More fun things to do with quinoa!
When it comes to food, there are a few commandments I tend to follow. Okay, that’s not true. I am VERY open to all kinds of food but everyone has their preferences and here are some of mine:
1) Crispy is always better. Always.
2) There needs to be a sauce. Or a dip. Or something flavorful to add that brings extra va va voom to my meal.
3) Dry chicken will never be cosumed. I’d rather grab a bowl of cereal and call it a day than conform to dry chicken.
4) All meals get a topping. Wether it’s granola on top of my peanut butter toast, cereal in my smoothies or crunchy chips on top of a burrito bowl…I will make it happen.
Clearly, this list could extend for pages and I would have no problem filling you in on my little quirky atttibutes of food but I’ll just give them to you in bits and pieces. Todays four food commandments tie into this scrumptious little rosemary quinoa crusted chicken sandwich with balsamic crema. You know me and my long titles. Gotta cover all the bases.
So who would have thought quinoa could be used in place of breadcrumbs? Not that I am against breadcrumbs. In fact, my pantry is always stocked with panko bread crumbs that get used in almost every poultry dish made…BUT sometimes we gotta change up the scenery. Especially when that scenery involves extra nutritious benefits.
The benefits of quinoa are no mystery anymore so I am not going to bore you with a post all about how quinoa is the new chia seed. It’s a great source of protien and fiber, more so than most grains. What you really should know is that when you mix your quinoa with excess amounts of rosemary, garlic and parmesan you can get an awesome meal out of it.
And by awesome I mean a crispy coated, non dry peice of chicken drenched in creamy balsamic sauce and throw into a bun. And with that, we covered my quirky food preferences. The quinoa added the perfect crispy crunch coating, which in all hoensty surprised me. I was a little skeptical the quinoa would not come out as a crispy breading, but it worked great!
Rosemary and parmesan are SO essential for this dish as well. When the Recipe Redux challenged us to use spices this month, I was sort of at a lost. I LOVE experimenting with spices and I realize rosemary isn’t something out of the ordinary, but it’s one of my favorite ways to add extra zing to chicken and potaotes. Two essential food groups in my life. Therefore, rosemary = essential. Adding it to the quirky food preference list for sure.
- 2 thinly sliced, boneless chicken breasts
- 1 Tbsp rosemary
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- Sea salt + pepper to taste
- 1 cup cooked quinoa*
- 1/4 cup almond flour (or flour of choice)
- 2 Tbsp parmesan cheese
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp strawberry balsamic vinegar (regular is fine, make sure it’s good quality)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil mayo (Earth Balance)**
- 4 Tbsp plain greek yogurt
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine rosemary, sea salt, pepper, garlic and cooked quinoa in a shallow dish. On a paper plate spread out your flour and set aside.
- Whisk together your egg and olive oil in a shallow bowl until thick and fluffy.
- Coat chicken in flour on both sides, then into your egg mixture and lastly into your rosemary quinoa. Make sure both sides are evenly covered and place into a greased baking dish. Repeat with your other slice of chicken. Lightly spray with olive oil cooking spray and bake for 25-30 minutes, setting oven to broil the last few minutes for an extra crisp.
- While the chicken is baking, prepare your balsamic crema. Whisk together balsamic, olive oil mayo and greek yogurt. For the olive oil mayo, I use earth balance brand. They use healthier ingredients than regular mayo like olive oil, but still give off the same flavor.
- Once chicken is done, top with balsamic crema and serve with vegetables, in a sandwich or however you prefer!
- *Prepare quinoa according to package instructions. You will need one cup of COOKED quinoa, not uncooked.
- **For the olive oil mayo, I used Earth Balance brand. They don't use any weird ingredients and is a great alternative to regular mayonaise. Veganeise would work great as well.
- Serves 2-4