Thursday, February 2, 2012

Slow Cooker Pineapple Salsa Chicken & Quinoa

Notice I'm on a quinoa kick? Haha. I just discovered the grain at the beginning of January and have quickly fell in love with it. It's very versatile, just like rice, but has more protein and is better for your body. I can't officially call this recipe "clean" since I used some ingredients which are kind of questionable--slightly processed low sodium soy sauce for example. But you should be able to substitute for completely organic products if you have them at home. The boyfriend LOVED this recipe. He ended up eating more than he should but he couldn't get enough. :) This recipe was inspired by my boyfriend's random purchase of pineapple salsa from Trader Joe's while on his lunch break at work AND the coincidence that I had to stop by his work on the way back home from my lunch break. (Did I mention that working from home on occasion tends to make life pretty convenient?) Anywho I already had chicken ready to go and was just in need of some inspiration, a.k.a. PINEAPPLE--which I can't get enough of--my favorite fruit. The quinoa was honestly an afterthought once I saw that the salsa was getting kind of runny after being heated for so long. PS - Sorry for the crappy pictures, I honestly didn't think I would end up blogging about this particular dinner until after I ate it! Haha.

- 2 tbsp grapeseed oil (or olive oil)
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 a can of pineapple chunks (Canned in natural juices, not syrup--very important. If you have fresh pineapple on hand, even better.)
- 1/2 cup pineapple juice (from can above)
- 3/4 jar of Trader Joe's Pineapple Salsa
- 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 1 cup quinoa

- slow cooker (Mine's a Crock-Pot Brand 3-Quart Slow Cooker --very inexpensive investment!)

1. Coat the bottom of your crock pot with the grapeseed oil to prevent stickage. (Or use those nifty crock pot liners--I was all out.)
2. Place the chicken breasts into the crock pot along with the soy sauce, about three quarters of the jar of salsa and half a can of the pineapple chunks (more depending on your preference). Don't forget to save the juice.
3. Cover and put on high for about 3 hours.
4. Check on your chicken, it should be white all the way through at this point. Your salsa should be a little watery now that it has been heated.
5. Carefully shred your chicken using 2 forks or a fork and a knife--try not to scratch your crock pot. (You could always take out the chicken and do this process in another bowl, I'm just too lazy. Haha)
5. Add the quinoa and pineapple juice to the chicken and salsa and mix around a bit so the quinoa is covered in liquid. (If your crock pot is looking a little too dry with the addition of the quinoa, either add more pineapple juice or water. But these measurements worked out fine for me.)
6. Recover and keep on high for another hour.
7. Your quinoa should now be fluffy and soft. (Tasting is always encouraged.)
8. Stir the quinoa around so that the pineapple and shredded chicken are present in every bite.
9. Viola! Slow cooker healthy meal DONE!


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