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Sunday, August 30, 2009

quinoa chicken and veggies...oh my!

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I'm not sure where you all live, but from my Ottawa-based perspective, summer has been a total write-off. Rain, rain and more rain. Cool weather (downright chilly yesterday, quite frankly). Miserable forecast, after miserable forecast. It has royally sucked. Blah.

BUT, that hasn't stopped hubs and I from enjoying yummy food from the grill (or food that tastes like it could maybe be from the grill). Though we've only had one alfresco meal this summer (a rotten record, I concur), we haven't starved yet.

I've got three yummy things for you today - a tasty grilled lemongrass chicken with quinoa (courtesy of epicurious), a DNM original seafood risotto, the best grilled side of salmon you'll ever eat in your life (courtesy of Clean Eating magazine).

We've been having a lot of fun introducing Z to all sorts of new foods. Thus far, the kid seems to have an undiscrimating palate. I could fool myself into thinking that she's a bit of a pint-sized gourmande, but I think she just eats everything, and asks questions later. She quite liked this lemongrass chicken recipe. I thought the chicken part of the recipe was five-star. It was juicy, flavourful and delicious. I loved the smokiness from the barbecue and the zip from the marinade and it was awesome afterward in wraps, salads, etc. The quinoa was a bit meh. I was initially excited by the idea of red quinoa, but this recipe just doesn't do it for me. I've discovered that quinoa is a real black hole for matter how much you add to it, it just soaks it while one might think that cooking in broth would result in a lot of really doesn't. I think you're better off tossing the quinoa with a little oil (to seal it off) and then a little something with acid and bit (like lime juice and chopped onion....or something like that).

Red Quinoa vs. regular quinoa:

The chicken is totally worth it. Also, it seemed a bit of a shame for me to throw out all that flavourful chicken marinade, so I used it to cook my veggies. DOn't worry though, I browned/cooked it THOROUGHLY before the veggies touched the pan. :)

Grilled Lemongrass Chicken with Red Quinoa and VegetablesSELF | July 2009

Yield: Serves 4
3 medium shallots, roughly chopped
2 stalks fresh lemongrass (tough outer leaves removed) (I could only get jarred was fine)
1 piece ginger (about 1 1/2 inches), peeled
1/4 cup plus 5 teaspoons canola oil, divided
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon tamari (or soy sauce)
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground coriander

4 boneless, skinless organic chicken breasts (about 5 ounces each)
3/4 cup red quinoa

1 1/2 cups chicken broth (or stock)

Vegetable oil cooking spray

1 pound fresh sugar snap peas, strings removed
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

1. Marinade: Puree shallots, lemongrass, ginger, 1/4 cup oil, lime juice, tamari, sugar, sea salt, pepper, and coriander in a blender until smooth.

2. Place chicken in a baking dish and spoon on marinade, rubbing it on all sides. Cover; chill 1/2 to 2 hours.


3. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook quinoa until toasted, 3 to 4 minutes. Add broth; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until quinoa absorbs liquid, about 20 minutes. Turn off heat; let sit, covered, until ready to serve.

4. Heat a grill pan or skillet over high heat; coat with cooking spray. Cook chicken, turning once, for 4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Cook, turning once, until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove chicken; let rest two minutes. (I cooked mine on the barbecue - highly recommended if you have one!!!!)


5. Slice each breast on the diagonal into 1/2-inch pieces.

6. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat (I added the leftover marinade). Cook sugar peas and peppers until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Turn off heat. Add mint and toss. Divide quinoa among 4 plates. Top each with 1 sliced chicken breast and 1/4 of the vegetables.


Our plates looked liked this:


Z's was a little different....she did like it though! Gobbled up the chicken like there was no tomorrow.


I'm putting the other two recipes in their own posts! Thanks for reading and enjoy the tasty eats........mmmmmmmm...........grilled chicken.....

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