Thursday, October 23, 2014

Chicken Parmesan Bake

Chicken Parmesan Bake
serves 4

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1 Pound Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
2 Cups Marinara Sauce (About 2/3 of a 26 oz. Jar)
8 Oz. Shredded Mozzarella
4 Oz. Parmesan, Grated
(1) 5 Oz. Package Garlic Croutons, Crushed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In an 8x8 baking dish, drizzle olive oil then sprinkle red pepper flakes.  Then layer chicken, marinara sauce, half of the cheeses, croutons, then on top the rest of the cheese.  Bake for 35 minutes or until chicken is 155 degrees in the middle.

This is one of my new favorite super easy meals!  It is all the flavor of Chicken Parmesan with practically zero effort.  You could serve it with pasta, but M is trying to eat fewer carbs, so we just ate it with a side salad which was just perfect!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Quinoa Week: Quinoa Blueberry Porridge

Quinoa Blueberry Porridge
makes 2 servings

1/2 Cup Quinoa, Rinsed
1 1/2 Cups Milk
1 Teaspoon Maple Syrup
1/4 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Dash of Cinnamon Powder
1/4 Cup Blueberries

In a small saucepan, mix together quinoa, milk, syrup, vanilla, and cinnamon.  Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes until quinoa is tender.  Serve hot with blueberries.

Quinoa is a great start to the day!  A great alternative to oatmeal or cream of wheat that really sticks to your ribs.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Quinoa Week: Broccoli Quinoa Casserole

Broccoli Quinoa Casserole
makes 6 servings

1 Cup Quinoa, Rinsed
1 Head of Broccoli, Finely Chopped
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Pound Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, Cubed
1 (1 oz.) Packet Ranch Seasoning
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons Flour
2 Cups Milk
1 1/2 Cups Cheddar Cheese, Shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a medium sauce pan cook quinoa according to package directions.  During the last 5 minutes before it rests, add the broccoli to steam.  Set aside.  Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet.  Add chicken, ranch seasoning, and season with salt and pepper.  Cook chicken until the center is no longer pink, about 3-4 minutes per side.  Set aside.  In the skillet that the chicken was in, melt butter over medium heat.  Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute.  Gradually whisk in milk, and keep whisking until thickened, about 3-4 minutes.  Add in cheese.  In a greased 9x13 pan, combine quinoa and broccoli, chicken, and cheese sauce.  Sprinkle additional cheese on top if desired.  Bake for 10 minutes until mixture is heated throughout and the cheese on top is melted.

This is definitely comfort food that is perfect for this cool fall weather.  And comfort food without all the guilt makes it even better!  

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Quinoa Week: Autumn Quinoa Salad

Autumn Quinoa Salad
makes about 8 servings as a side dish

1 Cup Quinoa, Rinsed
1 Red Bell Pepper, Chopped
1/2 Red Onion, Chopped Finely
1 Package Ready To Steam Sweet Potatoes (About 2 Cups) Cubed
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
3 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
Salt and Pepper
3/4 Cup Dried Cranberries

Prepare quinoa according to package directions.  Let cool.  In a medium bowl combine cooled quinoa, red pepper, onion, steamed (and cooled) sweet potatoes, olive oil and vinegar.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Stir in dried cranberries.

This salad has such gorgeous fall colors!  Especially with the rainbow quinoa.  I think this would be a great dish to bring to a Thanksgiving potluck!  The onions are a little sharp (obviously) so I think this salad is better the next day after they get a chance to mellow and all of the flavors of the salad can get to know each other.  

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Quinoa Week: Quinoa Fritters

Quinoa Fritters
makes 12 fritters

1 Cup Quinoa
1 Cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
6 Scallions, Finely Chopped
2 Eggs
3 Tablespoons Flour
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

Cook quinoa according to package directions.  Let cool.  In a medium mixing bowl mix quinoa, Parmesan, scallions, eggs, and flour.  Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat.  Pack quinoa mixture into 1/3 cup measuring cups.  Drop mixture into heated oil and press down so it makes a patty.  Don't overcrowd the skillet because the fritters are fragile.  Cook for 5 minutes per side.  Garnish with extra Parmesan and scallions, if desired.

These fritters are a great alternative to boring potatoes as a side or you can even have them for a light lunch with a salad.  Or throw them on a bun and call it a veggie burger!  I've been making a few at a time, keeping the extra "batter" in the fridge until we're ready for another batch!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Quinoa Week: Quinoa Chili

Quinoa Chili
makes 8 servings

1 Cup Quinoa
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Onion, Diced
2 Tablespoons Garlic, Minced
2 (14.5 oz.) Cans Diced Tomatoes with Chilies
1 (15 oz.) Can Tomato Sauce
2 Tablespoons Chili Powder
1 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1 1/2 Teaspoons Sugar
1 (15 oz.) Can Kidney Beans, Rinsed and Drained
1 (15 oz.) Can Black Beans, Rinsed and Drained
1 (15 oz.) Can Corn, Drained
Chili toppings such as sour cream, shredded cheese, or avocado.

Cook quinoa according to package directions.  Set aside.  In a large pot or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and onion, stirring frequently, until onions have become translucent, about 2-3 minutes.  Add in tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili powder, red pepper flakes, sugar, beans, corn, and cooked quinoa with 1 to 2 cups water. Season with salt and pepper.  Reduce heat to low, simmer until thickened, about 30 minutes.  Serve with your favorite chili toppings.

What a fun way to jazz up boring chili!  I made this for my mom when she came to visit and it was a hit!  This recipe made a ton so I made sure to freeze some for when M comes back from Wisconsin.  

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Quinoa Week

I'd like to introduce you to my new best friend, quinoa!  Quinoa is always up for anything - salads, breakfast, main dishes, you name it!  Quinoa is a little fussy, she likes to take a little shower before she gets to work, but once that's done quinoa is a blast!  Quinoa is a grain that is all the rage on the food blogs recently.  You might be wondering if there's a difference between red, black, rainbow, or regular quinoa?  Answer:  Nope, no difference!  When you're shopping choose whichever color you think would look best with the dish.  I usually get the regular quinoa because it comes in the biggest bag at Target.  (I've been going through tons of it!)