Money Matters: Baked Quinoa and Chicken Parmesan

bakedquinoaparm2 Yesterday, I was sitting at my desk charting away on some of my afternoon patients. Even though my office is right off the clinic floor, it remains pretty quite within my four walls.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get a “feeling” that something isn’t right. That happened yesterday afternoon. I got up, walked out my office door, and there was a code blue going on. Right. There.

bakedquinoaparm1 Someone was already on the phone with 911 and the staff was grabbing the crash cart.

It was scary. And a bit surreal - I had just been talking to the patient 5 minutes earlier.

Within minutes, there were 2 ambulances and a fire truck and 12 (yes, 12) firemen and paramedics in our clinic. Because I am not “direct patient care”, my job is to be sure the other patients stay calm.

Well, my job was easy. All but one patient slept through the entire ordeal. Chest compressions. Talking AED’s. The whole 9 yards. Just snoozin’ away.

bakedquinoaparm3 The one patient who was awake…she was taking pictures of the paramedics and firemen. “I love a man in uniform!” she said. To see a 79-year-old take photos on a cell phone of paramedics tushies certainly lightened the air. I was able to laugh about it later…pretty hard. Our office clerk even joked with the patient, handing her a tissue and joking with her to wipe up the drool on his chin. Too funny.

As for my patient, he’s okay. Phew.

What does this story have to do with Baked Quinoa and Chicken Parmesan? Absolutely nothing other than being  truly memorable like the code blue yesterday. This dish, however, is sure to keep your heart healthy and your pulse regular and strong.

bakedquinoaparm4 Chicken Parmesan, in all of its Italian inauthentic glory, is a weakness of mine. What’s not to love about cheesy chicken and tomato sauce served with pasta? Not…a…thing. This dish encompasses all that I love most about chicken parm with far less guilt (none at all, in fact!), lots of nutrition, and a kind price tag. Moreover, it is gluten-free, carb-controlled, high-fiber, and packed with protein.

Dinner for under 350 calories and less than $2 per serving is certainly memorable. But don’t take my word for the taste…you should make that memory and have it last for yourself. Mmmm!


Mr. P and I went out for a run last night, and a mile away from home it started it POUR. I hate rain!!! It put me in a cruddy mood the rest of the, you are not to be trusted!

Be well,


  1. lol, I can just see that lady taking pictures of the fireman, and then posting them on her FB page. HA ! Too funny. I hope the patient was ok.
    Thanks for the great recipe. This will have to be something I try for my weekly cooking business. I’m cooking for kids and it’s…..difficult. I haven’t had them try quinoa yet, but tomorrow I’m making a quinoa quiche. If they like it, I will try this recipe too!!

  2. Sounds like an interesting day at work to say the least! Glad to hear the patient was okay!
    This chicken parm casserole sounds delicious – love the idea of using quinoa!

  3. Well… who can blame the patient taking pics? Firemen really can be pretty sexy in those heavy duty uniforms… ha ha ha….

  4. I literally have nightmares about the day that someone will a code blue and I will be the one responsible for making sure the patient is okay. Oy.

    I would need comfort food like this after a scary day like that! I LOVED this when elly posted it. Pretty sure there’s a way to veg-ify it. I’m just not quite sure what that is!

  5. Wow, this looks incredible! I am definitely going to have to make this soon! I am glad to hear your patient is okay, but that is scary!

  6. Looks great – I’m always trying to find new ways to use quinoa.

  7. I’m so glad you liked this dish! Love the old lady taking pics. ;)

  8. This dish looks fabulous! I love the idea of adding quinoa.
    That must have been a scary situation. I hope the patient was ok.

  9. Love this one too Nicole – I love that you and I have the same tastes – I love nearly everything you make! :D

  10. That’s hilarious about the old woman!

  11. I think I am going to be that 79 year old lady snapping pics of them…shoot I do it NOW hahaha

  12. The chicken parm looks soooo good!!! And that is super scary about your patient! I’m glad everything turned out ok!

  13. Yum, I am glad to see another person made this and it turned out, because I have been contemplating it as well. Glad your patient is okay!

  14. Im so glad he’s ok! That would be terrifying. As for the lady taking pictures, I feel like she and I would get along quite well. :)

  15. So funny the old lady was taking pics of tushies! Love it :)

    And I totally see this as a great freezer meal…. bookmarking! I made your crockpot honey sedans chicken into one. Can’t wait to dig into them!

  16. This looks so amazing – I’m always looking for other ways to use quinoa – this looks perfect for bringing leftovers to work for lunch!

  17. Do you always cook your chicken in water? I haven’t heard of that method before.

    • Nicole, RD says:

      Anna: If a recipe calls for cooked/shredded chicken, I usually do poach (cook in water) that has been seasoned with low sodium chicken stock (powder). I find that pan-frying or baking can dry out the chicken and it stays moist when poached. It’s quicker, too!

  18. What’s funny is that I actually saw this recipe on another blog I read (linking back to you) before opening yours!

  19. I just made this- hubby and I loved it! Fresh basil totally takes this over the top. I didn’t have access to fresh oregeno, so I used dried, but still… SO. GOOD. Thank you for another winning recipe!

  20. I made this tonight and we loved it – keep the great recipes coming :)

  21. Flora divine says:

    I just made this. I added some spinach and it turned out very well. It did take a bit of time, more time than I usually spend on dinner, but it made a lot so we’ll be eating off of it for a while. Much healthier than my usual version. My husband and I enjoyed it and I would consider making it again.

  22. What size of baking dish do you use to make this recipe? I’m looking forward to making it; I’m kind of on a quinoa kick lately!

  23. This was served at my Recipe Group last night – delish! I’m wondering if it’s ok to use cooked quinoa. The dish I made was a quinoa and asparagus side dish (also yummy), and I have leftover quinoa. My boys would love this!

    • Never mind – took the time to read through the recipe and I see I can DEFINITELY use cooked quinoa – makes it even easier! Thanks!

  24. Dana Szczepanski says:

    Yum! I am feeling blessed that I feel upon your blog. Weight has always been a struggle for me, my husband too. I love to cooked, but sometimes have a hard time coming up with recipes that are healthy, low in calories and equally sometimes my husband will rave about!

    I made this last night and he LOVED it.

    Tonight I am going to make the Tilapia Parmesan and mashed potatoes/cauliflower!

    P.S. I am from Chicago too

  25. Teresa in Texas says:

    I bought this huge bag of quinoa from Costco and needed a new satisfying recipe… I made this for dinner tonight and it was FANTASTIC!!!! The sauce was especially delicious! I bet the leftovers are going to be awesome! I’ve enjoyed many of your recipes and enjoy your writing style.


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