Baked Quinoa and Chicken Parmesan

Jul 16 2014

A whole grain twist on a classic dish –delicious, gluten-free, and packed with protein.
Recipe adapted from Elly Says Opa! 

Serves 6 

Dietitian's Tip: 

Serve with steamed veggies or a side salad to work toward your daily vegetable intake goal. Pour a glass of fat-free milk to enjoy with your meal. 

Ingredients: 

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes (no added salt)
basil and oregano, to taste
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water or broth
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken, cooked* and cut into bite sized pieces
2/3 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
2 tablespoon grated Parmesan or Romano cheese 

Preparation: 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and spray a 2 qt. baking dish with cooking oil.
Make the sauce:
Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and add the oil. Stir in the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 30-60 seconds. Add the balsamic vinegar, scraping anything off the bottom of the pan, and cook until it’s almost fully absorbed.
Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, basil, oregano, and pepper to taste. Bring to a low boil, and then simmer while you prepare the rest of the meal.
Make the quinoa:
Place the quinoa in a mesh strainer, and rinse with cold water for about 2 minutes.
Place the quinoa and water or broth in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil (if using water, you may want to add a little salt). Cover with a lid, reduce the heat, and simmer until cooked, about 20-25 minutes.
Assembly:
In a large bowl, combine the quinoa and chicken with the sauce and mix thoroughly.
Place mixture in the baking dish and top with the mozzarella cheese and Parmesan.
Cover with foil and bake for about 15 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake until cheese is lightly browned and bubbly, about 10 more minutes.
*Season chicken with Italian seasoning(no salt), and then pan-fry it in about 1 tablespoon of oil. You can cook the chicken any way you like. 

Nutrition Information: 

Per Serving: 355 calories, 10 g total fat, 3 g saturated fat, 31 g carbohydrates, 33 g protein, 5 g fiber, 360 mg sodium, 393 mg potassium, 79 mg magnesium, 186 mg calcium