With chicken dinners, it’s easy to get stuck in that pattern of cooking the same ole’ ordinary recipe, but it’s only a matter of time before you send your taste buds down a dwindling trail of boredom. Add some excitement to a chicken-based dinner by slicing chicken on a bed of clean, crunchy ingredients brimming with bold flavors in this chicken and quinoa recipe. This Chicken Breasts with Quinoa and Kale recipe is packed with nutrient-rich superfoods like olive oil, kale, and quinoa and tossed with fun, tasty garnishes like walnut halves and soft, juicy onions. After preparing the chicken, cook the vegetables to warm, rich perfection and toss in the remaining ingredients. The nutty quinoa and rich, wilted kale form a scrumptious salad bed to hold the chicken, and pack a protein-fiber double punch guaranteed to satisfy.
Yields: 6 Servings | Calories: 271 | Total Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 221mg | Carbohydrates: 23g | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 1g | Protein: 13g | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 8
- 4 (4 to 6 ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 bunch kale, cleaned and tough ribs and stems removed, and chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped yellow or white onions
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup toasted walnut halves, sunflower, or pumpkin seeds, optional
- For the chicken breasts:
- Using the bottom of a wide jar or glass, pound the chicken breasts to an even thickness.
- Salt and pepper both sites of each chicken breast. Place a pan with the olive oil over medium heat on the stovetop. Make sure the bottom of the whole pan is coated with the olive oil.
- Add the chicken breasts. Cook for 1 minute to get golden on the bottom. Turn the breasts over and turn the heat to low. Cover the pan with a tight fitting lid. Cook for 10 minutes (check time). Do not remove the lid while cooking. After 10 minutes, remove the pan from the heat, still covered, and allow to sit for 10 additional minutes.
- Make sure there is no pink in the middle of the breasts or that a meat thermometer reads 165 F when inserted in the center.
- Meanwhile, for the quinoa and kale salad:
- Combine quinoa with 1 1/4 cup water and 1/4 teaspoon salt and bring just to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, stir once, and cover, reducing heat to lowest setting. Allow to cook for about 30 minutes, or until all water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork.
- Add olive oil to the pan, add onions, and cook for about 5 minutes, until softened and translucent.
- Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add 1/2 cup water and all the kale and stir. Cover and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes, until kale is fully wilted and cooked through. Remove from heat. Add salt, pepper, and vinegar and stir.
- Fold quinoa into kale. Top with toasted nuts or seeds, if desired. Top with the sliced chicken breasts to serve.