CEimB: Balsamic Chicken with Baby Spinach and….Quinoa

by Joanne on April 23, 2009

I changed the name. GUILTY!  This weeks CEimB is cooking up “Balsamic Chicken with Baby Spinach and Couscous”.  I chose Quinoa instead of the couscous 1. because I had Quinoa and, 2. we are not couscous fans.

From the Food You Crave, Page 205

From the Food You Crave, Page 205

It was picked by Marthe at Culinary Delights.  Make sure to visit her site and get the REAL recipe. 

As for the Quinoa, lets first get the pronunciation right…say “Keen-Wa”.   That’s right.  I was saying “QwinOA” for the longest time. 

The Incas refer to Quinoa as the mother grain.  It contains more high quality protein than any other grain.  It stands alone as a complete protein grain.  It contains no gluten.  It is easy to digest. The flavor is light and nutty and is easy to prepare. 

Cooked Quinoa

Cooked Quinoa

Ingredients for the Apple Crumbles version of tonights Balsamic Chicken (and Quorn) with Baby Spinach and Quinoa

  • 3 TBS Olive oil
  • 3 Boneless chicken breasts (Joanne used 2 Quorn Cutlets)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 8 oz Baby Spinach
  • 2 TBS Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Veggie Broth
  • 3 Chopped Vine Ripe tomatoes
  • 2 TBS Tomato Paste (added this)
  • 1 cup uncooked Quinoa

To cook the Quinoa:  Place 1 cup dry in 2 cups water in a 1 1/2  qt.saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce to simmer, cover and cook until water is absorbed (about 15 min).  The red color becomes translucent. The germ ring will be visible along the outside edge of the grain.

I followed the rest of the recipe from “The Food You Crave”, page 205 for both Ted’s chicken version and Joanne’s “Quorn” version.  I did add 1 TBS to each version of tomato paste.

Ted's Balsamic Chicken with Baby spinach

Ted's Balsamic Chicken with Baby spinach



The meatless version using Quorn

The meatless version using Quorn

The results:

Ted thought the chicken had very little flavor.  The flavor of the sauce carried this dish.  It was vibrant and bursting with flavor from the sweet “kick” of balsamic coupled with the tomatoes. 

More flavor could be added to the chicken by cooking it about 3 minutes per side then adding it back to the sauce for 5 minutes, at a simmer.  It would absorb the flavors as it finished cooking.

We still thought this was an enjoyable meal so a round of applause is offered to Marthe. Clapping cat:9293    Good pick!

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  • At 2009.04.23 07:54, Jessica said:

    The red quinoa is gorgeous, I’ve only had white before…I want to try quorn soon too.

    • At 2009.04.23 09:01, Aggie said:

      I have yet to try quinoa! I’m interested though…it looks deliciuos! I was afraid of the chicken being kinda bland so I decided to flour it first with some seasoned ww flour, I think that really made a difference. The sauce was great!! Your photos are beautiful!!

      • At 2009.04.23 09:38, Farah said:

        Lol, i had no idea i was mispronouncing Quinoa!!! Thank you 🙂
        It looks so delicious!

        • At 2009.04.23 10:05, Leslie said:

          I haven’t tried quinoa yet but now I have to! This looks so delicious! We loved it but I tweaked it a little to make the flavors more dramatic.

          • At 2009.04.23 10:12, pamela said:

            I have yet to try Quinoa, can you believe it. I’ve seen it in dozens of recipes and been curious about it, but I just haven’t tried it yet. Gotta do that. It looks wonderful.

            • At 2009.04.23 10:55, Mary Ann said:

              Quinoa is my absolute favorite. It looks like it tasted great with this dinner!

              • At 2009.04.23 11:11, Sara said:

                I also have never tried quinoa, apparently there are alot of quinoa virgins here 🙂 The sauce was very flavorful and it did help to add the chicken back to the sauce to simmer before serving it.

                • At 2009.04.23 11:16, Lauren said:

                  lovely pictures! good call on the quinoa, although I cannot imagine ANYONE not liking cousous. I suppose you are allowed, though.

                  • At 2009.04.23 13:44, Jennifer said:

                    I agree with Ted — the chicken had NO flavor. While there was some flavor in the sauce, I really thought the dish was very bland.

                    • At 2009.04.23 13:46, Helene said:

                      I love quinoa, so good for you. Great pics.

                      • At 2009.04.23 13:51, Cathy said:

                        Great idea to use quinoa! I have never had it before, but it looks great and is so healthy! Good thinking to use tomato paste, too – I thought the sauce could have used a little thickening. I will make this again with some changes. Yours looks great!

                        • At 2009.04.23 15:11, applec said:

                          Thanks for all the comments.
                          Love the idea of flouring the chicken … have to remember that.
                          As for not liking couscous… well, we will eat it but we have it when I’ve forgotten that it’s not a favorite.

                          • At 2009.04.23 15:38, Danielle said:

                            That dinner looks perfect!

                            • At 2009.04.23 17:43, Leanne said:

                              I have got to try quinoa. I was okay with the couscous but the quinoa sounds so much healthier. Great addition.

                              • At 2009.04.23 19:43, nick said:

                                I like the applecrumble’s version of this dish.

                                • At 2009.04.23 21:41, Jessica said:

                                  Thanks for the info on quinoa pronunciation! I haven’t actually said it to someone yet but I was pronouncing it wrong in my head, that’s for sure. I’m dying to try it soon — I love grains of all sorts. But I swear, it’s hiding from me at the grocery store. I need it to pop out at me. Oh well, at least now I know how to ask for it.
                                  Your dinner looks delicious! I’m glad that you enjoyed it this week.

                                  • At 2009.04.24 08:52, applec said:

                                    Jessica: I found the red inca version in the health food store. But you may be able to find it in the ethnic section of the grocery store if you can’t find it with the rice, couscous, etc.

                                    • At 2009.04.24 14:32, Natalie said:

                                      Great job. I have actually never eaten quinoa. I should try it!

                                      • At 2009.04.29 00:53, How I Lost Thirty Pounds in Thirty Days said:

                                        Great post! Just wanted to let you know you have a new subscriber- me!

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