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Thursday, 21 February 2013

Lemon Quinoa Chicken Stir Fry

Hey, it's Jess :)

So Tom has been making a pretty impressive selection of vegan treats so I figured it's time for me to cook something vaguely interesting again. My recent meals have quite often been based around throwing a load of vegetables, chicken and sweet potato in a dish and baking. And serving. Like this.

 I'd write a recipe, but I literally did as I said. Veg, sweet potato, chicken and chopped tomatoes with whatever herbs and seasonings you fancy, in the oven until...done. Perfect.

And having given up chocolate for lent (yes, that is ALL chocolate and cocoa based products), I've been desperately looking for nice things to cheer me up when I'm craving my late night chocolate fix. (See future carob recipes!)

Going slightly off tangent, Tom and I have been increasing our training recently, as we're aiming to run the Bristol Half Marathon this year and a marathon (undecided as to which - suggestions anyone?) in 2014. So anyway, alongside trying to watch our weight, I have become a little obsessed with increasing my protein intake and cutting my carbs down. I know that working hard in the gym won't pay off if I'm not eating the right things, so now seemed like a good time to try new things. So I decided this would be a good opportunity to try the gluten-free, high protein grain quinoa.

I had never tried or seen quinoa until about an hour ago, so bear with me. But having done a little research on how to cook it, I figured I'd come up with a high protein recipe that can be eaten for lunch or dinner. You could easily make this recipe vegan by omitting the chicken and adding some other veg, I just really like chicken.

Ingredients (Serves 3-4)
1 cup (uncooked) quinoa
1 lemon
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced
1-2 spring onions, chopped
1 courgette, sliced
2-3 chicken breast, cut into thin strips
2 tbsp soy sauce/gf tamari
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon

To cook the quinoa, add 2 cups boiling water to 1 cup quinoa and cook for about 10-12 minutes until the germ has separated. A little white line kind of appears around the outside of the little grains and they soften, basically. To stop it being too bland, I added half a lemon to the boiling water, thus giving the quinoa a citrusy hint.

 When the quinoa is cooked, leave it to the side and chop and stir fry the onions with a little oil, adding the chicken and veg as you go. Add the soy sauce, cumin and cinnamon together with the juice from the unused half of the lemon and add a tablespoon of this to the cooking chicken and veg. Add the quinoa once the chicken and vegetables are cooked, and add the rest of the soy sauce mix to the quinoa. Stir fry for a few more minutes until the quinoa has taken on the flavours. Either serve immediately, or keep covered in the fridge. I did both, and had a portion for tea and will have another portion cold tomorrow for lunch. Using my fitness pal, there are 312 calories in one portion and 25g protein, so definitely fits the bill for a high protein healthy gluten free meal!

I will be using quinoa in a few more future recipes now I have figured it out, but please let me know if you have any suggestions :) enjoy!

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