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24 March 2011

Healthy recipe #1

So, maybe it was a coincidence that three days after my boyfriend, RJ signed on for a life insurance policy, his coworker suddenly passed at the age of 38.  I may be a scientist, but I still believe that there are signs.  They can be as subtle as a breeze caressing your cheek or as slap-you-in-the-face blatant as your coworker dying just as you are planning for your own hopefully distant demise.  So, in addition to our daily workout regimen (which was brought on by the sign of the ‘L’ sticker on my jeans), we’re going to start eating healthy, vegetable-laden meals until we turn 60, after which we’ll indulge to our hearts content and be able to die happily.  Possibly with a twenty-piece chicken mcnuggets in one hand and a guinness in the other.  Until then, here is healthy dish #1, chicken and quinoa.  Thankfully, garlic, chili peppers, and cinnamon have been deemed ‘healthy’.  

Live long thyme chicken and spinach over spicy quinoa
- ½ white onion, diced; another ½ diced for quinoa
this is what i mean by 'heap' of spinach.
- ½ green pepper, diced
-1 pack thinly sliced chicken breast, sliced in chunks
-3 cups+ white wine
-2 sprigs of thyme, stripped
-2T Worcestershire
-6 cloves garlic, chopped
-heap of fresh spinach, washed
-salt and cracked black pepper
-red chili powder
-3 cups quinoa
-4 whole dried chili peppers
-6 cups mushroom stock
-1t cinnamon
-1T cumin
-olive oil
see the spirals!?
Follow directions on package of quinoa for washing/ soaking steps.  In a pot on the stove or a rice cooker, set up mushroom stock, ½ diced s!?onion, whole chilis, cinnamon, cumin, salt and pepper for 3 cups of quinoa.  For the stove, let stock with seasonings come to a boil and then add quinoa, cover and cook until you can see little spirals in the grains.  For a rice cooker, add everything and push the start button.  While this is cooking, coat olive oil in a high-lipped pan on med heat and chop your onion while it heats up.  Add the onion to the pan and stir, sprinkle with thyme.  Take a moment to smell the thyme.  Mmmm. It smells good.  Chop up the green pepper and stir that in, too.  Slice up the chicken into bite-sized pieces.  Move your veg over to one side of the pan and slide the chicken chunks onto the other side.  Sprinkle chicken with salt (lightly!), pepper and chili powder, let brown on one side and flip over each bit with tongs (not your veg spoon).  Add in the Worcestershire and let the chicken cook through.  Add wine and stir together the chicken and veg.  Let the wine cook down while you chop your garlic and ready the spinach.  When the liquid reaches about ½ volume, add spinach and garlic and stir in to wilt.  Remove from heat as soon as the spinach wilts.  Cracked black pepper to taste.  Within a few minutes, your quinoa will be ready.  Serve chicken over quinoa, or mix it all together.  You won’t even know that you’re eating healthy food! Serves 2-3.

PS.  If you have any cooked quinoa leftover, spread it out on a sheet pan, cover with parchment and/or cling film, and refrigerate.  Tomorrow I’ll post the recipe for quinoa cakes! 
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