Italian Chicken Bake and Creamy Parmesan Quinoa

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There are many things we love in this world. A few of those things include Parmesan cheese, chicken and quinoa. This dish is all of those things!IMG_3026There are two more things we love. Delicious meals and easy meals. This meal is a two-for-one. It is both easy AND delicious.

IMG_3030Most people might think of this as a “one pot meal.” However, it’s cooked in the oven, so I like to call it a “one pan meal.” IMG_3032And we paired it with a quinoa. I cannot say enough about how much we love quinoa!IMG_3038We currently have more quinoa than we know what to do with, and I am not upset about that in the slightest. What does that mean to you? More quinoa recipes to come!IMG_3040One thing I will say about quinoa….always cook it in chicken broth. Always. It’s still good in water, but the chicken broth adds such a great level of flavor. However; if your recipe calls for water and salt, pare back on the salt, the chicken broth will provide its own salt. IMG_3057We paired this easy Italian Chicken Bake with Creamy Parmesan Quinoa, and it was amazing! We hope you enjoy it as well! IMG_3068

Italian Chicken Bake:

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 roam tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 jar artichoke hearts (in water), drained and quartered
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2/3 cup mozzarella
  • fresh basil

Directions:

  1. Core and chop Roma tomatoes.
  2. Place tomatoes, artichoke hearts, salt & pepper (to taste), sugar and flour in a large bowl. Mix.
  3. Place the tomato mixture in a 9×13 pan, and place the chicken breasts on top of the mixture.
  4. Place in a 350 degree oven, and cook until done; about 35 minutes; or until chicken is almost done; about 160 degrees.
  5. Top each chicken breast with mozzarella cheese. Place under the broiler for a few minutes until the cheese is melted and vegetables are caramelized.
  6. When cheese is melted, pull from the oven and sprinkle with chopped fresh basil.

This can be served as is, or over pasta.

Adapted from Aaron & Jill.

Creamy Parmesan Quinoa

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1-3/4 cups chicken broth (could use vegetable broth)
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Rinse quinoa very well under cold running water in a fine mesh sieve then drain well and set aside.
  2. Heat extra virgin olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat then add garlic and saute until barely golden brown, stirring constantly (watch closely as it can go from golden brown to burnt very quickly!).
  3. Add quinoa then toast for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add chicken broth then turn heat up to high and bring to a boil. Place a lid on top then turn heat down to medium-low and cook until nearly all the liquid has been absorbed and quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes.
  4. Stir in Parmesan cheese then serve.

Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats.

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Ancho Chicken Tacos with Cilantro Slaw and Avocado Cream

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I love Mexican food. It’s one food I could eat over and over again. If calories didn’t count, I would probably eat chips and salsa at every meal. Unfortunately, calories do count, and therefore we’re always looking for healthier versions of our favorite meals. Enter these Ancho Chile Tacos! Don’t get me wrong, I love a good enchilada topped in red sauce with melted cheese on top; but I also love a good “fresh” taco. This is just that!

These tacos do require a few steps, but let’s get started with the chicken first.

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Begin by slicing your chicken into 1/4 in strips (give or take). Then, toss the chicken with the ground chipotle peppers, garlic salt, and cumin.
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It may not appear to be delicious at this point, but bear with me, they’ll be quite delicious! Let this “marinate” for a few minutes, and then heat a large skillet over high heat. Coat the pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove chicken from pan. Tent with foil to keep warm until ready to serve.

Next, let’s make the Cilantro Slaw!

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In a bowl, combine 1 tablespoon juice, cole slaw mix, green onions, cilantro, canola oil and salt. Toss to coat.

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Finally, we’ll prep the Avocado Cream. This is the most tedious part of the whole dish, but please make this….it’s definitely worth it. I promise!! Combine lime rind, remaining 1 tablespoon lime juice, sour cream, milk and avocado in a blender or food processor; process until smooth.

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Finally, it’s time to assemble (and EAT!) the tacos. Layer tortillas with chicken, slaw and avocado cream. Then, get to eating. I promise you won’t regret it!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/8 teaspoon grated lime rind
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
  • 1/4 cup light sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons 1% low-fat milk
  • 1/2 ripe peeled avocado, diced
  • 2 cups packaged cole slaw mix
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 (6-inch) flour tortillas

Directions:

  1. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Sprinkle chicken evenly with chile powder, garlic salt, and cumin. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove chicken from pan.
  2. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon juice, slaw, onions, cilantro, oil, and salt, tossing to coat.
  3. Combine rind, 1 tablespoon juice, and next 3 ingredients (through avocado) in a blender or food processor; process until smooth.
  4. Heat tortillas by wrapping in aluminum foil and placing in a 250 degree oven for 5-10 minutes. Divide chicken mixture evenly among tortillas. Top each tortilla with about 1 tablespoon avocado mixture and 1/4 cup slaw mixture.

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Adapted from Cooking Light.