Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Viva Chicken Copycat - Quinoa Stuffed Avocado

I'm just gonna go ahead and start this post by saying I am OBSESSED with Viva Chicken. For those of you in Charlotte, you've probably heard about it or have been yourself. They have 3 locations; Ballantyne, Elizabeth Street & Huntersville. For those not in Charlotte, this is their description;

Viva Chicken is a Peruvian inspired restaurant in Charlotte, NC specializing in Pollo a la Brasa (Peruvian rotisserie chicken). Peruvian flavors, affordable prices and a great atmosphere makes Viva Chicken the perfect spot!
Owners, Randy Garcia and Bruno Macchiavello both have years of restaurant experience and saw the potential the city of Charlotte has in supporting this new and popular growing cuisine. 

It is AMAZING. So fresh, so tasty and oh so addicting. I should mention that this post is not sponsored, I'm seriously just that in love with it. I think I would eat there every day, all day. But, like most of us, I'm not made out of money (you didn't win the 1.5 billion dollar PowerBall either?) and even if I was there isn't a location close to my work.

So it's Sunday and per usual I'm writing out my meal plan for the week before grocery shopping. I'm brainstorming clean lunches I can bring to work when all of a sudden this idea pops in my head and I'm like "Dude, I really want the Viva Chicken stuffed avocado" (I call myself dude sometimes). Then I remember one of my 2016 New Years Resolutions was to save money and I thought, "Dude (again) I could make totally make this!". I thought about everything Viva included and came up with this super similar copy cat recipe. Viva has a to-die-for sauce they drizzle on top and although I couldn't find a recipe for it, I think the combo below comes pretty dang close. 

My one regret? I only made half the avocado instead of the whole thing. Grub on!


Romaine Lettuce (about 1/2 a cup, chopped)
Medium Ripe Avocado  
Tri-Colored Quinoa (about 1/2 cup, cooked)
Shredded Chicken (about 1/2 cup, cooked)
Red Pepper (1/8 cup, diced)
Dijon Mustard 
BBQ Sauce (I used Sweet Baby Rays #biased)


  1. Slice avocado in half and remove pit. Using a spoon, separate flesh (the actual avocado) from the skin and set aside.
  2. Cook quinoa as directed on package. I used leftovers from a meal I made the night before so the quinoa was cold, but I'm sure it would be fine warm.
  3. Since I make my lunches to go, I grabbed a Ziploc® plastic container and started assembling. Lettuce first, 1/2 avocado on top. Using a spoon, scoop quinoa into the hole where the pit was. Press down lightly to compact. 
  4. Top with shredded chicken. I used leftovers from a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken for this... all about simplicity and saving time!
  5. Add diced red pepper on top of chicken
  6. Drizzle Dijon Mustard and BBQ on top. There's no measurement for this, just what tastes good to you!
  7. Stuff your face. It's that easy.

*Disclosure: I apologize, but I do not have step by step pictures for this recipe, only one delicious mound in a to-go container. I just couldn't wait any longer to eat it. Also, you can't see the avocado because, well, it's stuffed. Bon appetit!

Their version (Left via) - My Copycat (Right) 

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do! I'd love to hear of any variations you try!