Sunday, February 20, 2011

Balsamic Chicken with Quinoa and Vegetables

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About a year ago, I started experimenting with the  ancient “super grain”, Quinoa.  After a little research, I learned that quinoa isn’t really a grain at all, but more related to leafy plants like spinach and beets.  The plant produces a protein and nutrient packed seed that some call a grain.  End of school lesson.

Cooked quinoa

So, I’ve tried it out as a great substitute for a basic brown rice pilaf, but I wanted to do more with this delicious new find…AND I bought this super sized 4 lb bag of it at Costco and need to find some creative ways to use it!  Just being honest.   Here’s a recipe I’ve put together and we’ve enjoyed a few times…yes, the whole family!

Balsamic Chicken with Quinoa and Vegetables (printable)

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 can (about 2 cups) chicken broth
  • 1 Tablespoon canola or olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bag frozen broccoli florets, cooked for half the recommended cooking time in the microwave

In a small bowl, prepare marinade by mixing oil, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Marinate chicken for 1-2 hours in the refrigerator in a medium bowl or zipper bag.  In a small saucepan, mix quinoa and chicken broth.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes or until most of the broth has been soaked up by quinoa.  Set aside.  Pour chicken, including the marinade, into a large skillet.  Cook over medium high heat until cooked through, about 5 minutes.  Remove chicken and all of the liquid in the pan to a bowl and keep warm, Do not drain the the liquid!  Sauté onion, garlic and pepper in 1 Tablespoon of oil in the skillet  for ~5 minutes, then add partially cooked broccoli.  Continue stir frying for 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Stir in chicken with reserved juices and quinoa and serve.  If you feel that the mixture is a bit dry, try adding a few tablespoons of balsamic vinegar to the pan. 
I encourage you all to give quinoa a try.  Even my little guys like it!  Read here for more info on quinoa and why you should eat it too!
And NO I’m not getting paid by “Quinoa, Inc.” to promote this food.  I just like it.  The kids like it.  And I  LOVE finding healthy AND tasty foods for my family to enjoy.

Don’t forget to enter my CSN Giveaway!

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  1. I just recently came across quinoa and wasn't overly sure what I wanted to make with it. This looks fantastic.

  2. So, now I'm gonna have to go buy some quinoa, again. I had a bag up in the back of my cupboard for something like... two years... before I finally just tossed it around outside for the chickens. Major kitchen fail! You inspire me to try again.

  3. Oh yum, I love quinoa, but can't ever find it at our grocery stores, ugh!!!! When I do find it again I am bookmarking this recipe.

  4. Thanks sooooomuchfor sharing this! I have just started to try and cook with quinoa and have been looking for recipes that my whole family would enjoy.

    Thanks for sharing!

  5. Ta Da!! I'm a follower! I've been making this for several years. I adore it, Uncle Charley won't touch it. More for me! And, it's gluten free~

  6. awesome... I added some maple syrup and whole grain mustard. My wife and I really enjoyed it. Thanks!


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