Team Drew Fitness

 

By Kelli Kratt | TeamDrewFitness

I get bored with food really fast....but also I get stuck on ingredients and just want to find different ways to have them.  I do not often use quinoa and lately I have been wondering why not.  It is gluten free, so great for those with wheat allergies or sensitivities to gluten and packs a decent amount of protein for a carbohydrate. I'm stuck on fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil lately so I wanted to find a way to combine those with quinoa...so quinoa chicken caprese was born. It is easy because you can simply use leftover chicken breast or plain chicken from meal prep to make this meal quick.  It's full of protein, has some veggies, and a clean carbohydrate source.  It's a great healthy option that fits well in any diet plan but kids like it too (or my picky one does anyways!!)

 

Quinoa Chicken Caprese 

Yields 4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 cups cooked chicken breast, chopped ( your preference on how much - I always do 2 cups)
  • 1¼ cups uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained 
  • 2 cups petite Roma or cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 1 white onion, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper, or more to your liking
  • ¼ cup packed basil leaves, thinly sliced or chiffonade style
  • 4 ounces fresh part-skim mozzarella cheese, grated (about 1 cup of grated cheese)
  • 4 ounces fresh part-skim mozzarella cheese, sliced into 1/4–inch rounds
  • 2 beefsteak tomatoes, sliced into ¼-inch rounds
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar (optional step)
    1. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.
    2. First cook the quinoa.  In a small pot, bring the quinoa and 1¾ cups water to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook, covered, for 15 minutes until all of the water has been absorbed. Let the quinoa rest, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff with a spoon or fork.
    3. While the quinoa is cooking, place the halved tomatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and fresh ground pepper. Transfer to the oven and roast for 10 minutes until they’re tender and the skins have started to burst.
    4. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a small pan over medium heat. When hot, add the minced onion and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the onions have become translucent and the garlic is fragrant.
    5. In a large bowl combine the chicken, quinoa, roasted tomatoes, cooked shallots and garlic, and basil. Stir in the grated mozzarella, crushed red pepper, and season with salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.
    6. Transfer the quinoa mixture to a baking dish or large skillet.  
    7. Make two rows of overlapping pieces of tomato and mozzarella slices. I do 2 tomato per mozzarella, but you could add more mozzarella if it fits your plan  :)
    8. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and lightly browned.
    9. OPTIONAL - While your quinoa bake is in the oven, place the balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil and cook for 3-5 minutes until the vinegar becomes syrupy. Remove from the heat and set aside.
    10. Sprinkle your quinoa bake with freshly sliced basil and drizzle with the balsamic reduction. Serve immediately.