Chicken & Quinoa Parmesan

 

Have you ever tried quinoa? It is a great, healthier substitute for most grains. It is delicious and has a nutty flavor. This is a good guinea pig recipe to try it in, if you haven’t had it before.

Adapted from Prevention RD

Ingredients

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  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (15 oz) can no salt added diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, skin and bones removed, chopped
  • 4 oz part skim mozzarella
  • 1 oz parmesan cheese                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • 2 Tbsp breadcrumbs

Directions

1) Preheat the oven to 375. Spray a large baking dish with Pam.

2) For the sauce: heat a large skillet over medium heat, and add the oil. Stir in the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 30-60 seconds. Add the balsamic vinegar, scraping anything off the bottom of the pan, and cook until it’s almost fully absorbed. Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, red pepper flakes, parsley, and pepper to taste. Bring to a low boil, and then simmer while you prepare the rest of the meal.

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3) For the quinoa: place the quinoa in a mesh strainer, and rinse with cold water for about 1-2 minutes. Add the quinoa and water (and a dash of salt) to a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Cover with a lid, reduce the heat, and simmer until cooked, about 20-25 minutes.

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4) Combine the cooked quinoa and chicken with the sauce and mix thoroughly.

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5) Place half the mixture in the baking dish, and sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Top with the remaining quinoa mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella cheese, and the parmesan. Add the breadcrumbs.

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6) Cover with foil and bake for about 15 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake until cheese is lightly browned and bubbly, about 10 more minutes.

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Seriously, this was so good and comforting for a cold, rainy day in Birmingham. I think it even tasted better the next day. Makes a great lunch that will keep you full for several hours with all the protein from the chicken and quinoa. Serve with some steamed broccoli and you have a well balanced meal. Enjoy!

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