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The Joy of Pre-Cooked Whole Grains: Fiesta Chicken with Red Quinoa & Brown Rice Recipe

Fiesta chicken with red quinoa and brown rice

Remember those New Year’s goals we all had? Well, one of mine was to incorporate some quinoa and barley into my repertoire of meals—and, golly jeez, if the folks at Village Harvest had the perfect timing! They were kind enough to send me a couple of their fiber-rific foods to try out: Red Quinoa & Brown Rice; Farro & Red Rice; Wheatberry & Barley; Brown, Red & Wild Rice; and a Golden Quinoa. I’ve tried all of them, and none of them disappointed!

What usually takes hours to prepare is now in perfectly sized bags (that’s two servings per bag) that promise clean ingredients and no-added salt. Woohoo! Plus, each 10-ounce package goes for $4.49 at Whole Foods, Raley’s and Nob Hill. They’re also offered in jumbo-sized packages at Costco! (Bonus for the families out there!)

The bags come cryogenically frozen. You just pop them in the microwave for two minutes and voilà! You have an easy whole-grain side dish or even a part of your main meal—like a stir-fry or salad—in a flash. I’ve found these are especially good for those nights where I don’t feel like doing jack when it comes to cooking. (Especially considering my guy loves to prepare rice in his rice cooker which takes, um, FOREVER.)

I decided to try the Red Quinoa & Brown Rice first. I  have this Chicken Fiesta recipe I make occasionally. I usually combine it with brown rice, but I thought I’d try something new and groovy, so out came the quinoa! Results? The meal was delicious! So delicious that I had to share the recipe with you….

Fiesta Chicken with Red Quinoa & Brown Rice

Serves 6

4 chicken breasts, boned and skinned
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp cumin
pepper to taste
1 can (4 oz) diced green chilies
1 c of corn
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 c salsa
fresh cilantro
Village Harvest Red Quinoa & Brown Rice

1. Season chicken breasts with garlic salt, cumin and pepper.

2. Brown on both sides in a nonstick skillet.

3. Add green chilies, corn, black beans and salsa.

4. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

5. Garnish with fresh cilantro. Serve with the Red Quinoa & Brown Rice!

I actually enjoyed all of the other varieties as well. And there are a couple you can eat without adding any additional goodies, too! The Cranberries & Almond and Corn & Black Bean Creations were both pretty tasty on their own. I munched up the Brown, Red & Wild Rice with some grilled chicken one night and then found some great recipes online for the others. I can’t tell you how tasty the golden 5 Minute Mediterranean Quinoa was. Well, okay, I can since I just did.   

What about you? What would you use these yummy Village Harvest mixes for? —Tish

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