Cake, Batter, and Bowl

Basil Quinoa with Chicken, Eggplant, Zucchini, and Sun Dried Tomatoes

Main Dishes

Basil Quinoa with Chicken, Eggplant, Zucchini, and Sun Dried Tomatoes

Basil Quinoa with Chicken, Eggplant, Zucchini, and Sun Dried Tomatoes

Apolinaras has quite the green thumb. Our apartment has a Juliet balcony, which is basically a huge sliding glass door that opens to umm, the bars of the balcony like this one. So as you can imagine, there’s really not much room for plants, but Apolinaras is quite the resourceful gardener and has managed to hang a couple flower boxes. He filled them with basil, rosemary, hot peppers, and snow peas, and they’re already sprouting. He also has a tomato plant hanging off the satellite dish that pipes Lithuanian TV into our place, which sort of cracks me up. I already have to routinely drag him out of the plant section of Home Depot, and I can’t imagine how much time he’ll spend in gardening centers once he has a real yard!

His blossoming basil plant was just begging to be used recently, and I decided I needed to make something that Apolinaras would especially enjoy since I would be harvesting his first crop. Unlike my carb loving self, he always picks quinoa over any other grain (couscous, rice, pasta, etc), so I mixed some quinoa with a basil vinaigrette and then stirred in a healthy dose of chicken, eggplant, zucchinis, sun dried tomatoes, feta, and pine nuts. This was such a nice light summer meal. I’m so glad his plants are flourishing!

Basil Quinoa with Chicken, Eggplant, Zucchini, and Sun Dried Tomatoes
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:

Basil Vinaigrette:
2 cups loosely packed basil leaves (about 2 ounces)
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon salt

Quinoa:
2 cups quinoa
4 cups water
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
2 zucchinis, chopped
1 medium eggplant, chopped
1 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1 cup crumbled feta
1 teaspoon salt

Directions:
To make the basil vinaigrette, place basil, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, and salt in a food processor and pulse for 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth.

Meanwhile, to make the quinoa, place quinoa and water in a large stockpot over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 10 to 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed and quinoa is soft.

Place 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and sauté chicken for to 7 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the center; place chicken in a large bowl. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and place zucchini in the pan; sauté for 3 minutes, then add remaining 1 tablespoon olive to the pan, along with the eggplant. Sauté for 6 to 8 additional minutes or until veggies are tender. Place eggplant and zucchini in the bowl with the chicken.

Place quinoa in a large bowl and stir in basil vinaigrette until quinoa is evenly covered. Stir in the chicken, eggplant, and zucchini mixture, and the sun dried tomatoes, pine nuts, feta, and salt. Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition: 517 calories, 27.3g fat, 7.2g fiber, 25.9g protein per serving
Cost: $1.68 per serving

Mediterranean Portobello Mushroom and Eggplant Stacks

Although I make vegetarian meals a couple times a week, it’s usually because I’m feeling too lazy to really cook. I often whip up simple meals like pizza, tofu fried rice, or breakfast for dinner when I’m super busy, but I rarely put extra effort into making really...

Creamy Lemon Summer Squash Pasta

So it’s official – I’m a triathlete! I finished my first sprint triathlon at the Cranberry Trifest yesterday. The race was a 0.5 mile pond swim, followed by a 11.5 mile bike ride, and 3.1 mile run. My official time was 1:28:00, which put me in the top fourth of my age...

Moroccan Stuffed Acorn Squash

Well it’s somehow November, which I’m in denial about, but the good news is that it’s finally time to share squash recipes! I actually buy winter squash out of season occasionally (yep, I’m a bad food blogger...) because sometimes I crave it even in the middle of the...

Mediterranean Lamb with Gnocchi

Kia ora! I’m finally gone through all our New Zealand pictures, so my next several posts will be recaps from our trip! New Zealand is just a breathtaking country and has something for everyone – mountains, beaches, wine country, even glaciers, volcanoes, and...

Plantain Crusted Chicken

Nope, this isn’t a recipe for chicken parm, although that’s what you’d think if you just saw the picture, but it was inspired by this Italian favorite. My hubby loves my chicken parm and loudly proclaims to anyone that will listen that he can never order it in a...

Avocado Chicken Cakes

I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend! Ours was very relaxing. I finally found our ice cream maker and whipped up a yummy strawberry-mango sorbet. We also had a date at Costco (Am I the only one that considers going to Costco together a date?), and came home...

Pancetta and Sun-Dried Tomato Stuffed Chicken Breasts

We just got back from our annual lab ski trip, where stayed in a huge house up in New Hampshire and hit the slopes and snowshoeing trails at Mount Sunapee. We all had a great time relaxing, hanging out, and enjoying some incredible meals. Everyone signed up to make a...

Caramelized Pineapple Pulled Pork Flatbreads

I hope everyone is enjoying the long holiday weekend! Apolinaras and I are celebrating our seventh wedding anniversary with a mini vacation in Portland, Maine, and the eats have been phenomenal so far. I’ll have a full recap soon! In the meantime, I thought sharing...