This is a really delicious and healthy recipe. It’s made with quinoa, which is a whole grain rice grown in its natural environment, the Andes Mountains of Peru. The native soil and climate affect its taste, scent and texture.
The Incas called quinoa “the mother of grain” and fed it to their warriors before battle. Today it is referred to as a “supper grain” as it has many health benefits including a balance of essential amino acids. There are 23 known essential amino acids, and our bodies make only 10 of them. That requires that we eat foods that will provide the other 13, and quinoa does that for us when we consume it.
For that very reason our featured recipe is Quinoa Maya Chicken Bake. Are you questioning what does Maya have to do with the recipe? The Maya’s were native’s that spread their influence to Honduras, Belize, Guatemala, and western El Salvador to as far away as central Mexico, more than 620 mi from the central Maya area. The many outside influences found in Maya art and architecture are thought to have resulted from trade and cultural exchange rather than direct external conquest.
Today the few Mayans that exist grow there own coffee beans in the known areas that they dwell. The coffee is very good and is known as Mayan Coffee beans. The flavors of coffee beans, either poor flavor or rich flavor, all depends on the earthy soil and climate the coffee tree is grown in. The Mayans know how to grow their coffee beans.
The spices we used in our featured recipe is a Maya Coffee Rub that was purchased at the Whole Foods Market.
Here is what you will need:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Next cook the quinoa according to package instructions and set aside.
Put your frozen fresh vegetable mix into a steamer and steam according to package instructions. You can use your choice of vegetables that you prefer. When done, set steamed vegetables aside in a large bowl with a lid over it.
While the vegetables are steaming, prepare the chicken breast for marination. Cut the chicken breast crosswise, 3 times. Cut each section into one inch chunks.
In a measuring cup, mix the Maya coffee rub, vinegar, and oil. You can also choose to use olive oil if you wish. Place cut chicken into a large bowl and pour spice mixture over meat. Mix up meat with the spice mix till chicken is well coated. Set aside for about 30 minutes for flavors to infuse.
After chicken has marinated for 30 to 40 minutes, place onto a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until chicken is done. The meat should cook fast, as it is cut thin. Here we baked ours in a counter top Nu wave oven. set aside when done.
Next take the bowl of vegetables, pour in the one cup of quinoa, and meat. Mix up the ingredients in the bowl until will incorporated.
Plate and serve. That Maya Coffee Rub, is a bit spicy. But oh boy what flavor it has!! I believe, if the Mayans from the past could taste this dish, they would approve.
If you wish, you can use 1/4 slice of turkey breast in place of chicken. Turkey was the main staple meat of the Mayans over 3000 years ago.
Sources on the Mayans:
What Others are Saying About Quinoa: