Friday, December 11, 2009

Black Beans and Quinoa

After coming home from Thanksgiving I felt like I needed to fast for a while. I had definitely consumed my calorie quota for about 6 weeks. But, my family didn't feel the same way. They still wanted to eat. The nerve! I figured if I couldn't fast then I would make something healthy. A year or two ago I found this recipe on Allrecipes and I thought it was so good. I think the best thing about it is that it is pretty basic so it lends itself well to lots of different modifications. This time I made it exactly according to the recipe. To serve I put it over raw, shredded cabbage with avocado and cilantro on top. I have also served it with salsa and queso fresco on top, or with pico and shredded cheese on top. The possibilities are endless.

Quinoa and Black Beans
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, and saute until lightly browned.
  2. Mix quinoa into the saucepan and cover with vegetable broth. Season with cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes,
  3. Stir frozen corn into the saucepan, and continue to simmer about 5 minutes until heated through. Mix in the black beans and cilantro.

Bon Appetit!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Chicken and Dumplings

So many cold-weather dishes, so little time to make them. I love chicken and dumplings, but it just doesn't seem right to make when it is warm outside. So, this is one of those recipes that I get to make during one of our 14 days of cold weather. I think I may have to start making this once a week so I get my fill before it gets hot again. I used this recipe from Food Network, but I made some changes.

Chicken and Dumplings
adapted from Rachel Ray's

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cooked and cubed)
1 T olive oil
2 T unsalted butter
2 stalks of celery, diced
3 carrots, diced
1 russet potato, diced
1 onion, diced
1 dried bay leaf
salt and pepper, to taste
2 T flour
1 quart chicken broth
1 c. frozen peas
(dumpling recipe to follow)

Earlier in the day I like to cook my chicken at 375° for about 4o minutes. I cut it up and set it aside to use whenever I make my chicken and dumplings.

In a large pan (I used a 5 qt. saute pan so that I would have lots of room for the dumplings) melt the butter along with the olive oil over medium heat . Add the carrots, celery, potatoes, and onions. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Add the flour to the pan and cook for a couple of more minutes. Add the broth and simmer until the dumplings are ready to put in the pan.
To make the dumplings: Mix together 1 cup of flour, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of dried dill. Add in 1/2 cup of milk and 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Drop the dumplings into the pan by the heaping tablespoonful.

Place the lid on the pan and let the dumplings steam for 10 minutes. Don't peek while they are cooking! Once the dumplings are done, add the peas. Then, voila! A bowl of hot, delicious goodness. And, in true Rachel Ray fashion, this was ready in 30 minutes.

Bon Appetit!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Hearty Vegetable Lasagna

I made another casserole tonight. This time, instead of being Mexican inspired, it was Italian inspired. And, no, I didn't take pictures. Taking care of a sick kid with bronchitis makes me forgetful. But, that is beside the point. I just thought I should mention that it is good and that you should make it. Enjoy!

To get this recipe go here. (I did make three minor changes to the recipe. I added 2 chopped zucchini to the tomato/vegetable sauce, I only used about 2 cups of mozzarella instead of 4, and I used about a cup pf parmesan instead of 1/2 c.)

Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

I don't make a ton of casseroles. I'm not really sure why because I really like them. In fact, I like everything about them. I like that the whole meal is contained in one pan, which means that clean up is a breeze. I like that they are usually pretty easy to assemble. And, best of all, something about them always tastes delicious. When I feel like a good casserole, this is usually the one that I make. Because a big, steaming pan of enchiladas always sounds good.

Enchilada Casserole

3 chicken breast halves
1 brick (for lack of a better word) cream cheese, softened
8-9 roasted green chiles, chopped
1 bottle Herdez salsa verde
3/4 lb. spinach, sauteed and chopped
corn tortillas
shredded Monterey Jack cheese
shredded Chihuahua cheese (or Mozzarella)

Boil the chicken and shred it with 2 forks. Put the chicken in a bowl with the cream cheese and green chiles and mix well until creamy. To assemble the casserole: pour a thin layer of the salsa verde into the bottom of a 9x13 dish. Next, tear a few corn tortillas to cover the bottom of the pan. Then, spread half of the creamy chicken mixture on top of the tortillas. Put half of the spinach on top of the chicken and put a bit more of the salsa verde on top of the spinach. Top that with some shredded cheese. Repeat that again making another layer. To finish the casserole, end with a layer of torn tortillas, completely covered with the salsa verde and a lot of cheese. Bake covered at 350° for 45 minutes and uncovered for the last 15 minutes. Let the casserole cool for about 10-15 minutes so it doesn't fall apart when you cut it. Enjoy!

Bon Appetit!