Did you make a New Year's resolution this year? I did not, but like lots of people, I want to try and keep my body healthy-workout more often and eat "real", homemade food. This is a great recipe to make to start off to a healthy New Year! It is really filling and you don't miss the frying or the pasta at all!
I actually made this dish last year-in December. My best friend Amy and I always do an annual Christmas dinner and this year instead of going out, I decided I wanted to make her dinner-she is a wonderful person and the best friend anyone could ever ask for, so it really is the least I could do! Amy definitely appreciates a healthy meal, so I knew she would love this! I served this with a salad and garlic knots-who needs a restaurant?
If you are really short on time, you can use jarred sauce-but I promise that this sauce is not only healthier, it tastes better than anything you can find in a jar! You can also prepare the dish and refrigerate it and then bake it right before you are ready to eat.
Baked Chicken Parmesan with Quinoa
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (15 oz) can no salt added diced tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Dried basil and oregano, to taste (I used about 1/4 cup total)
1 cup quinoa, uncooked
2 cups water1 cup (4 oz) fresh mozzarella cheese, shredded and divided
1 ounce parmigiano-reggiano or pecorino romano, grated
2 tablespoons breadcrumbs (optional, exclude to make gluten-free)
Fill a large saucepan with 1-1 1/2 inches water. Season with a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and add chicken. Cover and allow to simmer for 5-6 minutes. Flip over the chicken and cook an additional 5-6 minutes. Remove from water, allow to cool slightly, and chop into bite-sized pieces.
To 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 brown bits from the bottom of the pan, and cook until it’s almost fully absorbed. Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, red pepper flakes, basil, oregano, and pepper to taste. Bring to a low boil, and then simmer while you prepare the rest of the meal.
Place the quinoa in a mesh strainer, and rinse with cold water for about 1-2 minutes.
Add the quinoa, 2 cups of water and a dash of salt to a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Cover with a lid, reduce the heat, and simmer until quinoa is cooked, about 20-25 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375. Spray a large baking dish with cooking spray.
In a large bowl or in the skillet with sauce, combine the cooked quinoa and chicken with the sauce and mix thoroughly.
Place half the quinoa mixture in the baking dish, and sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Top with the remaining quinoa mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella cheese, and the parmigiano/pecorino. Add the breadcrumbs, if using.
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.
Source: Prevention RD, originally from Elly Says Opa, as seen on Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks