Monthly Archives: September 2010

Quinoa with Chicken and Veggies

Since all of my family drama and travels are hopefully behind me, I am now resuming my intense cooking schedule. I had never made quinoa before, but since it is supposedly the miracle ingredient (tons of protein, fiber, vitamins, amino acid, etc.), I had to give it a shot. I LOVE this recipe. It tastes amazing, is really easy to make, super healthy and is so filling that you really don’t have to eat much and you are stuffed! Here is the recipe: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Chicken-with-Quinoa-and-Veggies/Detail.aspx?ms=1&prop25=43794108&prop26=DailyDish&prop27=2010-09-08&prop28=DailyRecipe&prop29=FullRecipe&me=1

Since I am really anal about how I cook, I always cut up things and get all of my ingredients ready. Today was no exception. First, I chopped up the onion and the garlic. The recipe called for garlic scapes, but my grocery store didn’t seem to have garlic scapes, so I just used regular garlic.

Then I chopped up the tomatoes and the zucchini.

My bf was also gone tonight while I was cooking, so I had to cut up the raw chicken….ewwww!!!!

I then heated up some olive oil and added the onion and the garlic and cooked them for about five minutes.

I then added the chicken and cooked the chicken for about five minutes.

Meanwhile, I put the quinoa and chicken broth in a sauce pan and brought it to a boil. Once it was boiling, I simmered it for about 10 minutes.

Back to the chicken! After five minutes, I removed the chicken from the skillet and set it aside. I added two more tablespoons of olive oil and the zucchini and tomatoes.

After cooking the veggies for 5-8 minutes, I added the chicken again. Then I added the feta, the basil, and the lime juice.

After about 10 minutes, I spooned the mix over a boil of quinoa.

This boil ended up being way too big and I couldn’t finish it! It was so tasty I really wanted to but my belly was too full!

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Baked Rotini

I got back from California really late last night and had some trouble adjusting to East Coast time again. So tonight we opted for our tried and true baked Rotini. It is the easiest dinner in the history of the world.

First, you boil pasta according to the directions on the box. Once the pasta is cooked you put it in a pyrex or a baking dish.

Then you pour a jar of sauce over the top and mix it in with the pasta. If we are feeling adventurous, we will brown some ground beef and mix it in with the sauce and pasta. If not, we used sauce with mini meatballs.

You then bake the pasta for 10 minutes at 380 degrees.

After ten minutes, you take the pan out and sprinkle half a bag of mozzarella cheese over the top.

Then you put the pan back into the oven for five minutes, or until the cheese is properly melted.

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Golden Corn Salad with Fresh Basil

I got this recipe from the Cooking Light Magazine while I was home this weekend. I was home for a family emergency, so I didn’t get to post much, but I did make this salad for a big family dinner and it was amazing. I doubled the recipe (because my family is the size of a small country) so that’s why the amounts of everything look gigantic. Here is the recipe online: http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=2011040

So this recipe didn’t say to cook the corn, but I wasn’t really sure and I thought it would be kind of weird if I didn’t, so I erred on the side of caution and went with cooking. Turns out I was wrong, but frankly, I think it was better my way. First I boiled the potatoes and the corn.

While they were boiling I cut the tomatoes in half and chopped up the red peppers.

Once the corn and potatoes were done, I cut up the potatoes and added them into a bowl with the tomatoes and peppers.

Then I cut the corn of the cob and added it to the mix.

Next I whisked together the dressing, which was made of shallots, white balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, and Dijon mustard. I then poured it over the mix in the bowl and tossed.

Then I added the arugula and mixed again.

Finally I added the basil and the cheese to the top.

The salad looks a little arugula heavy from this picture, but once you mixed it all together and the dressing caused the arugula to calm down a bit, the amount was just right. It’s a perfect late summer salad and I’d definitely recommend it.

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Pork tenderloin with sage and roasted grapes

I was determined to try this recipe because a) it’s not chicken b) it’s not pasta and c) it’s healthy! I am really glad I gave it a shot because it was really tasty. I, however, wish I had done a better job documenting my progress with photos…about half way through I got distracted with pie testing and making extra dinners for this weekend when I will be gone. Anyway, take my word for it, it was delicious. Here is the recipe: http://www.blue-kitchen.com/2010/09/15/easing-into-autumn-simple-flavorful-pork-tenderloin-with-sage-and-roasted-grapes/

First, I peeled the shallots, cut them in half, drizzled them with olive oil and seasoned them with salt and pepper. While I was preparing the next steps, I roasted the shallots for about 15 minutes at 375.

Then I took the pork out of the case and patted it down with paper towels. Next I rubbed it with some olive oil, then sprinkled it with salt and pepper. Ideally I should then place sage leaves on top and tie the two pieces of pork with cooking twine. However, my grocery store did not carry cooking twine, so instead I put the sage in between the two pieces and put three toothpicks through the two loins to hold them together. (This is where I forgot to take a picture).

I then heated some olive oil in a skillet and browned the loins on all sides (also forgot to document this step). While they were browning I tossed some grapes in olive oil.

I also cut up the garlic and sage.

Once the pork had browned on all sides, I took it out and placed it on a plate. In the remaining olive oil I quickly cooked the garlic and sage (about 45 seconds). Then I removed the skillet from the heat, moved the garlic, sage and olive oil to a glass pyrex. Ideally I would have used a larger oven-safe skillet, but I didn’t have one. I added the chicken broth, put the pork into the pan, placed the shallots around the pork and added the grapes.

Then I should have roasted the whole mix for 10 minutes covered, and then 10-15 minutes uncovered. But I didn’t have a top, so I put a cookie tray over the pyrex for ten minutes and then removed it for the last 15. It worked ok, it wasn’t perfect but the meat came out just fine.

The grapes were such a great addition with the pork, they tasted amazing together. Definitely a wonderful fall recipe, still pretty lite but richer than most summer fare!

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Pumpkin Pie

So I want to apologize for being the worst blog host this week. Not only have I not followed my planned menu, but I’ve barely made anything at all! Last night I resorted to grilled cheese. Tonight, though, I tried to make up for it with a huge bang.

Now I’m not the only one in my house that is desperately waiting for fall to arrive. Both me and my bf love everything and fall and winter. The cold, the weather, the holidays, the food….you name it, we love it. The other day we were at the grocery store and canned pumpkin made it’s first appearance. That immediately prompted a request for pumpkin pie. I simply couldn’t say no.

I have mastered many baking techniques, but I must confess, making homemade pie crust is not one of them. So I bought it. Yes I know that’s terrible. But, what can I say, at this point, there are other things I need to spend my time on.

It’s also like the easiest dessert to make…ever. I mixed the spices, salt and sugar….

Then I beat the eggs and added the pumpkin….

Then I added the spice mixture….

Next you add the evaporated milk, mix it up and put it in the pie shell…

Then you bake at 425 for 10 minutes, then 350 for 45 minutes. And all done!

I know this is not the most excited post and almost everyone has had pumpkin pie, but I just wanted to show you that it really is that easy! So try it! It’s as foul proof as desserts come!

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Kale with pan-fried walnuts

I have decided that I can never post a menu again….it is a curse against actually making what I planned. Last night I didn’t get home until really late and by then all I wanted to do was go to sleep. So, of course, I didn’t make the chicken and kale with pan-fried walnuts.

So I made the kale dish tonight and we also had Chinese Chicken Salad leftovers. It was highly underwhelming and frankly not very tasty. Kale is a fairly dry vegetable and walnuts are also dry and for lack of a better word…..very nutty. The garlic and kale is a nice combination but that’s about it. But since I made it, ate it and photographed it….here’s the review.

First, I chopped up the kale. and rinsed it.

Then I boiled the kale for about six minutes.

While the kale was cooking, I chopped up the walnuts and the garlic. I drained the kale and patted it down when it was done.

I then sauted the walnuts in a little vegetable oil for about 6 minutes also. I then added the garlic and cooked it for about a minute. I then added the kale to the pan and warmed it up again.

I am really sorry for the lackluster post. It’s hard to be excited about food that was not at all excited to eat.

If I haven’t completely turned you off from this recipe, here is the link: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Kale-with-Panfried-Walnuts-356015

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On the menu this week

Tonight I’m cooking a recipe I’ve discussed before, so I thought that I would post my intended menu for the upcoming week as well as a video from my dinner tonight. I will, of course, post about the recipes as I make them.

Sunday: Chinese Chicken Salad

Monday: Kale with pan-fried walnuts and Penn Yan Chicken

Tuesday: Pork tenderloin with sage and roasted grapes, corn on the side

Wednesday: Chicken with veggies and quinoa

Thursday: Tagliattelle with peas, asparagus, bacon and a light cream sauce

Friday: Leftovers

Saturday: Turkey meatballs

This video is of Winston waiting for his chicken treat from tonight’s dinner.

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