Quinoa, Part II

If you’re wondering what happened to the second half of that Quinoa box I made for our Keen-Wah Pizza Bites, rest assured that it didn’t go to waste. I am shamefaced to admit it because I know how disappointed my mother would be, but we are really terrible about eating our leftovers and more often than not they go to waste. But again, we were pretty determined to get on that quinoa train so there was no question that we were going to have it two nights in a row.

Luckily, the night before I never put the empty quinoa box in the recycling where it belonged, so it was still sitting on the counter right where I left it for easy access to the recipe on the box. Thanks to traderjoesfan.com for transcribing this for me so I didn’t have to (and thank you, Internet):

Garlic Chicken Stir-Fry with Quinoa, Peppers, and Basil

  • 1 cup Trader Joe’s Organic Quinoa prepared with chicken stock according to package directions
  • 2 cups Trader Joe’s Chicken Broth
  • 1 1/2 pounds Trader Joe’s Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast Tenders
  • 4 tablespoons Trader Joe’s Garlic Flavored Olive Oil
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 20 leaves fresh sweet basil, julienne
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Peppers and GarlicSo right off the bat this recipe wasn’t exactly going according to plan considering I was supposed to make the quinoa in chicken broth. Having made the quinoa the night before with good ol’ fashion tap water, the chicken broth didn’t make the cut. This resulted in the final dish having probably a quarter of the flavor it was supposed to have. My bad.

And I think I’ve made it pretty clear I don’t follow recipes exactly for reasons that include: laziness, lack of ingredients, Chicken, Peppers, and Garlic living on a laughable 20-something salary, etc.

That having been said, I crossed off the garlic-flavored olive oil–c’mon. Our basil leaves at one point were fresh but were not at the time of use, so I salvaged what I could. You’ll also notice from the photos that there’s only one color bell pepper in the mix–the only one that was not listed in the recipe.

The end result was better than I anticipated, but it probably was still not as good as Trader Joe’s intended it to be. Garlic Stir-Fry Chicken with Quinoa, Peppers, and BasilIf it hadn’t been for the copious amounts of garlic, salt, or cheese, this dish would have been incredibly bland. That’s probably why the recipe calls for chicken broth. Who knew?