March is National Nutrition Month, when the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reminds everyone to return to the basics of healthy eating. It is also the time of year when the Academy celebrates expertise of registered dietitian nutritionists as the food and nutrition experts.
Don't save this for Sunday! Stir-fried vegetables and chicken breast are tossed in a savory soy-ginger sauce and served over quinoa.
1 cup quinoa
2 cups + 1 cup vegetable broth
¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
2 teaspoons + 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound chicken breasts, patted dry and sliced thin
2 cups shredded carrots
3 cups broccoli florets
1 orange or red bell pepper, seeded, stemmed and sliced thin
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon minced, peeled ginger
2 teaspoons honey
1 tablespoon corn starch
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- To cook the quinoa: In a medium pot, combine the quinoa, 2 cups vegetable broth and salt. Set pot over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally until cooked and all of the liquid is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes.
- While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the stir-fry. Set a non-stick wok, cast-iron or deep-sided pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of the vegetable oil. Once hot, add half of the chicken. Cook, stirring frequently until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Remove chicken from the pan and keep warm. Add another teaspoon of vegetable oil and cook remaining chicken. Remove from the pan and combine with other cooked chicken and keep warm.
- Add the remaining vegetable oil to the pan. Add the carrots, broccoli and red bell pepper and cook until vegetables are slightly softened, but still crunchy, about 3-4 minutes. Whisk together the remaining vegetable broth, soy sauce, ginger, honey, corn starch and vinegar; add to the pan and bring to boil, cooking until thickened, about 1 minute.
- Add the cooked chicken back to the pan and cook an additional 1-2 minutes. (Note: Chicken is done when internal temperature reaches 165°F.) Season with salt to taste.
- To serve, portion ½ cup quinoa on each plate and top with 1 cup stir fry mixture. Serve with optional sides such as crushed red peppers, thinly sliced scallions or toasted sesame seeds.
- Reduce the sodium content of the recipe by substituting low-sodium vegetable broth.
- Save time by purchasing pre-shredded carrots and bagged broccoli florets.
- To slice chicken easily, freeze it first. Partially freezing the chicken allows the knife to cut through the chicken more efficiently. Allow it to thaw before cooking.
- For more efficient cooking, cut chicken strips about the same size. If chicken breasts are on the larger side, cut the larger part in half and then cut into strips.
Serving size: 1 cup stir-fry and ½ cup quinoa
Calories: 272; Total fat: 8g; Saturated fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 42mg; Sodium: 816mg; Carbohydrates: 30g; Fiber: 5g; Sugars: 5g; Protein: 21g; Potassium: N/A; Phosphorus: N/A