Tag Archives: quinoa

Quinoa Crusted Chicken.

Happy new year (eleven days late)!!

Now that it’s January I, along with most of the rest of the world, have once again resolved to live a healthier life this year.  Last year’s plans were derailed once I found out that I was expecting the Baby Burrito in February.  I only managed to gain 8 pounds while pregnant, but I’m still heavier than I’ve ever been.

The only way I’m going to be able to manage to do this is to not eat out or order in as much.  You’d think this would be easy for someone who loves to cook, but with two little ones under foot and a super busy schedule, things don’t always go as planned.  But cooking my meals and being able to control exactly what I’m putting into my body is really the only way to go.

In my mind, eating healthy means that food that is bland and devoid of flavor.  But I’m slowly learning that doesn’t have to be the case.  This chicken was incredibly flavorful thanks to the dijon and thyme, and the crunchiness added from the quinoa crust almost felt like I was eating fried chicken.  Almost. And the best part?  Not only was it incredibly delicious, each serving is less than 250 calories!  Double win.

Quinoa Crusted Chicken.


  • 1 Cup Quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 1/4 cup Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. Fresh Thyme, chopped + more for serving
  • Olive Oil Cooking Spray


Preheat oven to 300.

Add quinoa and chicken broth to a medium sized saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer and cook, covered, about 15 minutes until all liquid is absorbed.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread cooked quinoa onto the parchment and bake until lightly toasted, about 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool then transfer to a bowl.

Increase the oven temperature to 425. Combine the chicken, dijon and thyme in a bowl and mix to coat. Dip the chicken into the quinoa, pressing to coat on both sides then transfer to a baking sheet. Spray the chicken lightly with cooking spray and bake about 20 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Sprinkle with additional thyme before serving.

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Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Quinoa Casserole.

For this month’s Secret Recipe Club, I was matched up with Heather’s blog, Join Us, Pull Up A Chair.  Heather started her blog as a way to keep track of her ever growing stacks of recipes and is delighted that’s it’s become so much more to her.  Oftentimes, her daughter helps cook alongside her, bringing back memories of cooking in the kitchen with her own mother.

Browsing through all of her recipes, there were a few that caught my attention, but ultimately, it was this casserole recipe that won out.  There’s something that’s just so satisfying about a casserole.  This one caught my eye because of the quinoa.  Ususally, you’ll see a casserole like this made with rice, and by substituting protein-packed quinoa, you’re giving yourself a little bit extra of a nutritional punch.  And since casseroles are generally uber-cheesy, any additional nutrition you can get is a good thing in my book.  I also added chicken in order to take the dish from a side to an entree.

Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Quinoa Casserole – adapted from Join Us, Pull Up A Chair

  • 3/4 Cup Quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 1/2 Cups Water
  • 10 oz. Can Cream of Broccoli Soup (I use a homemade substitute)
  • 1/4 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp. Milk
  • 1 1/2 Cup Reduced Fat Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded, plus 1/2 Cup for topping
  • 1 tsp. Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
  • 2 Cups Broccoli, cooked
  • 3 Chicken Thighs (or 2 Breasts), cooked and diced
  • Parmesan Cheese, for topping

Combine the rinsed quinoa and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and cover.  Cook for 18-20 minutes, until the quinoa is fluffy.  Set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 350.  Coat a casserole dish with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the soup, yogurt, milk, cheese, sugar, pepper and nutmeg.  Stir in the quinoa, broccoli and chicken.

Spoon mixture into the prepared dish.  Top with reserved 1/2 Cup shredded cheese and parmesan cheese.  Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the cheese is golden and bubbly.

Let cool slightly before serving.

Pineapple Fried Quinoa with Honey Ginger Soy Marinated Tofu.

With my normal life having been so interrupted lately, I’ve been grocery shopping sporadically, ordering takeout when I have a meal planned to cook, making impulse purchases, and reheating leftovers.  My refrigerator looks like a bomb went off in it.  So when I had a few minutes to myself this week, I decided to take some inventory and clean it out.

