So this is what I made tonight: Hearty Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash & Quinoa.
This is the first time I’ve ever made or shopped for quinoa (keen wah) and yes, I had to Google the pronunciation and read what exactly is quinoa. Here’s a little bit about it from quinoa-recipes.com:
Quinoa is 100% whole grain and is close to being a perfect food source in the balance of nutrition it provides. Technically it’s not a grain but the seed of a leafy plant related to spinach. Quinoa is an excellent source of protein – 12% to 18%. According to The National Academy of Sciences, quinoa is “one of the best sources of protein in the vegetable kingdom”. Quinoa contains the amino acid lysine which helps the body produce protein. It also helps the body process the protein in the quinoa and in other foods. The World Health Organization has rated the quality of protein in quinoa to be equivalent or superior to that found in milk products.
So one day while browsing Pinterest, I came across this photo/recipe that my friend pinned. It looked so delicious so I decided to check out the recipe. It sounded so flavorful and healthy at the same time; not like the typical bland healthy food. This is full of butternut squash, tomatoes, quinoa, chicken, onions, and garlic. The mixture of butternut squash with chicken broth gives a faint flavor of the yummy combination of sweet and salty. It is definitely hearty and a perfect cold-weather dish.
I’d say that this recipes is a little more advanced beginner because there are so many steps involved. It took me quite a while to mince the garlic, peel and chop the butternut squash, chop the onion, seed and quarter the olives, and trim the fat off the chicken, but once I completed those tasks it was pretty quick to make. I like that the ingredients are pretty basic and easy to find in the grocery store. On more than one occasion I’ve come across a photo of a dish I want to try to make and I have no clue what some of the ingredients are or what certain cooking terms are. It kind of sucks to have to sit on your tablet with messy hands to look up things like roux.
During the last few steps I was worried that it looked like something Ted would never touch, but he actually liked it. Elle kept commenting on how delicious it smelled, but I’m skeptical that she will try it once she sees it. Rhett on the other hand will try almost anything so we’ll see how it goes over with his 18 month-old taste buds. 🙂
And this is what I made Tuesday night: Spinach and Chicken Pie. This recipe is very quick and easy. It’s probably even quicker if you wilt fresh spinach which would free up the time it takes to thaw and squeeze excess water from frozen chopped spinach. I enjoyed making this one because it’s super quick with minimal chopping since it uses ground chicken. I am not a fast chopper and I do not enjoy standing in one place chopping for half an hour, but I’m also too much of a perfectionist to throw it all in a food processor. The flavor is subtle, but it’s supposed to be a healthy kid-friendly recipe so it works. I usually bring leftovers of new recipes to my
guinea pigs co-workers, and my sister (one of my co-workers and also a much better cook than me) said it could use some balsamic vinegar to give it a little tangy flavor.
I made this beautiful dish Tuesday night also: Peanut Butter Chocolate No-Bake Dessert. Here’s what I have to say about this one: way too easy to make and eat. Proceed with caution.