Quinoa with Chicken and Herbs


By Ruth Milstein, author of the Gourmand award-winning cookbook ‘Cooking with Love: Ventures into the New Israeli Cuisine.’


The history of quinoa is clearly rooted in South America some 800 hundred years ago. Studies have demonstrated the ability of quinoa to lower total cholesterol and maintain the level of HDL, the GOOD cholesterol. It also protects blood vessels from inflammatory damage which provides reduced risk of many cardiovascular diseases. Quinoa is a good source of protein and fiber content. It contains key minerals: calcium, iron, potassium, and zinc.



In fact, quinoa is not really a grain although everyone uses quinoa as a grain! It’s the seed of a plant that’s related to spinach, not to wheat. Pure quinoa is gluten-free, making it safe for people with celiac disease, gluten intolerance, or gluten sensitivity.


The most common type of quinoa you will find in the store has an off-white color, but red and black quinoa is becoming more available. You may even be able to find a tri-color mixture sold in packages or bulk bins. One cup of quinoa yields 3 cups of cooked quinoa. You can also find an instant quinoa that shortens the cooking time.


Quinoa is great to eat chilled or hot, as a salad or main dish. For salads, add nuts, vegetables, and fruits. You can add it to your favorite vegetable soup or ground quinoa flour to cookies or cake recipes. For your favorite pasta recipes, use noodles made from quinoa. Store quinoa refrigerated in an airtight container; it will keep for up to 6 months.



Recipe: Quinoa with Chicken & Herbs

Makes 6 servings.


1 cup quinoa

1 whole chicken breast, split, boned and skinned

5 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, peeled and chopped

6 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced

1 cup colorful cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters

1/2 cup parsley, chopped

1/2 cup dill, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

1 tablespoon fresh Rosemary leaves, chopped

1 teaspoon red chili

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


The way to cook quinoa is like cooking pasta; in a large pot bring to a boil 4 cups of water and a bit of salt. Lower the heat to medium-high, then add the quinoa and cook uncovered for 10 minutes until soft.

Meanwhile, cut the chicken into ½-inch pieces and sauté in a frying pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil for 2 minutes; flip constantly. Transfer the chicken to a large bowl and cover with aluminum foil.

Put 1 tablespoon olive oil in a pan and sauté the onion for 2 minutes until golden brown, then add the sliced garlic and sauté for another minute. Transfer to a bowl with the chicken.

Again, put 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and sauté the tomatoes for one minute. Turn off the heat and add the parsley, dill, thyme, Rosemary, and chili. Mix and transfer to the bowl; and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper.

Drain the quinoa and transfer to a bowl and mix gently. Check seasoning and if necessary, add more salt and pepper and serve immediately.

* Serve as a salad, hot or cold, or as a perfectly healthy meal with a green salad.


Ruth Milstein

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About the Author:

Ruth Milstein, is the author of the Gourmand award-winning cookbook ‘Cooking with Love: Ventures into the New Israeli Cuisine.'

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