Quinoa with Chicken Breast and Pesto
time: 30 minutes / $5.50 per portion / best for: post exercise nutrition
1 cup basil leaves
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2-4 cloves of garlic (depending on size and your garlic preference)
2 tablespoons of pine nuts (lightly toasted - heat on a fry pan for 3-5min with out oil) - do not leave unattended, these suckers burn quickly!
¼ cup of parmigiano-reggiano (or 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast for vegan alternative) - extra for serving
1/2 chicken breast (can substitute a meat free alternative, chickpeas are fantastic here)
1 cup of quinoa rinsed
2 cups of water
1 head of broccoli
1 cup of snow peas
1. Place the quinoa, water, and a pinch of salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Reduce the heat to moderately low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the quinoa is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 20 minutes.
2. Alternatively use the same ratio in a rice cooker until the quinoa is light and fluffy. In the last 5 minutes of the cooking add the snow peas and diced broccoli to the quinoa. This will decrease the amount of washing up you will have to do and will steam the vegetables perfectly. (I like to use my iphone timer here just to make sure I don't overcook it)
3. While the quinoa is doing its thing continue on with the recipe.
4. In a food processor or blender, blend the basil, 1/4 cup of the olive oil, the garlic, pine nuts, Parmigiano-Reggiano or nutritional yeast, salt and pepper, until smooth, about 30 seconds; scrape down the sides as needed. Set aside.
5. Lightly compress the chicken breasts to an even thickness. Brush each side with olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and a few turns of pepper. Grill the chicken breasts over moderately high heat until browned on the outside and cooked through, about 4 minutes on each side. Transfer to a cutting board and chop into 2-3cm thick slices.
6. Transfer the quinoa and vegetables to a large boil, add the chicken, and then fold in the pesto until evenly distributed.