I ended up throwing away a lot:  food past its expiration date, things buried in the back of the fridge and forgotten about, leftovers whose origination I couldn’t recall.  But I was also faced with a few things that were still edible, including 2 packages of tofu with the use by date of the following day.  And thus, dinner was born.

It was a really quick and easy meal to throw together, despite the half hour to press the tofu and 2 hours of marinade time (inactive prep, my favorite!).  After all that was said and done, it was on the table in less than 20 minutes.  The Husby told me to add it to our “regular rotation,” and even the Fruitaholic had a generous serving… with extra pineapple, of course.

Pineapple Fried Quinoa with Honey Ginger Soy Marinated Tofu – a The Jey of Cooking original, inspired by Gina’s Skinny Recipes

  • 1 16 oz Package Extra Firm Tofu, drained and diced
  • 1/3 Cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 Cup Honey
  • 3 Tbsp. Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. Garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. Fresh Ginger, minced
  • 1 Cup Uncooked Quinoa
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • 1 Cup Fresh Pineapple, diced
  • 1 Cup Edamame, shelled
  • 1 Cup Baby Carrots, sliced
  • 1 Sweet Onion, diced
  • 2 Tbsp Canola Oil, divided

On a large plate or rimmed baking sheet, place a layer of paper towels.  Add diced tofu on top and follow with another layer of paper towels.  Lay a kitchen towel over the paper towels and place a heavy pan or book on top.  Allow to press for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

In the meantime, in a medium bowl, combine soy sauce, honey, rice wine vinegar, garlic and ginger and whisk until well mixed.  When tofu is ready, place inside a gallon sized plastic bag and add the marinade.  Place the bag, on its side, in the refrigerator and allow to marinate for at least 2 hours, turning halfway through.

When tofu has marinated and you are ready to use, rinse the uncooked quinoa under cold water until no longer foamy.  Add the quinoa to a medium saucepan with 2 cups of water.  Add a generous drizzle of soy sauce and rice wine vinegar and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cover with the lid slightly ajar.  Cook for 10-15 minutes, until water is absorbed.  Allow to cool for 5 minutes and fluff with a fork.

In a stir fry pan or wok, heat 1 Tbsp. of canola oil over medium high heat.  When hot, add the tofu.  Cook, stirring frequently for 3 minutes, then add the pineapple.  Cook until the tofu starts to brown on all sides, then remove from heat and set aside.

Add 1 Tbsp. of canola oil to the pan and add the carrots, onions and edamame.  Cook, stirring frequently for 3 minutes, then add eggs and scramble well.  Add the quinoa to the wok and stir everything together for another 2 minutes.  Fold in the tofu and pineapple until well combined.

Quinoa Cookies.

Cookies are probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of quinoa (pronounced keen-wah).

Quinoa is all over the place nowadays.  The little grain is incredibly nutrient dense, gluten free and high in protein.  According to Wikipedia, NASA is even considering taking it into space on long-duration manned space flights.  Some people use it as a substitute for oatmeal, some as a substitute for rice.  Me?  I chose cookies to guide me into the world of quinoa.

And it’s actually pretty good (I tasted a spoonful once it was done cooking, before it went into the cookies), and it gave the cookies a pleasant chewy texture and an unexpected (but welcome) nuttiness.

The Fruitaholic loves cookies (but really, who doesn’t?), so when he asked for one after another, I felt okay giving them to him since they’re “fake healthy.”  With a little help from the Husby and I, they were gone within a matter of days.

Quinoa Cookies – slightly adapted from Food and Whine

  • 1/3 Cup Butter
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • 3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 1/2 Cups Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Shredded Coconut
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 Cups Cooked Quinoa, completely cooled
  • 1 Cup Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 375.

In a large bowl, beat together butter, eggs, vanilla and sugar.  In another bowl, add flour, coconut, baking powder and baking soda.  Stir to combine.  Slowly add flour mixture to the wet ingredients.  When combined, stir in quinoa and chocolate chips.

Drop dough balls onto a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, until edges start to brown.  Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a cookie rack.