Friday, January 21, 2011

TGI Carb Night: Recipe - Chicken with Quinoa Tabbouleh

Pasta was nowhere to be found on my plate this evening, my dearest readers. Instead, I planned a bit of a culinary adventure (Adventure...we're going on an adventure, Charlie.) -- just me, recently purchased quinoa, a ton of vegetables, and thin-cut chicken breasts.

According to the interwebs, quinoa is something of a super food. (I’m very happy that there are entire websites dedicated to the joys of quinoa.) It’s rich in protein, low in fat and cholesterol, a great source of carbohydrates, and delicious.

Having never cooked with quinoa before, this recipe from Charlie Trotter (and featured in the Athlete’s Palate Cookbook) turned out well! However, I wasn’t a huge fan of the parsley vinaigrette dressing.  The parsley was a little overpowering even after I made a decision to reduce the amount used, but I will be experimenting in the very near future (hooray leftovers!) with a couple of things that are likely to pair well.

You’ll need:

Four boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, grilled and thinly sliced
3 cups cooked quinoa*
½ cup diced cucumber, skin on
½ cup diced red bell pepper
2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
2 teaspoons chopped mint
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons red onion, minced
1 ½ tablespoons of sherry vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

For the vinaigrette
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 ½ tablespoon water
2 ½ tablespoon flat-leaf parsley
Salt and black pepper to taste

*Being unfamiliar with cooking techniques, I looked a few things up before I began. Soak and rinse your quinoa before cooking. A cup and a half yields a little more than 3 cups of cooked quinoa, and I used a 1:1 quinoa to water ratio to cook.

Before grilling my chicken, I lightly seasoned it with a bit of salt and pepper. Once your vegetables are diced and your quinoa is prepared, everything goes into a bowl. Super easy!!

The colors! The colors!

In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, cucumber, bell pepper, parsley, mint, olive oil, lemon juice, red onion, and vinegar. Toss to mix; season with salt and pepper to taste. In a separate bowl, whisk lemon juice, water, and olive oil. Stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper. Plate, top with chicken, and drizzle with vinaigrette.

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