This meal is one of my go to’s when I’m stuck for ideas. Its nothing fancy, but it’s tasty, nutritious and wholesome and most of it can be prepared in advance, leaving minimal work at witching/hunger hour (5-6pm). Quinoa is a gluten free grain, so is suitable for individuals with Coeliac Disease. It is a good alternative to cous cous and is a good source of fibre, protein and carbohydrate. Cooking quinoa is really simple and quite similar to the cooking of rice.
Today, I cut the veggies for roasting up just after breakfast and kept them in the fridge. Then at lunchtime, I roasted them and marinated the chicken, then all that was left to do in the evening was to make the quinoa and cook the chicken (I could have also cooked the quinoa at lunchtime and just reheated at dinnertime).
If I had pine nuts, I would have used those in place of the roasted chickpeas, but I had some leftover roasted chickpeas from my Roast Pumpkin and Beetroot Salad (see link for how to roast chickpeas), so I used those instead, both options adding some extra protein, which helps to make this meal more nutritionally complete, especially if you are vegetarian and choosing to omit the chicken.
- 1 chicken breast
- Juice of 1 orange
- 1/2 medium zucchini
- 1 small eggplant
- 1 small sweet potato
- 300g pumpkin
- 1 small beetroot
- 1 cup broccoli, cut into small florets
- 2 handfuls of rocket leaves
- 1/4 cup roasted chickpeas
- 50g danish feta
- 2/3 cup white quinoa
- 2 tbs olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 200°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
- To marinate the chicken, cut chicken into strips and place into a small bowl. Add 1/2 the orange juice and reserve the remainder for the dressing.
- Chop the eggplant into 1-2cm cubes and place in a colander. Sprinkle generously with salt to remove bitterness.
- Cut up remaining vegetables for roasting (all but broccoli) into 1-2 cm cubes. Place in a plastic bag or container with a lid, along with the eggplant and add 1 tbs of olive oil and shake to coat.
- Place onto baking tray and cook for ~45 minutes or until golden.
- To cook the quinoa, rinse in water, then place in a small saucepan with 1 1/3 cups of water. Bring to the boil with the lid on, then reduce the heat to a simmer.
- Add broccoli florets and continue to cook until all water is absorbed. Fluff quinoa with a fork.
- To cook the chicken, heat 1 tbs of oil in a frypan over medium heat. When hot, add the chicken, draining off excess juice. Cook for 4-5 minutes on each side.
- Place quinoa, broccoli and vegetables into a serving bowl, add the rocket, chickpeas and crumbled feta. Add reserved orange juice and gently stir to combine.
- Serve onto plate and top with chicken.