Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Greek Quinoa Salad

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"Kwin-noah?"  - Me

I think I may officially be the last person to join in the craze, and so all I have to say is, "Is this bandwagon headed to the quinoa store please?"  Whole grain, healthy, gluten free, and it has been named one of the most complete foods in big deal!

And, did you know that this supergrain is actually not a grain at all, but a seed that is part of the spinach family?  I know that because I looked it up.

It's light, it's fluffy, it's fun (ok, maybe I'm pushing it?!), and it's my new favourite thing to cook with.  Keen-wah.

I threw this Greek Quinoa Salad together for dinner for The Hubby and me last week, and served it alongside a sundried tomato and basil marinated chicken breast.  The salad kept in the fridge for 4-5 days, and was awesome for lunches at work last week.  My hatred of leftovers is passionate, but this salad actually seemed to improve as the days passed.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Very Berry Muffins

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It's officially SPRRRRIIIIINNNG!!  The sun is shining (after having snow at our house three out of seven days this week, but who's counting?), flowers are poking their heads out of the ground (which makes me feel like I should be out there gardening instead of typing this!), and...well, Spring muffins are baking in the oven?!  Yes they are!  Quadruple berry muffins in fact.

You guys.  These muffins.  They are soooo tasty and full of berry're going to love them.  Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries.  Perfect.      

Some tips:  I used whole berries for this recipe rather than chopping each berry into smaller pieces.  If you're doing the same, make sure that you use muffin liners which will help to keep the berry trapped in with the rest of the muffin when you are removing it from the tin after baking.  Once they cool in the muffin liner, there will be no fear of the side or bottom of your muffin coming off because it's more berry than muffin. That's right, more berry than muffin.  Also, if you are using frozen berries, throw them into the muffin mixture in their frozen state rather than thawing them first.  This will ensure that your muffin mix doesn't turn purple.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Crispy Chicken with Green Curry Sauce

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Something you should know about me is that I have an unhealthy obsession with cookbooks.  I love them.  I want more of them.  I need them.  I'm a cookbook hoarder.

Ask The Hubby, there probably isn't any night of the week that while we are sitting watching TV I am not flipping through the tattered, stained pages of any given cookbook.  If you and I are talking on the phone, and I end the sentence with the word potato instead of whatever you were expecting, you know what I was really doing while we were chatting.  I usually even have a cookbook on the passenger seat of my car so that I can sneak a peek at a red light on my long drive home from work.  And what makes it worse is the suffocating feeling that even if I cooked one new thing every day for the rest of my life, I would never ever be able to make all of the recipes that are out there in all of the cookbooks!  It's bad.  I'm an addict.

So, imagine how excited I was on Christmas Eve when I got to open my stocking from my mother-in-law (yes, I am 30 years old and still get a stocking from both my mom and my mom-in-law, and I LOVE it!), and inside was a brand new copy of Jamie Oliver's Meals in Minutes!  So many new recipes and pretty pictures and yummy things!!!  Pure bliss!

So, I decided to finally put the Meals In Minutes concept to a test this past Friday.  A whole delicious meal in just a few minutes?!  Um, yes please.  With my new cookbook on the car seat beside me, I decided during my commute home from work that Crispy Chicken with Green Curry Sauce was going to be the object of my affection that day.

Off to the grocery store I went.  The recipe called for some ingredients that I have never cooked with before, namely lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves.  The lemongrass part wasn't hard to find, but after going to two grocery stores and having a few awkward conversations with the 17-year old produce department employees about what I was trying to buy ("Lime leaves?"), I opted out of the optional lime leaves.

Then I had a stroke of genius!  Since it was only 6pm on a Friday night, and since this meal was literally only going to take me a few minutes to construct, maybe The Hubby and I should invite some friends over for dinner and cards!  The Hubby's brother and his fiance were totally in.  Sweet...last minute dinner plans!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tomato and Italian Sausage Risotto

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I made a delicious dinner last night.  The Hubby said it was the best thing he has eaten in 2012!  Thank you Martha Stewart, you saucy domestic goddess you!

Risotto always seemed like one of those unconquerable meals that I could only order in a restaurant.  Like...what is that stuff?  But I made it last year for the first time, and it was EASY!  Lots of stirring and monitoring, but still pretty darn easy!  So, I decided to try it again last night...this time with a tomato-based version (healthier? maybe. probably), and it was delish.

There is a bunch of spinach in this recipe (like actually a spinach bunch of spinach!), so if you feel like skipping a side vegetable, you will still have your vegetable quota covered.  I usually have all of these ingredients on hand, so it was a breeze to make for a hearty weeknight meal to help combat these cold nights that still lurk.

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