Sunday 12 October 2014

Herbed Chicken and Vegetables with Quinoa

Since moving in together, the Dragon and I have both developed a case of the Contentment Spread. Our bellies have both grown and we have a little more under our chins than was there a little while ago.  I don't believe in dieting per se because it simply doesn't work long term.  We are just starting to watch the health value of what we eat a bit better than we have done recently and making sure to go on on active dates more often like bike rides and bush walks.  We may even give rock climbing a go.

We will still have balance and eat pasta and ice cream because I believe in balance. And not everything I post is going to be "health food". But here is a tasty and simple chicken meal which will serve 4-5 which is in line with my goals.

Miropoix is the basis of a wide variety of beautiful Italian and French dishes.  It is a classic trio of onions, carrots and celery slowly cooked down to make the basis of just about anything.  This meal is based on a miropoix with leek instead of onion, along with some simple ingredients and herbs.  It is surprisingly yum.


  • 2 chicken breasts, diced into approx 2 cm cubes
  • 3 carrots, chopped finely
  • 3 celery sticks,  chopped finely
  • 2 leeks (white part if FODMAPs are not an issue for you, green part only + 1/2 tsp of onion infused oil for flavour if they are), chopped finely into strips
  • 1 punnet of perino or cherry tomatoes
  • 2 minced garlic cloves (or 1 tsp garlic infused oil for a low FODMAP version)
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock (check ingredients if following a low FODMAP diet)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa.  We used organic tricolour quinoa because that is what was in our cupboard.  

Potential Spins

If quinoa is not your bag then you could try couscous instead or leave it out altogether.  The rosemary and thyme are the stars of this dish so try to find herbs as fresh as possible.  If you use other fresh herbs you can completely change the flavour profile.  For something completely different, you could do the following swap: chicken for beef, chicken stock for beef stock, white wine for red wine and rosemary/thyme for oregano/basil/marjoram to make a completely different meal.  By buying carrots in a big bag (my shopping centre sells about 8 carrots for $1)and a whole bunch of celery and extra leek, you could double up with both options of this meal and have two very different meals to do 4-5 couple servings without breaking the bank.


  1. Add leek to a lightly oiled frypan.  Cook five minutes or until starting to become transparent.
  2. Add carrot and celery. Cook on medium for approximately 10 minutes until they become soft. Add garlic and stir until it becomes fragrant.
  3. Add chicken to pan, seal.
  4. Add perino/grape tomatoes. 
  5. Add liquids and herbs.  Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for approximately 30-40 minutes.
  6. After about 15 minutes, check the celery/carrot and pop the lid on for 5 minutes if they aren't as soft as you would like.  
  7. Meanwhile cook quinoa in two cups of boiling water in a saucepan.  Simmer with the lid on for 15 minutes.  You know it is ready when the germ (looks like a tail) separates and curls around the quinoa seeds.

  8. Once everything is cooked, stir the quinoa through and serve!

My Take Aways

This meal was not only healthy but delicious.  It makes a lot so it is good for a couple of nights.  I don't think it would freeze well.  I would recommend using a mid range wine rather than a cheapie and drinking it with the meal.  Don't cook with it if you wouldn't drink it :)  Pairing the wine you cooked into the meal is a sure-fire match!  I can't wait to try the beef spin that I mentioned in Potential Spins above.

How would you spin this?

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