cayenne chicken with avocado salsa & black bean and red pepper quinoa

I first started making this cayenne chicken recipe when I was in college on my grill pan. It soon became a staple when I moved in with the Hubs and it is definitely one of our summertime favorites. (The Hubs actually likes using leftover hamburger buns to make a chicken sandwich, smashing the salsa to use as a condiment.)

I always had trouble figuring out what to make with this dish. I would make corn with chopped jalapeno and cilantro but the Hubs isn't too fond of corn and I wanted something a bit healthier. I recently came up with this black bean and red pepper quinoa which is a mix of different recipes. I have made it with both red and white quinoa and I am still trying to decide which one I like better.

serves 4

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
cayenne pepper, to taste
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 medium red onion, finely diced
1 Hass avocado, cut into chunks*
1 lime, juiced

1. Rub some cayenne pepper into chicken breasts. The amount depends on how spicy you want it to be but remember that a little bit of cayenne goes a long way. Season chicken with salt and pepper.
2. Heat grill pan or outside grill. Grill chicken until cooked, about 3 minutes on each side on the grill.
3. Meanwhile, combine onion and avocado in a bowl. Add lime juice and combine being careful not to crush the avocado.
4. Top each chicken breast with some of the salsa.

* An easy way to cut an avocado into chunks is to cut the avocado in half, remove the pit and then cut the avocado grid wise without cutting through the skin. Then you can turn the skin inside out and dump the avocado right into the bowl. This prevents the avocado from getting smashed.

serves 4

2 limes, juiced
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 c. cilantro, chopped
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 c. EVOO

1 c. uncooked quinoa, white or red
1 14 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 c. cilantro, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
1 jalapeno, finely diced

1. Cook the quinoa according to the box directions.
2. Whisk together ingredients for dressing, slowly adding the oil while whisking.
3. Allow quinoa to cool to room temperature. Fluff with a fork and then add beans and veggies.
4. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss well.



  1. This dish looks really delicious and Im loving avocados so much lately! Enjoy your Tuesday morning. Kisses

  2. that sounds DELISH! perfect for a warm summer night out on our deck. i'm definitely going to try it! :) mmm i'm salivating just thinking about it!

  3. this is seriously mouthwatering! and congrats on your two-year! :)

  4. this looks SO tasty, ive been wanting to cook up a quinoa dish.

    happy 2 year anniversary girl! xoxo jillian:: enter in TWO GIVEAWAYS over at cornflake dreams

  5. thanks for the 2 year wishes!

    also jillian - i have another really good qunioa dish here: http://lachapstickfanatique.blogspot.com/2011/05/recipe-garbanzo-bean-salad-over-quinoa.html

  6. oh my. a perfect summer meal indeed.

  7. Hands down this is my dream recipe: cayenne pepper, chicken and avocado...my three fav ingredients in the same dish.
    Gonna try it today for lunch, thank you for posting it!
    I wrote an article on the health benefits of cayenne pepper: http://www.theironyou.com/2011/05/goodness-of-cayenne-pepper.html I would love if you could check it out and let me know what you think.

    Mike @TheIronYou


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