Spinach & Chicken Stir Fry with Raspberries

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To celebrate the beginning of spring, this week I’ll be featuring dinner recipes that are not only quick & easy, but also incorporate lots of fresh foods and flavor. Tonight I’m kicking things off with Spinach & Chicken Stir Fry with Raspberries!

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This is the BEST, you guys! Garlicky quinoa is the bed for chicken and spinach stir fried in sweet, pomegranate vinaigrette, topped with sweet raspberries & tangy cheese.

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Total feel good food. :)

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The cast:

  • Quinoa
  • Chicken broth
  • Baby Spinach
  • Pomegranate vinaigrette
  • Canola oil
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 2 chicken breasts, sliced
  • Spices: salt, pepper, garlic powder
  • Frozen-then-thawed raspberries
  • Chevre

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Start by stir frying 2 chicken breasts cut into strips and seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder with 1/2 sliced red onion in 1 teaspoon canola oil on high.

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When the chicken is cooked all the way through, add 1/4 cup Pomegranate Vinaigrette. You could use whatever fruity vinaigrette you have on hand – raspberry, etc.

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This Simply Dressed Pomegranate Vinaigrette is simply amazing though! ;)

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Next add 1 whole bag of baby spinach.

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Use tongs to turn the spinach and let it wilt, which only takes a minute or so.

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Cook up some quinoa in chicken broth and a dash of garlic powder in a saucepan next door, then top with the chicken stir fry, raspberries and chevre! :D

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Spinach & Chicken Stir Fry with Raspberries

Print this recipe!

Serves 2

Ingredients:
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
1 cup chicken broth
dash garlic powder
1 teaspoon canola oil
2 chicken breasts, sliced
salt & pepper
1/2 small red onion, sliced thin
1 bag (6oz) baby spinach
1/4 cup bottled pomegranate vinaigrette (or other fruity salad dressing)
1/2 cup fresh or frozen-then-thawed raspberries
2 Tablespoons chevre or feta cheese

Directions:

  1. Combine quinoa, chicken broth and a dash of garlic powder in a saucepan. Bring to a boil then cover and turn the heat down to medium-low. Simmer until quinoa is tender and all the broth has been absorbed, about 12 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat canola oil in a large skillet over high heat. Season chicken slices with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Add chicken and onion to the skillet and stir fry until chicken is cooked all the way through.
  3. Add salad dressing and baby spinach to the skillet and toss until spinach is wilted, about 1 minute. Divide quinoa among plates, then top with the chicken stir fry, raspberries and cheese.

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Warm, fresh and bursting with flavor. This is a feast for the eyes and stomach!

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Doesn’t hurt that it takes less than 15 minutes to make, either. You’ve got to try it! :)

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In other news, it’s my favorite day of the year!

That is, the first work day after daylight savings time begins. :) Instead of racing to the gym after work then home to make dinner and blog before the sun goes down (I always feel like my day is over as soon as it’s dark) the 3+ extra hours of sunlight in the afternoon encourages me slow everything down a bit, and take more time to enjoy my evenings.

The extra hours of sunshine also make it feel like spring is officially here. I can’t help but get excited about the bright green flower buds that are starting to pop up in the garden, and the prospect of opening up the house and getting spring cleaning underway.

More than cleaning out the cobwebs and scrubbing the base boards though, spring always feels like a new beginning to me. A time to assess what’s going on in my life, and identify areas where I can make some improvements, or just do little things to make sure the season gets started on the right foot. In case you feel the same way, here are 10 Ways to Spring Clean Your Life!

1. Organize your finances

Spring is the perfect time to organize and refresh your finances. If you haven’t nailed down a budgeting system that works for you, take a look at a spreadsheet I use to track income and expenses in real time over the course of the month.

Click here to view the spreadsheet, then click File –> Download As –> Excel to download and personalize. (The numbers and categories are completely made up.)

Pink Piggy Bank

2. Declutter your home

Don’t get me wrong, getting the house squeaky-clean each spring feels great, but decluttering it feels even better. Try going room-by-room over the next couple of weeks, and getting rid of the items that you no longer need, are broken, and/or haven’t been used in years.

