My mother spent most of the week in the hospital and between the pain meds and the effects of coming back from anesthesia, food was the farthest thing from her mind. But we knew that once she got home, it would be important for her to keep her strength up. I wanted to be sure that I helped out in one of the best ways I know how--cooking something she could not only eat, but perhaps even enjoy. So once my mother was discharged, I hit the grocery store, scoured the latest issue of Cooking Light, and found something mild in flavor and high in protein to cook.
This may not be the most exciting food to look at (though with my parents' large plates, everything looked uber sophisticated and petite) but my mother ate every last bite. This was the first meal she had that didn't consist of bananas and bread, so I consider it mission accomplished. If you know someone with a sensitive stomach and/or recovering from surgery, this is a good option.
The sauce didn't glaze as I expected it to, making it more runny than expected, but the flavors were solid. I served the chicken and quinoa with coriander carrots.
Citrus Chicken with Cilantro-Lime Quinoa (serves 4)
- 1 3/4 cups chicken stock
- 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tsp. grated lime rind, divided
- 3/8 tsp. salt, divided
- 1 TB olive oil
- 4 (6-oz.) skinless boneless chicken breast halves
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 2 TB lime juice
- 2 tsp. honey
- 1 TB butter
Combine 1 1/4 cups chicken stock and quinoa in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 15 minutes or until quinoa is tender and liquid is absorbed. Stir in cilantro, 1/2 tsp. rind, and 1/8 tsp. salt.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil. Sprinkle chicken with remaining salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan, cook 5 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken from pan.
Add remaining 1/2 cup stock to pain; cook for 1 minute and scrape pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in remaining 1/2 tsp. ring, orange juice, lime juice, and honey; simmer 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stir in butter. Return chicken to pan; turn to coat. Serve chicken with quinoa.