There’s something about using quinoa as a side dish. I remember that I first heard of quinoa – the supergrain – when I was in Florida. Ingrid Hoffmann had made a quinoa salad that looked not only delicioso as she would say but it was also good for you and I had earmarked the salad as one to try – someday.
When I was making the apricot chicken from Candice Kumai’s Pretty Delicious: Lean and Lovely Recipes for a Healthy, Happy New You , she had suggested that the chicken be served with her FWB heavy-hitter, quinoa. What are FWBs – well those are FOODS with benefits – wait – you weren’t thinking something else were you? C’mon – this is not an ep. of Sex & The City. Back to the recipe – according to Candice, the quinoa is not only “high in protein, it’s a complete protein, meaning it delivers all nine essential amino acids” and cooks up light and fluffy with a nutty flavor.
Quinoa is now a pantry staple in this household, especially after this dinner. One tip though – you HAVE to rinse the quinoa. I don’t care if the package says “no need to rinse” because who knows if it really was done (or am I having a “Monk” moment?). Lately, I trust very few companies *sigh* I know, just call me the questioning cook. However, I did make some changes as I was out of almonds and I subbed dried cherries instead of cranberries and some fresh thyme instead of basil and it came out phenomenal. I also have been adoring unfiltered olive oil in vinaigrettes after a suggestion from one of my fave private chefs, Julie Anne Rhodes aka “Jewels from the Roving Stove” so that also added a nice touch to this quinoa dish.
- 2 cups quinoa (or about 1 box)
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup dried cherries
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- Place the quinoa in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Let sit for a minute or two and then drain through a fine mesh sieve.
- Place the quinoa, chicken broth and 2 cups of water in a medium saucepan and bring to boil over high heat.
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered until the quinoa is tender and has absorbed the liquid, 12 – 15 minutes.
- Scoop the quinoa into a large bowl.
- Whisk the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper together and add to the quinoa
- Mix the cherries into the quinoa along with the thyme and toss to coat with the vinaigrette.
- Serve with the apricot chicken and enjoy!
Adapted from Candice Kumai
Gather the Ingredients
Soaking the Quinoa
Everyone in the Pool
Time to make the vinaigrette
Love this olive oil – thanks Jewels for the suggestion!
Add the cherries (and try not to snack too much – not that I EVER did that *cough cough*)
The final result – yum!
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