Be honest with yourself too. How many unmatched socks does one really need to effectively dust one’s home? Is the busted printer that’s been sitting in the garage for 3 years going to spontaneously fix itself? Will you ever wear those tiny tank tops you used to wear in college again? Three, no, and hell no.

Single Coat Hanger On Rail

3. Donate your unused stuff

Take all the stuff you identified as no longer necessary for survival during decluttering, and donate it if you can. Giving to organizations like Goodwill not only feels great, but it also does a lot of good. Don’t forget to keep a receipt of everything you donate to deduct come tax time next year.

4. Get a haircut

Make an appointment for a haircut or trim. Getting rid of split and dead ends, or sporting a new ‘do, is always a great way to kickoff the new season.

Woman swinging hair.

5. Clean out your makeup bag

Clean out your makeup bag and trash any old or broken cosmetics. Here’s a great chart for how long cosmetics are good for but, when in doubt – throw it out!

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6. Disinfect your work space

Scrubbing your home in the spring is essential, but don’t forget about your workspace. Many people spend more time sitting at their desk than at home (raises hand,) so be sure to give your work area a thorough cleaning sometime soon. (Don’t forget the keyboard!)

Business woman working

7. Assess your workout gear

Assess your stash of spring and summer workout gear and decide if you need to purchase any new pieces for the upcoming warmer weather. Stock up on low-cost essentials like socks and sports bras, and toss or donate old tops and bottoms.

Woman stretching

8. Clean out your inbox

Go through your inbox email-by-email and delete and/or categorize anything that doesn’t need to be in there. Unsubscribe from daily/weekly newsletters/communications you no longer wish to receive.

9. Volunteer your time

Nothing feels better than selflessly volunteering your time for no other reason than to help others. Get spring off on the right foot by gathering some friends or family members and volunteering somewhere!

Hand holding something

10. Eat better now

There’s never a better time to start eating better than now. RIGHT NOW! No waiting ’til tomorrow, the weekend, or next month – start incorporating healthy, fresh foods into your diet, and stop unhealthy eating habits today (note to self: put down the Beer Chips.)

