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If you often feel like snacking between meals, it’s probably because you’re not packing enough protein into your diet.
Compared to carbohydrates, which your body digests very quickly, protein requires a longer digestion period and tends to keep you fuller longer.
This means you’ll have less of a problem with unhealthy snacking and your tummy is satisfied for longer!
One of the best ways to include more protein into your diet is by eating quinoa, an increasingly popular superfood that is full of protein.
When I cook, I like to use a mix of both red and white varieties for a contrast in color and texture.
Today’s recipe is simple, and while it does require some patience because of the marinating time, it’s really easy to bring together.
Think a bowl full of freshly cooked quinoa, topped with sautéed chicken and colorful vegetables. Good for you, a pretty sight for the eyes, and it’s bound to keep you satiated for a very long time!
Ready to start cooking now? Let’s head straight to the recipe!
Cooking by the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prepare the Mise en Place
Measure the quinoa, stock, water, soy sauce, rice wine, and cornstarch.
Set out the chicken breasts, lemon, garlic, green onions, ginger, broccoli, zucchini, carrots, and red onion on your counter so you will have them ready to go.
Juice and zest the lemon, and grate the ginger. Make sure you have enough for both the marinade and the veggie stir fry!
Mince the garlic, chop the green onions, and peel the carrots. Cut the broccoli into small florets, and dice the zucchini, carrots, and red onion.
You can also wait to prep your veg until your meat is marinating, if you like.
Cut the meat into 1-inch cubes. Be sure to use separate cutting boards for your vegetables and your meat to avoid cross-contamination, or cut the meat after you cut your vegetables.
Those cutlets our slippery! If you accidentally drop one on the floor, check out our post to find out what you should do next.
Step 2 – Cook the Carbs
For the quinoa, I used a blend of red and white. You can use whatever variety you prefer.
Rinse the quinoa a few times until the water runs clear, then combine it with the chicken stock and water and bring to a boil. Rinsing removes the saponins, which have a bitter taste.
Reduce to heat to low and then cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Fluff the quinoa with a fork, and keep it covered for another 5 minutes. Set aside.
Step 3 – Marinate the Chicken
In a large bowl, stir to combine the soy sauce, rice wine, lemon juice, lemon zest, grated ginger, and cornstarch.
Add the chicken cubes and use your fingers to massage the meat with the marinade until the marinade is evenly distributed and the meat is well coated.
Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, to allow the meat to soak in the flavors. But remember – overnight marinating is probably not the best for this recipe, since long soaks in acidic ingredients can toughen meat.
Step 4 – Sauté the Veggies and Meat
Heat your canola oil in a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat, swirling to coat every inch of the surface.
Add the minced garlic, chopped green onions, and grated ginger. Sauté for approximately 1 minute, then add the broccoli, zucchini, carrots, and red onion. Cook for another 2 minutes until the vegetables are just cooked.
Make a small well in the middle of the vegetables, and add the marinated chicken, sautéing for another 4 to 5 minutes until the meat is cooked through and the juices run clear.
Pour the remainder of the marinade into the pan and continue to cook until thickened and bubbling, to create a reduction. This will serve as a delicious sauce for the dish.
Step 5 – Serve and Enjoy!
Divide the quinoa evenly into two bowls and top with the meat and veggies. Squeeze some lemon over each dish, tuck in, and enjoy!
A High-Protein Meal for Longer Days
In this simple recipe, the protein-rich superfood quinoa is paired with lemon chicken and vegetables to give you a healthy and nutritious meal.
This will keep you full for longer and give you plenty of energy to last through the longer, warmer days of the spring and summer! You’ll also really like our black bean mango quinoa bowls for another fun summer recipe.
Ever considered enjoying these tiny seeds for breakfast? Try our delicious quinoa hot cereal, and enjoy a gluten-free, protein-rich start to your morning.
How do you usually eat your quinoa? Share your recipe ideas in the comments below.
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Photos by Felicia Lim, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details.
*Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Felicia Lim
Felicia Lim is a Singaporean who moved to Argentina for love. Based in Buenos Aires, also known as “the Paris of South America,” she fills her days with freelance writing, recipe development, and food photography – three passions that give her endless joy. When she isn’t typing away at her computer, cooking in the kitchen, or shooting in her balcony-studio, you can probably find her curled up on the couch, lost in the pages of a good book.