I love any opportunity to plan ahead in the kitchen – it just makes life easier! I already shared this week about how to cook a rotisserie-style chicken in your crockpot and then use the bones to make chicken broth. And for today’s tip… did you know you can freeze cooked whole grains? Everything from brown rice and farro to barley and quinoa… they freeze so well. I often cook a large batch of grains, let them cool completely, and then divide into plastic freezer bags. You can easily lay them flat and stack them to save space. Whenever you’re ready to use, just thaw and reheat! You can reheat either in the microwave or heat over low heat in a saucepan. Be sure to add a tablespoon or so of water or broth to help rehydrate the grains. What a time-saver for busy weeknight dinners! And way cheaper than the frozen bags of rice you buy at the store!
So this recipe is not only super flavorful, but it’s also pretty easy to make thanks to the cooked chicken and quinoa I had on hand. All you do is give the ingredients a quick toss in the skillet with some sautéed veggies. It really is that easy… Dinner is served!
- 1¾ cups uncooked quinoa (I like tri-colored quinoa)
- 2 cups cooked chicken
- 2 tablespoon olive oil (I sometimes skip the fresh garlic in this recipe and use flavored oil like Wildtree's Roasted Garlic Grapeseed oil).
- 1 cup sliced sweet baby bell peppers
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup quartered grape or cherry tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced
- baby spinach, optional
- Prepare quinoa according to package directions. After cooking, allow to cool, then fluff with a fork.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Toss in the sliced bell peppers and sauté until starting to soften about 2-3 minutes. Add in the minced garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
- Add in the shredded chicken and quinoa and toss together with the peppers and garlic until the chicken is warmed thru. Season with salt and pepper. Right before serving, toss in sliced green onion and enjoy immediately. I like to serve with fresh baby spinach.
- NOTE: You can also refrigerate the quinoa, then reheat it for a healthy lunch during the week.