Thursday, September 29, 2011

Garlic Chicken Stir Fry with Quinoa, Peppers and Basil

Well. I finally bought my first box of quinoa, and now I feel like I have finally joined the party, even though I'm late. I have seen many wonderful recipes over the blogs, some vegan or vegetarian, some not.  I just wasn't sure how I wanted to prepare it. I bought my Organic White Quinoa at Trader Joe's, where else? Then I saw this wonderful recipe on the back of the box,  it was simple to prepare, and I had all the ingredients in the house, so I had to make it. We loved this dish, even Scott.  The quinoa had a nice fluffy texture,with a nutty crunch, which makes it unique and is a great alternative to cous cous, or rice.  It can be served as as side dish, or a main dish like this one. You can also make it vegan or vegetarian very easily. Quinoa is so versatile, it can also be used  in soups, salads, breads, and puddings. Now I have an eye on Leanne@Healful Pursuit's  Pumpkin Pie Quinoa Breakfast Bake .  Yum! I also have an eye on Kim@Liv Life's Quinoa Salad with Avocado Black Beans with Chipotle Lime Dressing.

As you are reading my blog today, I am at my garage sale today and tomorrow.  Wish me luck, and hope that it doesn't rain.

For those of you who are not familiar with Quinoa, pronounced  "keen-wah", the quinoa plant is native to the Andean regions of Peru, Bolivia and Chile on the continent of South America. .It is a grain like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds, and is not a member of  the grass family, so it not considered a grain.  It is more related to the spinach and beets family. There are many different varieties of the plant, wild, and red, just to name a few.   The quinoa we eat today has been cultivated in South America for around 5000 years. It is definitely an "Ancient food. Quinoa has only been in the U.S. since the 1970's.

The virtues of Quinoa are many.  Quinoa is high in protein, but the protein it supplies is a complete protein,  meaning that it includes all nine essential amino acids. It also has Lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair. Because quinoa is a very good source of manganese as well as a good source of magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus, this "grain" may be especially valuable for persons with migraine headaches, diabetes and atherosclerosis. It is also gluten free. There are many other health benefits, too numerous to mention here, so click on the link to read more about this wonderful food,  Quinoa.

Garlic Chicken Stir Fry with Peppers and Quinoa Serves four From Trader Joe's

**Always rinse and drain quinoa thoroughly, Quinoa seeds have a bitter-tasting coating, which is removed by rinsing in cold water several times, and then drained.

 1 cup Quinoa, prepared with chicken stock, according to package directions (so you'll need two cups chicken stock) I used TJ's low sodium chicken stock
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast tenders, or chicken breasts
1 tbsp o1ive oil
 1small onion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced (I used green)
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
20 leaves fresh sweet basil, julienne
grated parmesan cheese

**Always rinse and drain quinoa thoroughly, Quinoa seeds have a bitter-tasting coating, which is removed by rinsing in cold water several times, and then drained

Cut chicken into one-inch pieces. Heat large nonstick skillet over high heat and add the oil. Add chicken and saute for 5 minutes or until golden brown. Add onions, bell peppers; saute for one or two more minutes; add garlic and saute until peppers become slightly limp, but still bright, about one to two minutes; season with salt and pepper. Remove the pan from heat; add basil and quinoa. Toss until basil wilts; garnish with Parmesan cheese. Serves four.

I recieved no compensation or products from Trader Joe's.


  1. Oh, Becky!! You are going to love quinoa!! I have a few other recipes that I will have to look up to send to you too. Don't you just love TJ's? That's were I get my quinoa as well. I'm so glad that you liked it! Funny, I've never looked at the back of the box... so glad you did!

  2. Kim-We did like the quinoa, so I'm glad that I bought it. We love TJ's, too:)

  3. I usually have quinoa as a side dish and have never thought of using it in a stir fry-great idea. This does look delicious and easy, thanks for sharing

  4. Tina- The quinoa was great in the stir fry. If you try it, let me know how it was.

  5. I wish they had TJ markets here:) Your stir fry looks so good! I love the idea of quinoa in a stir fry. Guess what I'll be making tomorrow?;) Hope you had a busy garage sale.

  6. Hi Becky-Hope your garage sale went well! I love your quinoa stir-fry with the chicken. So healthy, and delicious. Great recipe, as well!
    Thanks for sharing:DDD

  7. Lora-Thank you for your kind words. The garage sale went well, but so much work.

    Elisabeth-The quinoa stir fry was so good. The garage sale did go well.

  8. Thanks for the shout out Becky! That pumpkin quinoa bake is mighty tasty and it looks like your stir fry is as well. I love how much basil you put in it. Yum!

  9. Leanne-You are welcome. I have a lot of fresh basil growing on the patio, so I'm trying to use it up, before the frost comes.

  10. This recipe was new to me. I want to make this on my own. Thanks for sharing it here because I was inspired on your work. I will visit this blog again for more great recipe like this.

    Stir fry recipe


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