Add some savory HEAT to your health with our hot-to-trot spicy red beans and chicken with quinoa! It’s one of our favorite hottie health food dishes packed with perfect nutrition for heart and soul… Plus, it’s such a colorful dish to serve your eyes.
Spicy Red Beans with Chicken and Quinoa
For 6 servings you’ll need:
- 12 ounces of chicken breast
- 1 15.5 ounce can of red beans (rinse them to reduce sodium)
- 1 8 ounce can of pineapple tidbits including juice
- 1 14.5 ounce can of Del Monte Zesty Chili Style Diced Tomatoes
- 3/4 cup chopped scallions
- 1/4 cup pickled jalapenos (to reduce sodium further, you can use fresh jalapenos, but doing so can intensify the heat)
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (may want to leave out if your feeding young ones, especially if they don’t like spicy heat)
- 1 and 1/4 cup dry quinoa – You can substitute rice if you cannot find quinoa, I’d recommend brown. Make sure to make enough to = 6, 1/2 servings. And keep in mind the nutritional value will be different.
I begin spicy red beans recipe with cooking the quinoa. I would say to follow cooking instructions on the package, but I tend to overcook it consequently. Directions call for 2 parts water to 1 part quinoa, heat together in pot until rapid boil, and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes until little curls break from the seeds. When cooking accordingly, my quinoa is too swollen and still doesn’t soak up all the water. It could be my brand (Nature’s Earthly Path) or just that I’m doing something wrong…anyone have input for me here? I’m still pretty new at cooking quinoa.
Thus, I measure 1 part quinoa (in this case 1 1/4 cup dry quinoa) to a bit less than 2 parts water (2 ¼ cup). I boil water first and then add quinoa allowing to rapid boil for a minute or so. Then, I take off the high heat and let simmer. I don’t have an exact cooking time, but it isn’t long. I just keep checking after 5 minutes.
As soon as those little curly-q’s begin to break from the seed, take off heat and carefully drain excess water with lid of pot – those little seeds like to sneak through my strainer. Then, let cool in pot and keep stirring now and then to keep the seeds fluffed. The goal is to have tender, yet firm quinoa, like al dente noodles.
While cooking the quinoa, chop the scallions and cook chicken in a large skillet until no longer pink in middle. If you buy cheaper breast fillets like I do, soak them previously in milk in fridge for 30 – 45 minutes to help tenderize them. The longer you soak them the tenderer they will be.
Once cooked, transfer chicken to cutting board to cool and add beans, pineapple with juice, tomatoes with juice, scallions, jalapenos and crushed red pepper to skillet and simmer – about 10 minutes. While beans simmer, chop chicken into bite sized pieces. Once beans have simmered for 10 minutes, add chicken, mix it all up well and turn off heat so the chicken doesn’t over cook and get tough.
Scoop 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa onto a plate and scoop 1 cup of red beans and chicken to top off quinoa and you’re done!
Spicy Red Beans with Chicken with Quinoa (1 Serving):
- 257 calories
- 4 grams fat
- 48 carbohydrates
- 19 grams protein
- 7 grams of fiber
Because this spicy red beans recipe is a bit higher in carbs, I enjoy it with a large side of steamed fresh green beans. Randy says that’s just too many beans for him. Maybe it is, lol. So, I make him a side salad with lots of cool cucumbers to break up the spice. He and our teenager then add habanero pepper and more hot sauce to give their beans extra heat. No thanks for me on that addition, I’m good.
And remember to balance out your day. Having a higher carb dinner, you may like to try a lower carb lunch… just watching out for your waistline.
Enjoy this spicy red beans recipe from the tropics,
P.S. If any of you are having trouble finding quinoa, Randy and I did see it available in places online with the best price comparisons at Amazon.com. And if you have a Costco wholesale store near you, shop for it there – 4 lbs. for $9.39. I haven’t found it any place cheaper yet.
Don’t have a Costco card? If you know someone who has one, you can shop with them as their guest. Also, you may want to check into sharing the cost of a membership with a family member. There’s always a way to make life more affordable, just like this spicy red beans recipe – very affordable! :)