Well, off to enjoy the last (couple of) hours of sunshine! Hope you have a great night!

~~~~~

How do you “Spring Clean Your Life” every year?

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Comments

  1. Looks delish and refreshing! Need to make this soon!

  2. Amy M 03.12.2012

    Thanks for all the tips!

    My work is actually moving offices pretty soon so it’s been super nice to clean out everything in my little space (super-dusty tape dispenser!), toss old papers, and think about decorating a new spot!

  3. Jan 03.12.2012

    hehe. I think it’s ACCESS your work out…not ASSES, unless you’re talking about your behind of working out. :)

    • Iowa Girl Eats 03.12.2012

      HAHAHAHA – I actually meant “AssesS” as in assess your current stash. Thanks for letting me know!

    • Sarah 03.12.2012

      Hehe! I was about to say this, too. Made me giggle!

  4. April C 03.12.2012

    Love the spreadsheet you made, thanks!! Get rid of nail polish after one year? Is it sad that I have some from high school (over 10 years ago) that I still occasionally wear? It is even scented polish that still smells yummy!

  5. Lindsey 03.12.2012

    Oh yum! Can’t wait to try! And I can’t wait to start with the garden!! Will you be planting anything this year? I know you tend to go to the Farmer’s Market, but have you tried anything yourself? 1 tomato plant goes a long way with 2 people! :)

    • Iowa Girl Eats 03.12.2012

      I am hooooorrible at flower gardening, but I think I might care more if it’s food that I’m growing and am planning on trying something this summer – just not sure exactly what yet!

      • Lindsey 03.12.2012

        Sweet! My only advice– start small. Build from there. :)

  6. I just cleaned my whole house yesterday and ignored my work desk (I work from home) It’s getting the wipe down as soon as I’m done blogging tonight :) Thanks for the reminder!

  7. Lauren 03.12.2012

    Did you come up with this on your own? I’m so impressed it’s ridiculous! This looks and sounds amazing. I can’t get over it.

  8. Love all your tips – Spring is the time when I love to clean everything out and start fresh! And it does make me feel like I can take things slower and enjoy my time at home after work.

    The recipe looks great! That salad dressing is one of my top two favs, so it must be good :-)

  9. SWR 03.12.2012

    Do you often cook with frozen-then-thawed fruit? It sounds like a great idea, but I would be worried about funky-textured and musy fruit. Have you found that not to be the case?

    • Iowa Girl Eats 03.14.2012

      Frozen raspberries are awesome frozen–>thawed fruits. They never seem to get really mushy like strawberries!

  10. NJE 03.12.2012

    Hi,

    This comment has nothing to do with this post, but I had to let you know, I just found your blog last week and tried out your beef and broccoli recipe tonight. It was AMAZING. I always feel like the first time I try a recipe I never like it. But this one was straight out the gate, super. Can’t wait to try more recipes and keep reading your blog.

  11. Kate 03.12.2012

    This recipe looks amazing! To make this vegetarian, would you recommend subbing tofu, or just forgoing the chicken?

  12. Kim 03.12.2012

    great post! Love that budget template…I should use it… :)

  13. Lindsey 03.12.2012

    I am the same way and love the extra sunlight after work :) It makes me feel so much better too.
    I always clean out my closet, and swap our house decor for brighter and lighter colored items. I also love having fresh cut flowers in the kitchen during Spring.

  14. Courtney 03.12.2012

    Couldn’t agree more! I haven’t realized but I seem to slow down to in the evenings with more daylight… very nice! Hair cut– I need one badly and this was the push I needed to go do it! Hope your first full “spring” day was terrific :)

  15. I love all of this! I’m in a big time de-clutter mode. I’ve made a list of everything that needs better organized, and am headed to Ikea for container help next weekend. So exited about that trip :) Also! I’ve never tried a fruit other than pineapple in stir fry, but the bright spring flavor of berries sounds wonderful!

  16. Sarah 03.12.2012

    I love the addition of raspberries and goat cheese. This looks tasty.

  17. It’s so funny you post this because I just did my finances the other day and I’m working on de-cluttering / finding things I don’t use or need to donate. AND I need new socks… ;)

  18. Shelley 03.12.2012

    I hate to cook chicken because I am terrified of the germs! Any tips on being safe with raw chicken in a very small kitchen? Thanks!!

  19. Hillary Valentino 03.12.2012

    beer chips are my weakness!

  20. I’m in the process of moving into my boyfriend’s house, so we’ve been cleaning, trying to go through his stuff, trying to go through my stuff… it’s a process. I can’t wait until we’re done… but I don’t think we ever will be haha. We have big plans of painting too! Spring house redoing :D

  21. I go through the entire house – kitchen, closets, bedrooms, etc and collect anything and everything that we are not using, doesn’t fit, etc. Then the very next day I drop the collection of items off at goodwill or a like donation center. It always feels SO good to declutter and start a new season a little more “simplified.”

  22. Maggie 03.12.2012

    YUM! I love quinoa, looks delicious!! Why chicken broth and not stock??? Let me know on my blog please check it out!

    • Iowa Girl Eats 03.14.2012

      Either one will work! (I don’t even really understand the difference between the 2!)

  23. Emilia 03.13.2012

