Chicken Quinoa Bake with Orange Jicama Salad

I was on a mission this week not to eat any processed foods, added sugar or dairy so my meal plan included a lot of white meat and veggies. The kids are a bit tired of chicken now, so the hubby is planning to take us to Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar for dinner. I can get a chicken burger without cheese or a bun and a really delicious pick your own ingredients salad on the side. The kids can get good old american cheese burgers and fries and the hubby can get something interesting like spicy jalapenos or crazy big bacon. It’s nice we can all get something we like at the same place and it’s a real treat since we don’t go out to eat very often.

For this recipe I really just wanted a way to make quinoa and chicken in the same pan in the oven without using a cream based soup. Most of the recipes I found online all had Cream of Mushroom or some sort of variation of that nature.

So I just winged and it turned out pretty good. My family really likes garlic and that was the main flavor here. If there are other flavors you like better, definitely throw them in. Chicken and Quinoa alone are both pretty bland and neither soak up flavor very well.

The salad featured my two favorite in season ingredients right now, jicama and oranges. It was my favorite salad of the week. I made 4 separate salads this night instead of a big bowl buffet style. One of my daughters doesn’t like avocado so it was easier to make sure everyone got what they wanted. It actually turned out to be way too much food for one dinner so I had quite a bit of salad and chicken leftovers for lunch the next day and a container of quinoa for later use.

Ingredients:

Chicken Quinoa Bake:

  • 1 t. Olive Oil
  • 1 C. Quinoa (rinsed)
  • 1 14.5 oz. Can Chicken Broth
  • 4 Thin-Cut Chicken Breasts
  • 3 Cloves Garlic minced
  • Black Pepper

Orange Jicama Salad:

  • Romaine Lettuce
  • ¼ Jicama
  • 2 Cara Cara Oranges
  • 2 Green Onions
  • ½ Avocado

Steps:

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.

Pour olive oil into 13 x 9 glass baking pan and rub to cover bottom and sides. Add rinsed quinoa and chicken broth and shake or stir until fairly evenly distributed. Place chicken breast on top trying not to overlap too much. Sprinkle with minced garlic and black pepper to taste.

Cover tightly with foil and bake for 45 minutes.

Remove foil, stir quinoa underneath chicken and take the temperature of the biggest piece of chicken. (Mine were about 137 at this stage and quinoa had not opened yet). Replace foil and return to oven for an additional 15 minutes. Chicken should be a minimum of 165 degrees in the center of the thickest part and quinoa should be open. (They will seem slightly larger than when you started and their little curly tails will be sticking out.)

While the chicken and quinoa are still in the oven, make the salads.

Chop lettuce and arrange in bottom of the bowls. Peel 2 oranges using a knife and cut into small pieces. Chop jicama into small squares and chop green onions. Slice ½ an avocado in the peel two ways and then scoop. Arrange all veggies on top of the lettuce. Return to refrigerator and then serve with dinner. We used lemon or lime juice and avocado spray for dressing, but any vinaigrette would also work.

Not too many ingredients and one pan makes for a quick weeknight dinner
These are thin-cut chicken, regular whole breasts would probably take too long to cook compared to the quinoa
More quinoa than one family of 4 can eat!
I want to eat this salad again….

Nutrition Facts: (1 Piece of Chicken, ½ C. Cooked Quinoa, 1 Salad no dressing)

  • Calories: 417
  • Protein: 34.9
  • Fat: 13.8
  • Carbs: 37.7

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