First we'll have a little lesson on Quinoa. Quinoa is an amino acid-rich (protein) seed that has a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and a somewhat nutty flavor when cooked. Quinoa is available in your local health food stores throughout the year. Most commonly considered a grain, quinoa is actually a relative of leafy green vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard. It is a recently rediscovered ancient "grain" once considered "the gold of the Incas."
This was a "develop as you go" recipe and it turned out wonderfully. I can't wait to try some different ways to incorporate this healthy, protein rich food into our meals.
1 lb. chicken breast tenderloins
2 1/2 cups water
1 t. chicken base
1 T. Chipotle seasoning
1 t. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup corn kernels
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Bring water, chicken base and chipotle seasoning to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add chicken tenders and reduce heat to a simmer. Let chicken poach for 12-15 minutes until cooked through. Remove chicken tenders to a plate to cool and strain chicken broth. You'll need at least 1 3/4 cup of liquid. Add water to make up the difference.
While chicken cooks, heat oil in a medium skillet. Stir in onion and garlic and saute until lightly browned. Add quinoa into skillet and stired until well mixed with onion and garlic.
Return broth to saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the onions/garlic/quinoa mix. Stir well, cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes.
While quinoa cooks, shred chicken.
After 20 minutes the quinoa will be almost cooked to perfection.
Add black beans, corn, chicken, Rotel tomatoes and cilantro. Stir well and let cook over low heat for an additional 5 minutes until heated through.
Check seasonings and add salt and pepper to taste. You can also add cumin, cayenne or any sort of chili seasoning you prefer.