While I do enjoy an indulgent treat every once in a while, I try to outweigh those indulgences with wholesome, healthy, fresh meals. I know it might not come across that way on my blog, but I don’t post about everything I eat, especially since the things that are often most indulgent photograph the best! However, I’m making it my goal to post something healthy with every indulgent post.
So without further adieu, I present a meal in contrast to my last buttery puff pastry of a post: Quinoa Stir-Fry with Vegetables and Chicken. This meal has it all, quinoa (pronounced “keen-wah”) which provides not only fiber but iron, chicken breast for lean protein, and tons of fresh vegetables in multiple colors for varying vitamins and antioxidants. If you’re interested in the specific nutritional values, they are on Self’s website. However, I try not to live and eat paying attention to the nutritional details down to the last calorie. That’s no fun. If something is fresh and came from the earth, not a processing plant, then I know it will be good for my body. If you’re interested in this method of thinking about eating, I’d suggest, no urge you to read Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food.
To make this wholesome dish even better, it tastes delicious. And I don’t get bored with it after a few bites like with some other healthy meals.
Taste: Mouthwatering! Perfect combination of Asian inspired flavors.
Texture: I love the texture of quinoa, especially combined with the crispness of the veggies and the tenderness of the cubes of chicken.
Ease: There is a lot of prep work involved: chopping all the vegetables, grilling the chicken breast, and cooking the quinoa before you can even start to make this dish. However, all those steps are simple.
Appearance: Anything that has an array of colors is attractive to me.
Expense: Quinoa can be expensive, especially packaged in a regular grocery store. But if you head over to your local Whole Foods or the equivalent and purchase the Quinoa in bulk its half the price. Vegetables can get expensive too, but I think of it as an investment in my body’s health.
Pros: This can be made on the weekend and eaten for lunch during the week (you could double the recipe) because it keeps well in the fridge.
Cons: I can’t think of one.
Would I make this again? Most definitely.
Quinoa Stir-Fry with Vegetables and Chicken
From Self Magazine February 2010
- 3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 small carrot, thinly sliced
- 1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
- 2 teaspoons grated ginger
- 1 clove garlic, sliced
- 1 small red chile, chopped (optional)
- 2 cups snow peas, trimmed
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 egg, beaten
- 4 oz grilled chicken breast, chopped
- 2 scallions, chopped
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- Place quinoa in a small saucepan with 3/4 cup water and 1/4 tsp salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook, undisturbed, until quinoa absorbs water, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork and leave uncovered.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook carrot, stirring occasionally, until it softens, about 1 minute. Add bell pepper, ginger, garlic and chile, if desired; cook, stirring frequently, about 2 minutes. Add peas, sprinkle with remaining 1/4 tsp salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, 1 minute.
- Remove vegetables and return skillet to heat; add quinoa, along with egg. Cook, stirring constantly, until egg is evenly distributed, about 2 minutes. Add vegetables, chicken, scallions, cilantro and soy sauce; cook 1 minute more.
- Divide stir-fry among 4 bowls; serve warm.
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