I love making food that is good for your body and your soul but those two are not always compatible in the same bite! Yes it’s wonderful when you find a ‘healthified’ sweet treat, or comforting dish that has been given the ‘skimmed’ treatment, but can we all just be honest for a moment?…..it’s not as good as the real thing. This doesn’t mean we give up on eating the healthy versions more than the non-healthy ones (on the contrary it’s nice to have options when you want a quick fix and don’t want to indulge) but constant compromise can be so uninspiring. My hubby feels so cheated when I present him with an alternative low fat dish cloaked with a superior title like Chicken Alfredo using Greek Yogurt or Spaghetti Squash. If it’s presented as Creamy Squash he will be fine and enjoy every bite (as long as it’s tasty) and I have to say, I understand where he is coming from. I don’t mind eating a slimmed down version of fried chicken but I won’t go round proclaiming that it’s better than the real deal. Or that if somehow someone invented a way to eat real chocolate cake with no calories and the benefits of a multi-vitamin, I would chose the zucchini version! (If only, right?!) However, the most successful healthy dishes we come across are the ones that stand up proud in their originality and are just simply delicious! Today’s Pinteresting Monday recipe is exactly that! It’s the perfect blend of fresh and zesty ingredients with earthy warm spices, food that is good for you and most importantly it’s not trying to be something it isn’t! We love it and I wouldn’t change a thing!
Blackened Chicken and Cilantro Lime Quinoa with Greek Yogurt Avocado Puree (from Baking with Blonde)
½ Teaspoon of Paprika
¼ Teaspoon of Salt
¼ Teaspoon of Pepper
¼ Teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
¼ Teaspoon of Onion Powder
¼ Teaspoon of Cumin
1 Teaspoon of Olive Oil
2 Cups of Low Sodium Chicken Stock
1 Cup of Quinoa
Juice and Zest from Two Limes
A Dash of Salt and Pepper
2 Tablespoons of Cilantro, chopped
½ Small carton of Greek yogurt
Combine all the dry seasonings in a small bowl. Mix them together and then season both sides of each chicken breast. (I double and triple these spices and keep the mix in a small air tight container for whenever I want to make this chicken- just one step to make it easier.)
Add the teaspoon of olive oil to a large pan or skillet. Heat the olive oil for a minute over medium/high heat. Add the chicken breasts to the pan. Cook for seven minutes on each side with the lid on.
Add the chicken stock and quinoa to a medium sauce pan. Bring to a simmer over medium/low heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for ten to fifteen minutes with the lid on, until all the stock has been absorbed.
After the chicken breasts have cooked all the way through, remove them from the pan and let them rest for seven minutes before slicing them.
Add the warm quinoa to a large bowl. Toss in the lime zest, lime juice, salt and pepper, and chopped cilantro. Mix to combine.
Serve the sliced chicken breast on top of the quinoa. If you find the blackened seasoning too spicy, you can add a quick and easy avocado cream sauce to cool it down. (You should add this regardless- it’s delicious!)
*to make avocado sauce, combine avocado, Greek yogurt, teaspoon of lemon juice and a little cilantro in a mini-food processor. Add milk to obtain desired consistency.