Baked Chicken over Red Quinoa and Asparagus, Dandelion and Fennel Salad

I’ve turned into a quinoa lover and I might as well grow my armpit hair. Did I just say that? :o)

Nothing against armpit hair but I have everything against not discovering quinoa, its tiny pearls that release a nutty and grainy flavor to the bite. They are versatile and may be used as a substitute for rice. Its low glycemic index even allows unlimited consumption in some diets. To top it all off, it’s an excellent source of vegan protein, lysine, calcium, phosphorus, and iron. That is hard to beat in a grain.

Red quinoa (keen-wah) has South American origins, the Incans considering it ‘the mother of all grains’ and regarding it highly enough that it threatened European colonizers who prohibited its cultivation and ordered the Incans to grow wheat instead. Seriously. (More quinoa info here).

Red Quinoa and Asparagus
1/2 cup red quinoa
1 cup water
1/2 cup asparagus stems cut into 1/4 inch rounds
1 teaspoon olive oil
Salt to taste

Prepare quinoa by boiling 1 cup water then adding the quinoa. Turn the heat down for 15 minutes, adding asparagus in the last 3.Quinoa is cooked when it turns slightly transparent and the tails become visible. Season with salt and olive oil.

Baked Chicken

4 lean chicken pieces (I like Murray’s Organic, the pieces are small and tasty)
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and Pepper

Marinate chicken in lemon juice, salt and pepper overnight. Pat dry and arrange in a greased baking dish and bake in a pre-heated oven at 400C for 45 minutes, then brown in broiler for 3-5 minutes.

Dandelion Leaves and Fennel Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

1/2 medium fennel bulb, slivered
1 bunch dandelion leaves, cut into salad pieces
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
Ground pepper

Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, sugar, sald and pepper to make lemon vinaigrette. Toss with fennel and dandelion and serve promptly.

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