • Refrigerate extra sauce for up to 5 days—it’s great as a salad dressing or drizzled over meat, poultry or fish.

Last Step:

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Notes

Note: This makes a lot more sauce than you need for 4 bowls.  Cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days—you can use the extra as a salad dressing or as a sauce for any cooked meat, poultry, or fish.
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1 bowl, 3 tbsp sauce, Calories: 401 kcal, Carbohydrates: 35 g, Protein: 34 g, Fat: 15 g, Cholesterol: 82 mg, Sodium: 482 mg, Fiber: 8 g, Sugar: 6 g

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55 comments on “Seattle Sunshine Bowl”

  1. Made this tonight and my family loved it.
    I chopped the carrots because I did not want to get my food processor out and I did not have shredded carrots.
    I did not have Turmeric so I substituted ginger.
    I made mine meatless, still delicious.
    Also, only soaked the almonds for an hour so they still had a bit of chunk to them, so next time I will be sure to soak them longer.
    Overall a real winner.

  2. I just made the sauce for my lunch tomorrow. It is delicious! I used half the salt and double the honey. I can't wait to try it all together!

  3. This looks so yummy. I kind of have food texture issues. Wondering how you sliced your carrots so thin. It says they are "shredded" mine do not turn out so pretty. Pretty food is so much more fun to eat. Can't wait to try this.

    1. Avatar photo
      Heather K. Jones

      Hello – I don't think you should substitute almond flour for whole almonds… I think you need to use whole almonds (soaked and blended) to get the sauce to be the right texture.

  4. This was amazing as amazing as it looks! We're trying to do a veggie detox at the moment so we skipped the chicken…but I still added the feta! For novice chefs like myself…if you're using dried beans…they take awhile to cook!!

    1. Avatar photo
      Heather K. Jones

      It would be around 8 points without the chicken.

      Check this link for points for chicken and lots of different meats…

      http://www.weightwatchers.com/util/art/index_art.aspx?tabnum=1&art_id=40791

    1. Avatar photo
      Heather K. Jones

      Hi Tracy – I would not substitute almond flour for whole almonds… I think you need to use whole almonds (soaked and blended) to get the sauce to be the right texture.

  5. I am making this for my vegetarian daughter and omitting the chicken. I think she is going to love this!

  6. Avatar photo
    Lauren Hartman

    Ok, I live on Queen Anne as well, and I ❤️ My GFF is my Thursday evening ritual during Market season….could you please recreate their Fiesta Bowl for me? I'd be eternally grateful 🙂

    1. Avatar photo
      Heather K. Jones

      Hi Amy! According to this site (see link below) one lemon yields around 3 tablespoons juice.

      http://www.thekitchn.com/how-much-juice-is-in-a-lemon-good-questions-173964

    1. Avatar photo
      Heather K. Jones

      Hello – you could blanch the veggies so they remain crisp, but I think the sauce is best cold or room temperature.

  7. Really like this recipe, however the sodium content seems high for someone with blood pressure problems? How much would the taste be affected if I reduced the salt to half or less? Thanks for your response, this looks like a tasty meal.

    1. Avatar photo
      Heather K. Jones

      Hello – I think the bowl would taste good with less salt. The lemon, basil, garlic, honey and nuts makes the sauce really flavorful!

  8. Hi Heather, do the almonds act as a thickner for the sauce or are they there for flavor? We have a nut allergy. I'm wondering if it would be better to eliminate the ingredient altogether or try a substitution? I typically use pumpkin seeds but am thinking the flavor may be off. Your thoughts would be appreciated!!

    1. Avatar photo
      Heather K. Jones

      Hi Charlene and Mark – I think the almonds add texture and flavor to the sauce. Hmmm, I'm not sure about swapping pumpkin seeds for the almonds. It might work. But I'm guessing sunflower seeds might be a better swap. Just be sure to soak the sunflower seeds in water for 2 hours first. Let me know how it works out! 🙂

    2. Try swapping with cooked garbanzo beans, or another white bean. Maybe even cooked hominy would substitue? You may need more/less than the almonds. I make a similar sauce for a similar recipe, but it uses garbanzos and nutritional yeast in addition to everything else. I find I get about as much body from pureed garbanzos. I also just made a chili and used pureed hominy to add body, and it worked beautifully.

  9. Hi Heather,
    This looks great and I cannot wait to try it! Would it be okay to substitute rice for the quinoa? I know a few gluten-free folks that have been quinoa'ed out and opt out of anything with it. Thank you!

    1. Avatar photo
      Heather K. Jones

      Hello – 1 cup of cooked quinoa has 5 points. And 1 cup of cooked brown rice has 5 points. So the points would not change if you swapped rice for quinoa.

  10. Wow – this looks amazing. Thoughts on make ahead options? so if i wanted 2 servings for dinners but 2 servings for lunches (like in a mason jar) would you make it ahead with the layers and the sauce or would you put the sauce separately and pour it on when eating it?

    1. Avatar photo
      Heather K. Jones

      Hello! I would wait and put the sauce on right before eating. You could put the cooked quinoa, beans, chopped veggies, seeds and feta in the mason jars. And just store the sauce separately.