Quinoa with Chicken & Roasted Vegetable Medley
When I discovered quinoa in 2009 I became hooked on this healthy, ancient grain. Shortly after that I created this recipe which became one of my favorite meals & Signature Recipes!
Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
6 to 9 Brussels sprouts (depending on size), remove any browning outer leaves, trim bottoms & slice in half lengthwise (see Tip# 1)
Organic cauliflower florets, cut larger ones in half, 3rds or 4ths so the pieces are somewhat evenly sized & you end up with 1 1/2 cups
2 to 3 organic carrots (depending on size), peeled & diagonally sliced 1/3″ thick at fat end, then 1/2″ to 1″ as you get to the thinner parts
Fresh ground black pepper
1 cup quinoa (uncooked, any color)
1 – 15.5oz can organic pinto beans, drained, rinsed under cool water & set aside
1 cup cooked chicken meat, hand tear off the bone & set aside (see Tips# 2 & 3)
2 scallions, sliced (about 1/3 cup)
1 tsp minced fresh garlic (ok to use store bought minced garlic in a jar)
1 Tblsp finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 Tblsp chopped fresh mint leaves, packed
1 Tblsp balsamic vinegar
For garnishing: 1/4 cup coarsely chopped almonds, divided (see Tip# 4)
Optional for garnishing each serving: crumbled up goat cheese and/or chia seeds
1. Move an oven rack to the lower middle position & preheat oven to 400°. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil & lightly grease with EVOO.
2. Put Brussels sprouts, cauliflower & carrots in a 2.5 quart bowl. Add 1 Tblsp EVOO & toss till well coated. Spread out on baking sheet, then sprinkle evenly with salt & pepper. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, turning them over 1/2 way through, till they’re caramelized & are cooked fork tender. Remove from oven & let cool.
3. While waiting for the veggies; cook the quinoa according to pkg directions (or see Quinoa recipe in Rice & Grains category). Set aside till ready to serve.
4. For the medley; put pinto beans in a 4 quart bowl, sprinkle liberally with salt & a little pepper. Stir gently. Add roasted vegetables, chicken, scallions, garlic, rosemary, mint, 2 Tblsp EVOO & 1 Tblsp balsamic. Toss gently till well combined.
5. Create 1 cup beds of cooked quinoa on each serving plate & make a well in the center. Spoon on desired amount of medley. Garnish with almonds. Add goat cheese & chia seeds, if using & serve. Best if served barely warm or at room temperature.
Tips & Suggestions
1. In place of any of the 3 vegetables, you can roast an equal amount of any vegetable you choose. Just keep in mind that they may cook at different lengths of time.
2. For the cooked chicken meat; pull the meat off a 1/4 of a rotisserie cooked grocery store chicken…this will yield the 1 cup needed. You can also use leftover chicken or turkey meat or cook up a boneless, skinless chicken breast.
3. Want to turn this into a vegetarian meal? Replace the chicken with a 4th roasted vegetable at step# 2 or just increase the amount of any of the 3 vegetables in the recipe.
4. A mortar & pestle works great to break up the almonds to a coarsely chopped consistency. You can replace the almonds with an equal amount of any nut (or combo of nuts) you choose.