Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Garlic Chicken Stir Fry with Quinoa

Tonight we offer a little education as well as a great recipe. Quinoa, a high protein grain-like crop from the goosefoot family, which can be cooked similar to rice, is quickly becoming a staple in many American homes.  It has a delicious nutty flavor and is gluten free. However, unlike grains, which are members of the grass family, Quinoa is more closely related to Beets, Spinach and Tumbleweed. 

Its use as a domesticated food product dates back 3000 – 4000 years to the Incas of the Andes who held it as sacred and referred to it as “the Mother of all grains”.  The Emperor of the Inca would usually sow the first seeds of the season using ceremonial tools that would have been made of gold.
Judy first discovered Quinoa last year and we have used it in several of our featured recipes.  Tonight’s featured recipe was found on a box of Trader Joe’s Organic Quinoa.  We re-engineered the recipe in order to bring the dish to within a PointsPlus value of 8 per serving.  It’s delicious.

From our kitchen to yours.  Enjoy the adventure.


Garlic Chicken with Quinoa
1 cup Quinoa, uncooked

2 cups Chicken broth, fat-free, reduced sodium

2 Chicken Breasts, boneless and skinless, cut into halves

4 sprays, Cooking Spray

1 medium Onion, thinly sliced

2 Bell Peppers, 1 Red, 1 Yellow, seeded, thinly sliced

7 cloves Garlic, minced (medium)

20 leaves Basil, chiffanade

4 Tbsp Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated

½ tsp Salt, or to taste

½ tsp Black Pepper, freshly ground, or to taste

¼ tsp Red Pepper flakes, dried


Cut Chicken into bite-sized pieces, set aside.

Cook Quinoa in the Chicken broth according to package directions

Heat a large non-stick skillet, sprayed with Cooking Spray, over high heat.

Add the Chicken and sauté until golden brown, about 5 minutes.

Add Onions and Bell Peppers; Saut̩ for another 1 Р2 minutes until peppers become slightly limp, but are still brightly colored.

Season with Salt, Pepper and Red Pepper flakes, to taste.

Remove the pan from the heat; Add basil and Quinoa.

Toss until Basil wilts; Garnish with Parmesan Cheese, to taste.

Yields 4 servings. PointsPlus value per serving is 8.  Prep time is 15 minutes. Cooking time is 10 minutes. Level of difficulty is Easy.

Weight Watchers and PointsPlus are registered trademarks of Weight Watchers Intl. Inc.

Recipes shown may not be exactly the same as those found on any website. Judy and I tend to "tweak" each recipe we feature, to some degree, incorporating our own unique tastes and ideas. PointsPlus values, however, are accurate. 

Photo by Barry Baruh

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