Growing up in Ivory Coast, I discovered Quinoa when I arrived in Canada. It is a very popular cooking ingredient in North and Latin America. Although I knew Quinoa is a ‘super’ healthy seed, one bite of it was enough for me throw away my plate. No matter how many times I've tried, the bitterness and the strong taste were a deal breaker. Except one day, as I was attending a conference here in Winnipeg called ''SHEday'', they served us a plate of Quinoa during lunch break. The minute I saw my plate, I rolled my eyes thinking to myself..." please everything but this!". Fortunately enough, I gave it a try mainly because I didn’t not want to be rude or get a whole speech from my colleagues about how "healthy" Quinoa is. Surprisingly, the first bite of it was pretty enjoyable; an explosion of flavors. I could taste a lot of Latin-american spices which completely numbed the bitterness. After that experience, I tried to reproduce the same dish a couple of time and came out with this recipe; adding a sweet&sour sauce that I spray on top to balance out the taste and keep it moisturized. This has now become my go-to recipe every time I want to skip on the rice. You will need
-2 cups of Quinoa
-3 cups of chicken broth
- 1 cup of Salsa
- Chicken breast ( or any part)
-Peppers ( yellow and red)
- one diced onions
-fresh cilantro, black beans ,corn ( optional)
-one mashed Garlic clove
-one mashed shallot
- green onion
Sweet & sour sauce:
- 3 tbsp of Honey
-1 tsp apple cider vinegar
-1/4 cup of water
In a greased pot over medium heat, add the mashed garlic, shallot, diced onions and stir for 5 min. Once they become brown ( 5 min ) add the broth, the salsa, 1 tbsp of Cajun and bring it to boil. Pour the quinoa then add some salt& pepper. Let it cook for 20 min, until it '' fluffs-up'' then add a spoon of butter.
Meanwhile, season the pieces of chicken overnight or for 2 hours with a mix made of Cajun, mashed garlic, mashed shallot and salt&pepper. Roast the chicken in the oven for 5-10 min (I bbqued mine for more flavor ).
Finally for plating, dice some fresh peppers, green onions, cilantro... and mix it with your Quinoa .Serve it with a sweet sauce by mixing the honey, apple-cider and the water. Pour a little bit on the the top of your plate or on every bite you take. And Voila, bon Appetit.