If you make your own spice mix for the Cajun Chicken you instantly have a sugar free meal, whoop! As part of my healthy living diet I am experimenting with new recipes. This recipe is one such experimentation that ended up being an instant family favourite. Simply combine a bunch of spices to marinate the chicken, bung it in the oven while you whip up some quinoa with fresh vegetables, finish it all off with a squeeze of lemon and loads of fresh coriander. The result is a fresh, tasty meal that is healthy and surprisingly filling.
I have been a little late to the quinoa (apparently it’s pronounced kee-wah) bandwagon but after some research I figured it was pretty similar to couscous, just a different type of grain. And as we are avoiding wheat as much as possible at the moment, this is a happily non-bloaty alternative. The taste of quinoa is bit earthy, so it works best if flavoured with your favourite herbs of spices. For me, lemon and coriander are a perfect pair. Coupled with the sweetness of the peppers and sugarsnap peas and you have a wonderful balance flavours.
Cajun Chicken with Lemon and Coriander Quinoa (serves 5)
6 Chicken Breast, each breast sliced into 4 strips then halved
Olive Oil, drizzle
Cajun spice mix
2 tsp salt
2 tsp garlic granules
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp italian seasoning
1 medium onion, diced
2-3 tsp coconut oil
3 peppers, yellow and green, diced
bag of sugar snap peas, chopped
1tsp lazy garlic or 1 crushed garlic clove
freshly ground pepper
1/2 lemon, juice only
handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped
200g quinoa, cooked
400ml chicken stock
Preheat oven to 200C and line a baking tray with foil.
Drizzle the tray with olive oil.
Bung the chicken strips onto the tray and sprinkle half the cajun spice. Use your hands to toss the chicken so the oil and spices are rubbed in nicely. Add a little more cajun seasoning if necessary. Then spread the chicken across the whole tray so none are overlapping.
Place in the middle to top of the oven and bake for at least 25 minutes.
Cook the quinoa according to the packet instruction and using stock instead of plain water.
In a large frying pan or wok heat half the coconut oil and fry the onion on low for a good 10-15 minutes until soft and starting to turn golden.
Add the peppers and cook for another 3 minutes or so before adding the sugarsnap peas. Turn the heat to medium and stir fry for about 7 minutes, stirring often.
Add the garlic and keep the heat low. Keep stirring. Add more coconut oil if necessary, you want the vegetables to be shiny.
When the vegetables are starting to catch fluff up the quinoa with a fork and tip into the vegetable pan. Stir well. Squeeze in the lemon juice and add a good pinch of salt and lots of ground black pepper.Just before serving stir through 3/4 of the fresh coriander.
Serve the cajun chicken with the vegetable quinoa and sprinkle with the remaining coriander.