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Quinoa Revisited

I am somewhat entranced with quinoa after having discovered its delicious nutty taste and many health benefits.  So, behold an original, healthy recipe which could double as a salad for a luncheon or as a main course.  (See my post, “Goldilocks Had the Right Idea” for the health benefits of quinoa.)  Serve it at room temperature or warm, right out of the skillet.

If you don’t have a basil plant in an herb garden, in a clay pot on the patio, or in a sunny window, get thee to a local nursery and purchase one.  There is a sunny spot in my herb garden reserved for one basil plant every year.  It grows to enormous proportions and provides all I need all summer long.  At the end of the summer, I make pesto, freeze it in slightly oiled cupcake tins, pop them out and keep in a freezer bag for use later.

For this recipe, I used grilled chicken, but one could use baked or poached chicken as well.  What a delicious way to use up left-over chicken.  This recipe could easily be doubled or tripled.  It is a simple recipe to put together.  Serve with a simple side salad of fresh spinach and your choice of vegetables – crisp cukes, sweet peppers, creamy avocados, ripe tomatoes …  Farmers’ markets are brimming with a bounty of gorgeous produce now.

Quinoa with Chicken and Vegetables

(serves 2)

  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, shredded finely
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 small head broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 cup cooked chicken, diced
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  1. Add chicken broth and quinoa to a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed and quinoa is translucent.  Remove from heat.
  2. Add basil and parmesan.  Give a quick stir, cover pan, and set aside.
  3. Steam broccoli until bright green and tender.  Refresh in a bowl of ice water.  Drain the broccoli well and pat dry.  Chop broccoli roughly.
  4. Sauté pepper and onion till almost soft.  Add minced garlic and sauté briefly.  Add to quinoa mixture.
  5. Add chicken and broccoli and serve.

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