- 2cup water
- 1cup quinoa, rinsed well
- 1/2cup sundried tomatoes
- 1pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 1/2cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/4cup buttermilk
- 2tablespoon prepared pesto**
- 1teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/4teaspoon sea salt
- 1/8teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 1/2cup kale, ribs removed and chopped
- 1cup shredded carrots
- 1cup crumbled feta cheese
* Before cooking, the seeds must be rinsed to remove their bitter resin-like coating, which is called saponin. Placing quinoa in a strainer and rinsing thoroughly with water easily washes the saponin from the seeds.
**If you would like to make your own pesto, here is an easy recipe that is more economical as it uses walnuts instead of pricey pine nuts:
Combine 2 cups fresh basil, 3 tablespoons walnuts, and 2 cloves garlic in a food processor or blender. Process until well blended. Slowly add in 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Process until smooth paste forms, adding oil as necessary. Add in¼ cup grated parmesan cheese, ½ teaspoon sea salt, and ¼ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper. Process until all ingredients are thoroughly combined. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
I made my pesto vegan for Megan by leaving out the parmesan cheese; it tasted just as yummy and we did not miss the cheese at all. This way I could make a vegan version of the quinoa bowl: combine ½ -1 tablespoons of the vegan pesto with 3 tablespoons of an Italian or balsamic vinaigrette in place of the yogurt pesto dressing. Eliminate the chicken and feta cheese; gently toss the pesto vinaigrette with the remaining ingredients. It was a huge hit!
Quinoa is the grain of the Incas and has been cultivated in the Andean highlands of South America for over 7000 years. It was one of the most sacred foods of the ancient Incas, a plant so nourishing, delicious and vital, they called it chesiya mama; the ‘mother grain’.
Nutritionally, quinoa might be considered a super grain--although it is not really a grain, but the seed of a leafy plant that's distantly related to spinach. Quinoa has excellent reserves of protein and unlike other grains, is not missing the amino acid lysine, so the protein is more complete (a trait it shares with other "non-true" grains such as buckwheat and amaranth). Quinoa offers more iron than other grains and contains high levels of potassium and riboflavin, as well as other B vitamins: B6, niacin, and thiamin. It is also a good source of magnesium, zinc, copper, and manganese, and has some folate (folic acid).