Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Quinoa with Spicy Chicken Marinara

Quinoa with spicy chicken marinara

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

Serving of Quinoa with Spicy Chicken Marinara

  • 1 Cup Quinoa, thoroughly rinsed
  • 2 Cups Water
  • Salt (optional)
 Chicken Marinara Sauce:
  • 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.

Coloful peppers and chicken cooking
Isn't it so colorful and pretty? :)
Add in the canned mushrooms (unless you used fresh ones already), stir, then mix in the can of diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Let simmer for a few minutes then stir in the black olives. Taste and adjust any seasonings as you like.

Eating the finished quinoa dish!

Spoon the marinara sauce over the prepared quinoa and enjoy!

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