Zesty lemon chicken with quinoa and greens

Hey, it’s me again.

And today I bring you zesty, lemony, buttery chicken with a big fat helping of greens and quinoa.

Or GREENOA! (how has this only just come to me!?)

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Greenoa – you heard it here first.

I first had greenoa™ about a month or so ago when cooking at my boyfriend’s flat, only without the creative title. That spark of genuis came much later; just two sentences ago in fact.

Now three.

Four.

It’s up there in the brackets ^

Anyway, it kinda happened out of nowhere as there was very little in the fridge, but it got so DARN YUMMY that I ended up scribbling it down in my portable blog book (which I carry with me at all times) and bookmarking the page for later. Then I made it every night for a week. And gave Alex some for his lunchbox.

It was great.

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Lunchboxing like a pro!

FYI on the greenoa™

Essentially greens and quinoa – and yet it’s so much more than that!

 It involves:

  • Quinoa cooked in a hearty chicken stock
  • Greens; more specifically kale and broccoli because they’re super trendy and cool
  • A zesty-fresh lemony dressing with olive oil, garlic, spring onions and salt and pepper
  • And a whacking great handful of fresh parsley
  • And some more salt and pepper for good measure
  • And a bit more parsley
  • Ooh and some rocket because YUM!
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Look at all those greens!

Now let’s play a little game I like to call:

Name that grain!

Quinoa is that posh grain that no one knows how to pronounce. It waltzed its way onto the shelves and was all “hey you, try to pronounce my name”. Turns out it’s not ‘kwin-oh-ah’ (like noah) and is in fact ‘keen-waar’ (like far). Who knew!

8c9eb7e01a08d6aea63dd8fc1a45fa2bd3062b56_hq

I mean is there a more middle class name for a grain? I reckon we’ll soon have kids called quinoa. I bet there already is one.

Poor kid.

I’m getting side-tracked.

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Keen-waar

What we need to know about quinoa is that:

a) it’s a whole grain which is great news – none of that refined stuff

b) it’s naturally gluten free so YAY everyone can join the party

and c) it’s high in protein so will keep our tummies fuller for longer.

I don’t know about you but I really need that last one, I’m hungry ALL the time.

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Okay, so that’s the greenoa™ sorted. On to the chicken.

I don’t actually eat a lot of meat anymore. I grew up eating it almost every night but I now realise my body just doesn’t need a lot of it and I love greens so much that I had to make space on my plate! But, when I do eat meat, I tend to go for a free range, locally farmed, corn-fed chicken breast. It just doesn’t get much better than that.

Until you pan fry it with spring onions, lemon zest and knob of butter. In which case yeah, it just got better.

Succulent, flavoursome, good quality chicken with zesty-fresh greenoa™. That’s what we’re all here for.

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Look at that buttery, zesty goodness!

Does it only work with chicken?

Goodness gracious no! It works with whatever you want it to work with my friends. Just before I sat down to write this post I had it with some baked salmon. And I just KNOW it would taste great with tuna steak, or white fish. Or for a meatier version, try it alongside a pork chop, or some grass-fed steak.

Maybe you’re a veggie? No problem! Top with some crumbled feta or a little tofu and you’re away.

Or avo and crunchy seeds for a bit of plant power.

Or, you know what, just eat it on its own. It’s delightful however which way you eat it.

 

To the recipe!

 

Ingredients

  • 100g quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 2 free-range good quality chicken breasts
  • 1 small head of broccoli
  • 2 large handfuls of kale, stems removed
  • 300ml chicken stock
  • 4 spring onions, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, grated or finely chopped
  • Zest of 1 lemon and juice of half
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • Handful of parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • Optional: 2 tbsp sunflower seeds and/or a pinch of chilli flakes
  • Optional: handful of rocket

Serves 2

You could use cous cous instead of quinoa – just add a little stock and cook the cous cous as per the packet instructions. Steam or boil the veg separately and combine once cooked. 

Method

  1. Pop the quinoa and the stock into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 – 15 minutes or until the quinoa starts to soften.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a little olive oil in a frying pan and season the chicken breasts with some salt and pepper. Add to the pan and cook for 5-7 minutes on one side depending on how thick the chicken breasts are.
  3. While the chicken cooks, make the dressing. Pop the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, half the lemon zest, half the parsley, half the spring onions, and some salt and pepper into a jar (or bowl). Seal the lid and shake to combine (or mix with a fork). Feel free to add a little more olive oil or lemon juice to taste.
  4. Once the quinoa has started to soften, add the broccoli and cook for a couple of minutes. As the broccoli starts to soften, add the kale, and cook for a further 5-6 minutes or until the veg is cooked through – you may need to add a little more water.
  5. Flip the chicken and add the butter and remaining lemon zest, spring onions and parsley. Cook for a further 5-7 minutes until the chicken is hot through and the juices run clear. Using a spoon, baste the chicken with the butter every now and then.
  6. Finally, pour some of the dressing into the greenoa, and stir to combine. Pop on a plate and top with the chicken breast and buttery sauce from the pan. Sprinkle with chilli flakes or some sunflower seeds, or add a handful of rocket.

You can keep the remaining dressing in a sealed jar in the fridge for 3-4 days. It goes with everything!

Samantha x

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