Quinoa is a gluten-free nutritional powerhouse. It is often called a ‘grain’ but it is actually a seed and is pronounced keen-wah – just in case you go asking for it and they look at you like you are a twit for pronouncing it how it’s spelt :) Quinoa is a complete protein source containing 9 essential amino acids and is particularly high in Lysine which is responsible for healthy tissue growth and repair. Quinoa is also a great source of magnesium, is low in fat and is a lower carbohydrate solution to grains.
2 cups quinoa (soaked for a few hours prior if you have time, overnight is even better)
1 cup white wine (optional)
4 cups hot Vegetable Stock (you can use chicken if you prefer)
1/2 cup fresh parsley- chopped
1/4 cup fresh thyme (you can use basil, sage or any other herb you like)- chopped
1 onion- finely diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbs oil of your choice (I used macadamia)
Cracked pepper to taste
2 chicken breasts- cubed
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 zucchini- cut into chunks
Few handfuls of baby spinach (optional, I just like green stuff in my dinner)
Heat a large deep frypan or saucepan, add oil and cook chicken until sealed and about 1/2 cooked. Remove from pan and set aside. Add garlic and onion and sauté until onion is soft. Add drained and rinsed quinoa and wine and bring to a simmer for a 3 minutes. Add 2 cups of the stock, bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally & add stock a bit at a time as it is getting absorbed. After 5 minutes, add remaining stock and all remaining ingredients and stir well. Bring back to a simmer and simmer for a further 10 mins, stirring occasionally or until quinoa is cooked. Once it is cooked, remove from heat and serve.