    Great ideas, for some reason I got completely bit by the spring cleaning bug yesterday…and England doesn’t even turn their clocks forward an hour for another week! Thanks for the excel budgeting sheet; I’m always berating myself to figure out a solid budget, but have never been able to find a good system. Yours looks great, I’ll definitely be giving it a go! :)

  24. Anna 03.13.2012

    Great ideas for spring cleaning! I like the concept that its not just about cleaning your house, but ‘cleaning up’ your life :) I’ll have to go through these over the next few weeks!

  25. Sarah 03.13.2012

    I’m so jealous, daylight savings doesn’t start for another two weeks in Europe! I’ll just have to try that amazing recipe and pretend it is still light out :)

  26. Dee 03.13.2012

    I actually do this purging a few times a year. I read Peter Walsh’s book, It’s All Too Much years ago and it changed my life. I know I have sentimental attachment to “items” and learned how to honor items appropriately for the familial attachment and it’s changed the way I look at things. However, I have a thing for kitchen gadgets and working for Pampered Chef hasn’t squashed that. So I do have to do the kitchen gadget box thing quite often.

    You take a box with all your kitchen gadgets. When you use a tool after it’s clean you put it back in the drawer, after one month you pretty much only use those tools in the drawer most often (Of course this doesn’t include specialty items that you only need for special times like piping bags and such)

  27. I wrote a post yesterday on Spring Renewal, too! It isn’t amazing what a sense of rebirth spring gives us? I love the recipe you posted. I’m cooking for a friend on Wednesday and while I had a dish already picked out, I think I’m switching to your Spinach & Chicken Stir Fry with Raspberries. It’s going to be perfect for a 75 degree MN day. Is that possible in March? :-)

  28. I love this! The food sounds delicious, but the Spring Cleaning list..I was smiling just reading it. It sounds so refreshing, and I am totally going to try to clean out my life of clutter, thank you :)

  29. perfect spring start meal! i hope my raspberries grow in my garden bc I always have the other ingredients and this seems so easy.

  30. I’m currently obsessed with cooking quinoa, adding whatever I have in my fridge to it, and topping it with chevre. This is right up my alley :)

  31. Melissa 03.13.2012

    I haven’t seen anything this original in quite a while. Looks amazing! Bookmarking for sure.

    I spring clean my life by doing a lot of the same things you mentioned. I need to do the workout gear clean out though–I still have sports bras from the 90s . . . whoops.

  32. Can’t wait to make this! My boyfriend is in a chicken stir fry rut, and this is a wonderful new version!

  33. Michelle 03.13.2012

    Great post! Cleaning out my desk and inbox today! :D

  34. Kara 03.13.2012

    This is a great post, thank you! I love Spring Cleaning; everyone thinks I’m crazy. I think I “Spring Clean” like once a month. It feels great to get rid of all the clutter. It feels even better to get rid of old workout gear and buy new things :)

  35. What a great recipe! Spinach and raspberries seems like an odd combination (says the girl who’s been enjoying green smoothies non-stop. I will be trying your recipe sometime soon!

  36. I think something that’s important to do each year is reevaluate your goals, whatever they may be–and NOT just at the new year. This is a great time to start an exercise habit, now that the weather is getting nicer. It’s also easier to start eating healthier now that more fruits and veggies will start to be in season!

  37. anne 03.14.2012

    Love the list of 10 ideas! I made a list to start working on this weekend.

  38. [...] cleaning today. I’ve blocked off the entire afternoon to start making a dent in all the decluttering and dusting plans I have for the house. Is it weird that I am totally pumped to get [...]

  39. [...] Feeling the urge to spring clean? Here’s a post about 10 ways to spring clean your life.  [...]

  40. [...] Here are Iowa Girl’s 10 ways to spring clean your life. [...]

  41. Elizabeth 03.22.2012

    Just made the quinoa stir fry tonight, and had to stop back by and tell you it was FANTASTIC!! I made 1 cup of quinoa instead of half a cup, and used Raspberry walnut vinagrette with the spinach. Both my husband and I look forward to adding this to the normal dinner repertoire! Thanks so much!

  42. [...] Iowa Girl Eats strikes again!  The original recipe was “Spinach and Chicken Stir-Fry with Raspberries.”  Instead of chicken, I used white beans (obviously did not cook them as long as chicken – simply added them in before the spinach so they were warmed through).  I also used a blackberry vinaigrette instead of a raspberry vinaigrette.  Annnnd, instead of raspberries I used strawbs because we had some fresh ones that needed to be used.  All of this was nestled on top of a bed of quinoa (keen-whaa, that’s for Big Guy – he can’t quite say it correctly). [...]

  43. Natalie 04.05.2012

    Just wanted to add that you can recycle old cosmetics containers here: http://www.terracycle.net/en-US/brigades/personal-care-and-beauty-brigade.html

    Go green! :)

  44. [...] and I kicked it off Sunday night with a new-to-us recipe from Iowa Girl Eats. You can follow the link for the full recipe (which I fully suggest you [...]

  45. Sadye 03.14.2013

    This is my favorite of your quinoa recipes so far! I think it also wins prettiest/most colorful, too :)

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