Every so often, I will be posting a step by step recipe photo post like this one featuring a favorite healthy, fast and very flavorful Italian dinner. It is really important to have a few multi-purpose high quality seasonings to have on hand in your kitchen spice section. IF you don’t have a spice cabinet or drawer, then start building one by grabbing two of my recent additions (pictured above), both were purchased at Williams-Sonoma… here and here. The lemon herb seasoning will be used in the Sicilian chicken dish, and it is also fab on fish, salad or in a pot of soup. The blend combines tart lemon peel with thyme, garlic, parsley, and ground black pepper making it the perfect addition to pan searing your chicken. The white truffle salt will be used in the quinoa dish, and this little jar packs a punch… a teensy bit goes a long way. You will use this salt all the time once you try it — great on oven roasted potatoes, steamed veggies, and in savory omelettes or frittatas. Now that you have learned a quick lesson on basic seasoning… it’s time to cook. Oh, and PLEASE never serve bland or underseasoned food… it’s just such a debbie downer moment after all of that prep and time (well 20ish minutes for this dish), but still… time is precious and if you are going to cook at least wow yourself and/or your guests.
- 1 bag of 15 minute ready quinoa // I used Truroots Organic last night, and it was delish. I have seen it at HEB, Tom Thumb, Whole Foods and Central Market.
- 1 package of skinless boneless chicken breasts // The 3-pack works great, and if you are cooking for 1 or 2 you will have leftover chicken to chop up for a salad the next day.
- 1 container of cherry tomatoes
- spinach leaves (optional)
- 1 jar of capers
- 1 lemon
- 5 pitted green olives
- herbs – basil, rosemary, green onion, parsley
- olive oil
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic (I store the kind in the glass jar in my fridge)
- truffle salt & lemon pepper seasoning… if you can’t grab the two I used, then find something similar on the spice aisle
- quinoa ingredients (skim milk, light herb Laughing Cow cheese, reduced-fat feta)
- add half a cup of quinoa to a small pot (that has a cover) on your stove and add 1 cup of water… bring this to a boil
- once it’s boiling, put the cover on, reduce heat to low and set a timer for 15 minutes… while this is cooking start the chicken dish by chopping your olives, 10 cherry tomatoes in half, 3 green onion springs, half a lemon and add two tablespoons of capers and place it in a bowl
- your bowl should look like this…
- then in a large sautee pan or skillet (mine has a lid) add 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of garlic and turn your heat to medium high… it should start looking like this
- after 1 minute add in your bowl of chopped freshness and give it a stir (add a little bit of S&P) and squeeze the lemon, add the lemon to the mixture once juice is squeezed
- this step is optional… I had some leftover spinach in my fridge, so I chopped it up and added it in
- once that mixture is all combined, reduce the heat to medium and let it rest for a few minutes giving it a stir every so often // the quinoa should be almost done, so take a look and see if it’s time to fluff it with a fork…
- once the tomatoes in the pan are tender and the spinach has wilted then remove the mixture and put it back in the prep bowl // spray that same pan with a little non-stick cooking spray and place your chicken (seasoned with lemon herb seasoning) into the pan
- let the chicken brown for 3 minutes on each side… it should look like this when it’s time to add the bowl of vegetables back in…
- now add the cooked bowl of ingredients back in and cover on medium low for 5-7 more minutes… if you don’t have a cover that’s ok
- your kitchen is going to be smelling amazing by the way… while the chicken finishes up, you can complete the quinoa dish by adding a few spoonfuls of skim milk, 1 wedge of laughing cow cheese, chopped rosemary, chopped parsley, spoonful of feta, 1 teaspoon of truffle salt and some S&P… give it a stir and transfer it to a bowl and garnish with rosemary… it should look like this…
- now arrange and beautify your chicken dish on a platter or in a casserole dish // remove the chicken from the pan and then top with the tomatoes, capers, spinach, olives and green onion sauce // garnish with fresh herbs and lemon slices…
- and enjoy!