I’ve had several people ask me for a good quinoa recipe lately, and this is the one I always recommend.  The lemon gives it a refreshing, summery taste and the mixture of toasted pine nuts, kale and quinoa give it a surprising heartiness that leaves you feeling full.  It’s great on its own, or alongside a tasty wrap to round out a healthy lunch.  This recipe is a great guide, because you can swap out different ingredients to change up the taste…use almonds or walnuts instead of pine nut, sub feta or cubed mozzarella for the goat cheese or even use a different grain, such as Farro, for the base.   The combinations are endless while staying healthy, delicious and budget-friendly.

034

A satisfying choice for Meatless Monday

Kale & Quinoa Pilaf

 Printable Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups salted water
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 bunch kale, washed and sliced into 1” ribbons
  • 1 lemon (Meyer, if you can find them) zested and juiced
  • 2 scallions,chopped
  • 1tbs roasted walnut oil (you can use evoo or sunflower oil, but the walnut oil really has a  great flavor)
  • 3 tbs toasted pine nuts
  • ¼ cup crumbled goat cheese

Bring the salted water to a boil and add quinoa. Cover and lower the heat to simmer.  Simmer 10 minutes, then top with chopped kale and re-cover.  Simmer 5 more minutes then remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, combine lemon juice and zest through goat cheese in a medium bowl.  Head back to the stove to check on the quinoa.  It should have absorbed all the liquid and you should be able to fluff it with a fork.  Mix the kale in with the quinoa, then pour over lemon/oil mixture.  You can serve immediately or chill overnight and have for lunch the next day. It’s great served warm or cold!

Dinner Thaime!

February 21, 2011

We’re friends with another couple that loves to cook as much as we do.  We have each over for themed meals and this time it was our turn.  We opted for Asian night and the full menu is below.  Today I’ll be sharing the recipe for Thai Ribs which I came across in the Feb. 2011 issue of Bon Appetit.  The only thing I changed/added was a serrano chili, because, well…why not?

Chicken Lemon Potstickers with Soy Scallion Dipping Sauce

Coconut Chicken Soup

Shrimp and Tofu Pad Thai ~ Thai Shortribs

Coconut Gelato

Sencha with Meyer Lemon

 

 

thai ribs

Our guests brought Tiger -- a delicious beer from Singapore

Thai Spareribs

Ingredients

  • 6 pounds meaty spareribs (about 2 racks), cut into 2-rib portions
  • Boiling water
  • 2 large lemongrass stalks
  • 1/2 cup plus 6 tablespoons tamari soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup dry Sherry
  • 2 tablespoons Thai peanut sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Asian sesame oil
  • 4 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 serrano chili pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 1 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled, chopped
  • 3/4 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk

Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange ribs in single layer in large roasting pan. Add just enough boiling water to cover ribs. Cover pan with foil. Oven-braise ribs until almost tender, about 1 1/2 hours.
  • Meanwhile, cut bottom 2 inches from each lemongrass stalk (discard upper portions). Slice lemongrass into thin rounds; place in blender. Add 1/2 cup tamari, sugar, Sherry, peanut sauce, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger; blend until almost smooth. Blend in coconut milk and remaining 6 tablespoons tamari for marinade.
  • Cool ribs, still covered, 30 minutes. Transfer ribs to heavy-duty 2-gallon resealable plastic bag; discard braising liquid. Pour marinade into bag. Seal top and turn several times to coat ribs evenly. Refrigerate overnight, turning occasionally.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Using tongs, arrange ribs in single layer on large rimmed baking sheet. Spoon marinade from bag over ribs. Roast uncovered until ribs are very tender, basting often with marinade, about 1 1/2 hours. Arrange ribs on platter. Scrape marinade into pitcher for sauce; spoon off fat that rises to surface. Brush sauce generously over ribs and serve remaining sauce alongside.

Fist-Pumping Polenta

February 16, 2011

When I brought a box of polenta home, Jim got so excited he did a fist-pump (which he may, or may not, admit to).  I usually make something fun with polenta and this Sunday night was no different.  I included my two current obsessions: Meyer Lemons (because, who isn’t?) and Serrano Chili Peppers.  The recipe already called for lemon, but I added the serrano to (to quote a wise man), “kick it up a notch.”  That it did.  If you’re not a fan of heat, then you can easily leave it out, but take caution with the Andouille, as it’s often is on the spicy side.  This  delicious one-dish meal is perfect for during the week and pairs nicely with a tossed salad and a crisp white wine (and you can take yummy leftovers for lunch).
Andouille Dijon Polenta (with a kick)
4 servings
  • 1 Cup polenta
  • 3 Cup chicken stock
  • 3/4 Lb Andouille sauage, ground or casings removed
  • 1 White onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 Cup spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 Cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 Cup white wine
  • 1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 Teaspoon garlic paste
  • 1 Teaspoon lemon zest
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon of butter, broken into quarters (optional)
  • 1 Teaspoon tarragon, chopped
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste

In a large saute pan on medium high heat add andouille sausage and cook all the way through – about five minutes.

  1. Once the andouille is browned, add the diced onion and serrano chili and cook in the fat from the sausage for about three to five minutes or until the onions are translucent.
  2. Add the chicken stock to the pan, and bring to a boil on high heat. Once the stock is boiling, slowly whisk in the polenta.
  3. Reduce the heat of the pan and periodically stir the polenta to prevent clumping for about ten minutes or until the stock seems to have been absorbed by the polenta.  (I use instant polenta so this just takes about a minute.)
  4. Meanwhile, make the Dijon sauce by adding the white wine and heavy whipping cream to a smaller sauté pan on low heat. Whisk for about a minute, then add the Dijon, garlic paste, tarragon, and lemon zest. Continue to whisk for another few minutes so that all the ingredients are properly incorporated.
  5. Stir the dijon sauce and chopped spinach into the polenta, ensuring that all the ingredients are evenly distributed. Top with a few pats of butter and season with some hefty pinches of salt and pepper. Serve as a side or make it your main course with a simple salad.
IMG00165-20110213-1900.jpg

Sausage, Onion and Serranos sauteeing before adding chicken stock*

 

*Sorry for the not so great pic.  Lost my camera charger in NOLA and using phone for now…

Weekly Menu

February 13, 2011

About once a month I get organized enough to plan out our menu for the week.  And write it down.  On the chalkboard I bought for the kitchen for just that purpose {ideally every week, but once a month isn’t too bad of a start}.   Tuesday night I have Junior League and Thursday I’ll be out of town, so Jim will have to fend for himself or eat leftovers.

Anywho, I picked my recipes, hit the grocery and the Farmer’s Market and am prepared for a week of delicious, homemade meals.  Every night has {at least} one dish I’ve never made before. 

I’m looking forward to sharing these recipes and hope you’ll join me in expanding your taste buds and experimenting with some new flavors!

IMG00164-20110212-2250.jpg

A week of dishes in February {made the Hot Tub Chicken with a side of Green Beans w/ shallots, feta and Meyer Lemon tonight. Ah-mazing!}.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,210 other followers