Blackened Chicken, Cilantro Lime Quinoa, & Avocado Puree
What you need:
~ Avocado puree ~
1 fresh avocado
2 tablespoons of Greek yogurt
Salt and pepper to taste
**FYI: You may need more Greek yogurt, depending on your taste. I found that it took a few more tablespoons before I could get the taste that I wanted. Also, the original recipe for the puree doesn’t call for salt and pepper to taste, but it was a little bland without it.
~ Chicken ~
2 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
1/2 teaspoon of paprika
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon of onion powder
1/4 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of olive oil
~ Quinoa ~
2 cups of low sodium chicken stock
1 cup of quinoa
Juice and zest of 1 lime
Extra salt and pepper, just in case!
2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro (optional)
1 large mixing bowl
What to do:
Make the avocado puree first so the flavors have time to meld together. Place the flesh of your avocado into a food processor with the Greek yogurt, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth and taste as you go. Easy!
Mix all of the dry seasonings together into a bowl for the chicken, then season both sides of each chicken breast.
Heat the teaspoon of olive oil in a large pan over medium/high heat for about a minute (maybe more).
**FYI: To test the temperature of the oil in the pan, I always do one of two things: 1) get a drop of water on your finger and drop it into the pan. If it sizzles/pops, it’s time to put the chicken in! (BE CAREFUL! Too much water will splatter…trust me, it hurts when it hits your skin!) 2) With tongs, try putting a small section of the chicken in the pan. If it sizzles, it’s time for the whole breast to go in. If not, wait another minute!
Once the oil is hot, place the seasoned chicken breasts in the pan. Cook for seven minutes on each side with the lid on. I haven’t tried this yet, but you could also cook the chicken on the grill!
**FYI: I always err on the side of caution and cook it for a few more minutes. I’d rather have semi-dry, overcooked chicken than undercooked, pink chicken any day!
Add the chicken stock and quinoa to a medium sized sauce pan. Bring everything to a simmer over medium/low heat.
Reduce the heat to low and simmer with the lid on for 10 – 15 minutes. You’ll know when it’s done when the chicken stock has been absorbed. Turn off the heat and let it sit in the pan for a couple of minutes.
When the chicken is fully cooked, take it out of the pan/off the grill and let it rest before you slice it.
**FYI: The original recipe says to rest for 7 minutes, but I usually just let it rest for the time it takes me to mix the remaining ingredients into the quinoa.
Add the warm quinoa to the large mixing bowl. Mix in the lime juice, lime zest, salt, pepper, and cilantro (optional).
Serve the chicken over the quinoa, with the avocado puree on top or on the side!