Chicken with quinoa and balsamic roasted tomatoes

Chicken with quinoa and balsamic roasted tomatoes. Gluten free, dairy free and clean.

A day at the farm

It’s been a week since I returned home from New Zealand and while it’s great to wake up in my own bed and not live out of a suit case, I miss being surrounded by family every day.

We are spread out all over the place. My dad lives in Queensland and my other sister Claudia resides in Tasmania. I envy anyone who has family close by that they can visit at a moment’s notice.  In the meantime I have plenty of photos (of which a few willl make to my “wall of fame”) and many new memories.

On one of my last days in NZ I visited my sister’s friend’s farm in North Loburn. The 20 acre property is home to Alana Gemmell and her husband Alan, dogs Digger and Deisel; and a couple of kunekune (pronounced kooni kooni) pigs named Wilbur (a girl) and Jed.

Kunekune is Maori for “fat and round” and these pigs are bred as pets. They are very friendly and inquisitive creatures and I have to say they are quite cute as well. They adore cuddles and a scratch and were much obliged to give Alana a kiss when she asked for one.

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Me patting Jed

Alana and Alan have a plentiful supply of organically grown vegetables and herbs around the property plus an apple orchard. Alana is famous amongst friends and family for her exceptional baking skills and we were treated to one of her creations after she had served us lunch. Alana is a Jill of many trades and when not baking, she will keep herself busy by renovating houses, dress making, gardening, sculpting and painting African inspired works, of which a number adorn her walls.

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Digger and Deisel

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Alana’s vegie patch

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L – R: My sister Sandra, Alana and me.

A big thank you to Alana for inviting us out to your farm.

And now onto the recipe.

This dish has the flavours of Summer with ripe cherry tomatoes and fresh herbs like basil and oregano. The balsamic dressing the tomatoes are roasted in tie the whole dish together.

When roasting the tomatoes, try to put them in a pan that will give them a bit of height and less surface area as you will be using the balsamic mixture as a dressing to drizzle over everything and you don’t want it all to evaporate away or be too thick if done in a large pan. I’ve used a regular loaf tin which yielded plenty of warm balsamic dressing. I used about 1/4 cup olive oil and 1/2 cup balsamic but this may be too much for you. You can add less oil or more balsamic – whatever works for you.

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Fresh balsamic roasted tomatoes. Mmmmm


Why this is so good for you

Free range chicken is hormone free, chemical free, antibiotic free, higher in omega 3 than regular chicken, and richer in taste. Great for muscle growth and development, keeps bones strong, boost the immune system, lowers the risk of developing arthritis, helps soothe pms symptoms, helps to regulate testosterone levels in men, and reduces the risk of heart attack.

Quinoa reduces inflammation, relieves constipation, helps increase brain function, aids in tissue growth and repair, helps to alleviate migraines, helps reduce type 2 diabetes, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and colon cancer.

Tomatoes aid in the prevention of prostate cancer, reduce the risk of stroke, protect against loss of muscle mass, preserve bone mineral density, reduce the formation of kidney stones and keep bowel movements regular.

Onions strengthen the immune system, help regulate blood sugar, reduce inflammation, reduce the risk of gastric ulcers, help fight asthma, chronic bronchitis, hay fever, diabetes, inhibit stomach cancer and detoxify the body from heavy metals.

Garlic has antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antioxidant properties, supports the circulatory, digestive and immune systems, helps lower blood pressure, assists in detoxification, prevents formation of blood clots, reduces blood pressure, helps with asthma, regulates blood sugar levels in diabetics and lower the risk of most types of cancer.

Basil helps relieve rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel conditions, promotes cardiovascular health, brain health and liver health.

Fresh oregano increases immune strength, has anti-fungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties, aids in waste elimination, reduces risk of osteoarthritis and helps reduce risk of cancer.

Pine nuts prevent blood clots, a good for the heart, to maintain hormone health, strength and conditioning connective tissues, and build strong teeth and bones.


I hope you are enjoying your holidays.

Love Tash x


Chicken with quinoa and balsamic roasted tomatoes

Yield: Serves 4


    For the chicken
  • 500 - 700 g free range chicken breast, sliced
  • Coconut oil or oil of choice for cooking
  • 1 cup chopped basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh oregano leaves
  • Frashly ground sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • For the quinoa
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 medium to large brown onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Freshly ground sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • For the balsamic roasted tomatoes
  • 500 g cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup - 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Freshly ground sea salt
  • Cracked black pepper
  • To serve
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, pan toasted
  • Extra fresh basil and oregano leaves


    For the balsamic roasted tomatoes
  1. Throw tomatoes into a regular loaf pan.
  2. Pour over the olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
  3. Add crushed garlic, dried oregano, salt and pepper.
  4. Bake in a 180 degree oven in middle shelf for 30 - 40 minutes or until done.
  5. For the quinoa
  6. Meanwhile cook quinoa and season with salt and pepper.
  7. In a large frying pan, cook the onion till translucent then add the garlic and cook a further minute or 2. Add the mixture to the quinoa and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
  8. For the chicken
  9. Slice chicken into strips. Season with salt and pepper if desired
  10. Using the same large pan as the garlic and onion, cook the chicken on medium heat in batches till browned.
  11. Remove pan from heat and stir through the basil and oregano.
  12. Assembly
  13. Place quinoa on plate, add the chicken slices and then the cherry tomatoes.
  14. Drizzle the balsamic dressing over the top.
  15. Sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts and extra fresh basil and oregano.

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