So I have a new found love for quinoa these days. It's light fluffy texture is similar to rice, but contains less carbohydrates, more protein, more iron, more fiber, and just a slew of vitamins and minerals. Is it something I should eat every day? No, probably not due to the carbohydrate content (about 29g in 1 cup when cooked) but I feel much healthier eating quinoa than something like rice or pasta. It tastes great too!
I decided to turn it into a mock-pasta Italian sort of dish tonight using chicken, peppers, onions, tomatoes, garlic (of course!), and jalapenos to really give it a kick. I used a whole jalapeno and it was SUPER spicy, so you may want to tone it down to 1/2 jalapeno if you can't handle the heat. ;)
All in all, I'd say it was a success. My hubby ate his whole serving, even though he was complaining about it being too spicy throughout the meal. :-p
- 1 Cup Quinoa, thoroughly rinsed
- 2 Cups Water
- Salt (optional)
- 1 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/2 Yellow Onion, finely diced
- 2-3 Cloves Garlic, finely diced
- 1 Colored Pepper, finely diced (I used 1/2 red and 1/2 orange for extra color!)
- 1/2 Jalapeno, finely diced (or use the whole thing if you REALLY like it hot!)
- 1 Pound Boneless Chicken, diced
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- About 1-2 tsp Italian Herb Seasoning, to taste (or any combination of marjoram, thyme, rosemary, savory, sage, basil, and oregano. I just used a dried blend of those together.)
- 8oz Can of Sliced Mushrooms (or slice a few fresh mushrooms if you prefer)
- 28oz Can of Diced Tomatoes
- 2 TBSP Tomato Paste
- 1/2 Cup Sliced Black Olives
In a medium saucepan, bring cleaned quinoa to a boil in 2 cups of water. Cover, reduce heat to low, and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes. Quinoa is ready when it becomes fluffy and all the water is absorbed. Gently fluff with a fork when ready and mix in salt, to taste, if using. You can also add salt to the water before boiling if you prefer.
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add in the diced onions, garlic, peppers, and jalapenos (if using raw mushrooms add them now too) and let simmer for a few minutes. Toss in the chicken and sprinkle a little salt, pepper, and Italian herbs over the mixture. Cook over medium heat until chicken is fully cooked, stir frequently.
|Isn't it so colorful and pretty? :)|
Spoon the marinara sauce over the prepared quinoa and enjoy!