Thursday, June 14, 2012

Dinner #7: Colorful Quinoa Bowls

I struggle with making quinoa. It is apparently some type of wonder-food, but it is also one of the most bland things I've ever tasted. I have bookmarked a ton of quinoa recipes, but in reality have made very few of them. That is why I was so thrilled with how this recipe turned out!

It was flavorful, bright, and colorful. I almost wanted to title this post: "Snow on the Mountain Christmas Quinoa". I loved the slight bitterness of the broccolini, the sweet richness of the red peppers, and the saltiness of the Feta. All those flavors actually complimented the the "nuttiness" (read: blandness) of the quinoa.

Also, I finally am able to spell Q-U-I-N-O-A with confidence. Phew...that took a while! ;-)

Colorful Quinoa Bowl
Servings: 4
Difficulty: Easy

1 c. organic pre-rinsed quinoa*
2 small bunches broccolini, cut into 1 in. pieces
1 c. roasted red peppers, rinsed, drained and roughly chopped
1/4 c. capers, rinsed and drained
14.5 - 15 oz. can organic chick peas, rinsed and drained
3 Tbsp. fresh parsley, roughly chopped
2 tsp. dried oregano
S+P to taste
Juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp. EVOO
4-6 oz. block of Feta cheese, cubed

Bring 2 c. water and quinoa to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat, cover, and cook for 8-10 minutes. Throw the broccolini in the saucepan with the quinoa, cover it up again and cook about 5 minutes more until water is absorbed and broccolini is bright green.

Mix quinoa, broccolini, and the next 8 ingredients through EVOO in a large mixing bowl. Let mixture sit to cool slightly before serving it up in individual bowls. Finally, top with Feta cubes.

*If you don't buy pre-rinsed quinoa make sure you rinse it before cooking.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Dinner #6: Baked Sweet Potatoes with Chili

The sweetness of the baked potato goes so nicely with the smokiness of the chili. Now I have to find a recipe for sweet potato chili...

Topped with Monterey Jack cheese, jalapeno slice and sour cream

Baked Sweet Potatoes with Chili
Yield: 6 servings
Difficulty: Easy

6 small organic sweet potatoes (I used 2 giant cut in half + 2 small)
2 tsp. EVOO
1 c. organic yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
red pepper flakes, to taste
2 - 14.5 oz. cans fire-roasted, no salt added tomatoes
1 - 15 oz. can organic pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 - 15 oz. can organic black beans, rinsed and drained

Possible toppings/garnishes:
Sour cream
Greek yogurt
Fresh cilantro
Thinly sliced jalapenos
Freshly grated Monterey Jack

Pre-heat oven to 400. Pierce the sweet potatoes with a fork and wrap loosely in foil. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until potatoes are soft.

While potatoes bake, saute onion and garlic in EVOO until onions are soft. Add spices and tomatoes. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add beans and continue to simmer until potatoes are finished baking.

Split each baked sweet potato open and top with 3/4 c. chili. Add toppings as desired.

Topped with sour cream, cilantro, and jalapeno slices