Chicken and Quinoa Stuffed Avocados
If you live in Charlotte or happen to visit our fine city, one place you must stop in for a bite to eat is Viva Chicken. It's a fast casual restaurant with some amazing Peruvian chicken dishes. One of their all time best sellers have to be their quinoa stuffed avocados: half an avocado stuffed with spiced red quinoa and topped with a chipotle mayo and balsamic sauce. Sounds so good, right?
Since I can't eat at Viva Chicken every day (I wish I could), I decided to make my own version of their stuffed avocados at home. Except for my version I wanted to add some chicken and veggies so that I could feel less guilty about calling it 'dinner'.
While I love avocados, this dish would be nothing without quinoa. Without it, it might as well be deconstructed guacamole. For those of you who have never made quinoa, don't worry. It's exactly like making rice! But a little more full-proof, in my opinion. The only difference is that I toast the quinoa before I add in the liquid to boil.
To start, I poured in the dry quinoa into a hot sauce pan and let the little grains toast, stirring every so often, for about 5 minutes. Then I added in chicken stock (water could be used, too) and let it come to a boil before turning the heat down and covering the the dish.
While the quinoa cooked, I sauteed up some bell peppers, onions, corn, garlic, and a chipotle pepper. Once the veggies were tender and the qunioa had absorbed all the liquid, I added the quinoa and some chicken (I used left over chicken breast. You can also use rotisserie chicken.), then mixed it all together. Now the only thing that was left to do was stuff the avocado!
This may be stating the obvious, but I waited until the very last minute to cut open my avocados. If you have ever worked with avocados before, you know how quickly they can brown. Once the filling was finished, I cut them down the middle, removed the seed, then piled on a generous amount of the quinoa and chicken mixture.
For avocado lovers out there, this is the stuff dreams are made of. Those of you on a low carb diet will absolutely love this recipe as a healthy lunch or part dinner. Hey, add an egg and call it breakfast for all I care! There tons of healthy fat, protein, and just the right amount of carbs. And if you are not an avocado lover, well, I am sorry. You are truly missing out.
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1/2 of each green and red bell pepper, diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 chipotle pepper, minced
- 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup chicken, cooked and diced or shredded
- 2 avocados, halved and pitted
- In a small sauce pan over medium heat, add quinoa. Let toast, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Once to a boil, cover and reduce heat to medium low. Cook until all the liquid has absorbed, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large pan, saute peppers, onion, and garlic in 1 tsp olive oil until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in chipotle pepper, corn, and spices.
- When quinoa is cooked, add to vegetable mixture, then stir in chicken pieces.
- Using a large spoon or ice cream scooper, pile a generous serving of the filling into the hole in the avocado.
- Serve immediately.