in the crockpot:
1 1/2 cups quinoa, uncooked
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 cups + 1-3 cups extra for the end
4-6 cloves garlic
salt and pepper, other dried herbs you like (I tossed in 1/2 teaspoon each dried parsley, thyme, and basil, but you can also use a generic Italian seasoning to make things more simple)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 bunch asparagus, cut into bite sized pieces
6 ounces pesto (see options below for what to look for when buying pesto)
2 1/2 cups frozen peas
squeeze of lemon juice
watercress, fresh parsley, chives, or any other herbs for topping
Parmesan or Asiago cheese for topping
Add your quinoa, chicken breast, broth and roughly chopped garlic to the crockpot. Season with salt, pepper, and Italian seasonings.
Cook on low for 4 hours.
After 4 hours the broth should be completely absorbed and mixture should be sticky. Add 6 ounces of pesto, peas and lemon juice. Then add enough broth to give the mixture a creamy consistency. Cover and keep the crockpot on warm.
While the peas are heating through in the crockpot, sauté the asparagus in a skillet with 1 tbsp of olive oil.
Serve your primavera with the asparagus and some Parmesan cheese on top for a healthy risotto-like dinner!
*Pesto should have 5 ingredients; extra virgin olive oil, fresh basil, fresh garlic, pine nuts and parmesan cheese. You don’t need anything else in there to make it taste delicious. So read your labels or simply make your own in a food processor! You can freeze pesto in ice cube trays to use later for single serving dishes (learned that one from my mom). So if you are putting in the effort to make it, make extra and freeze it for easy meals later.