Tag Archives: sun dried tomatoes

Quinoa and Purple Potatoes-Who Knew?

13 Feb

Quinoa: the food that we’re told to eat, but not how to pronounce. While a lot of people think it’s a starch, it’s actually a grain, a seed to be exact, which is why it’s popular among the gluten-free crowd. It’s a curious food, quinoa (and that’s pronounced: keen-nwah), and one that I had never cooked before. The first time I had it was a few years ago at one of my favorite restaurants in Hollywood, Off Vine. It was a stuffed bell pepper and I thought it was so good I vowed to make it.

Well I didn’t. And now almost 3 years later I finally made a quinoa dish. And I have (no surprise) Giada and her “Weeknights With Giada” to thank. However I made 2 small changes. Giada’s recipe calls for frozen peas and black olives. I’m not a fan of either so instead I used frozen edamame (shelled) and sun-dried tomatoes. In addition I steamed my edamame before adding to the cooked quinoa. I still have the rest of the bag of quinoa in my cupboard, so maybe I’ll finally make my own version of Off Vine’s stuffed bell pepper! Stay tuned…but meanwhile, enjoy this quinoa “salad” with purple potatoes from Giada, the kitchen goddess.

Quinoa with Purple Potatoes and Edamame Ingredients L-R: Quinoa, Purple Potatoes, Shelled Edamame, Lime, Sun Dried Tomatoes, Chicken Broth, Olive Oil

Quinoa with Purple Potatoes and Edamame Ingredients L-R: Quinoa, Purple Potatoes, Shelled Edamame, Lime, Sun Dried Tomatoes, Chicken Broth, Olive Oil

QUINOA WITH PEAS AND POTATOES (serves about 3 to 4)

  • 6 ounces Purple Peruvian Potatoes
  • 2 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 2 Garlic Cloves (or 1 if you don’t want too much garlic)
  • 1 Cup (4 ounces) edamame (shelled)
  • 1/4 Cup Sun Dried Tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Agave Nectar
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp Fresh Lime Juice (1 large lime)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

If using frozen edamame (or peas if you prefer), be sure to remove them from the freezer first to allow them time to thaw. Measure out what you need in your scale and let them sit on your counter to thaw out.

Shelled Edamame

Shelled Edamame

Next cut your potatoes into about 1/2″ size (bite size) pieces. Fill a large pot about 1/2 to 2/3 of the way with cold, salted water and add your potato pieces. Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil. And don’t freak out when the water turns green, that’s normal. I googled it and it’s a science thing having to do with levels of acidity in the potatoes. (Pretty cool though!) They should be fork tender, about 15 minutes. Once done, drain and set aside to cool.

Purple potatoes are so pretty!

Purple potatoes are so pretty!

Boiling Purple Potatoes

Boiling the purple potatoes. See the green water? Science!

Purple potatoes cooling down before adding to the quinoa.

Purple potatoes cooling down before adding to the quinoa.

While your potatoes are boiling start your quinoa. Peel and smash your garlic (don’t chop) and measure our your chicken broth and quinoa. Combine all three into a large saucepan (that has a cover) and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Then reduce the heat to low, cover and let simmer for about 15 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender. Remove from the heat and let rest for 5 minutes to finish cooking. Then remove the garlic and discard and using a fork fluff your quinoa. Add in your cooked potatoes and steamed peas and toss well.

With the side of your knife, smash your garlic just enough to let the flavor out.

With the side of your knife, smash your garlic just enough to let the flavor out.

quinoa

Quinoa measured out and ready to cook!

While your quinoa is simmering steam your peas and then set aside. Chop up your sun-dried tomatoes (I used dry versus ones soaked in oil) into small pieces and set aside. (This was instead of the black olives.) In a liquid measuring cup, combine your olive oil and agave nectar to make 1/4 cup total. Pull out a blender or a mini food processor and combine the sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil and agave mixture, lime juice and 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Chop until chunky.

Olive Oil and Agave Nectar

Olive Oil and Agave Nectar

Chopped up sun dried tomatoes.

Chopped up sun-dried tomatoes.

Sun Dried Tomato and Agave Dressing

Sun Dried Tomato and Agave Dressing

Pour enough to coat over your quinoa mixture, serve and enjoy! I had mine as a full dinner, but this would make a great side dish as well.

Quinoa with Purple Potatoes and Edamame

Quinoa with Purple Potatoes and Edamame

Easy Greek Pasta With Chicken

12 Jul Greek Pasta With Chicken

One of the first recipes I shared on my blog was a Greek pasta dish and I’m here to share another one. This one is very simple and can be made in less than 20 minutes. I came home from work and was starving and wanted something quick and yummy. I remembered I had a jar of sun-dried tomatoes as well as some feta cheese left. I grabbed a frozen chicken breast from the freezer and immediately stuck it in the microwave to defrost. And I have to admit that I was so hungry that I didn’t stop to take a lot of pictures. What I love about this dish is how easy and fast it is to make. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Feta Cheese

Feta Cheese

GREEK PENNE PASTA WITH CHICKEN (2 servings)

  • 1 Boneless and Skinless Chicken Breast
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup of Sun-Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil (roughly, feel free to add more or less)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Feta Cheese to top
  • 4 oz of Pasta of your choice

Start a medium pot of water for your pasta. I am of the mind to salt the water. Some people do, some don’t, it’s your preference. While you’re waiting for the water to boil chop up your chicken breast into pieces about an inch or two long. If you need to defrost your chicken first you can do this while you’re waiting for the water to boil too. It should only take about 4 minutes. Be sure to use the defrost option on the microwave.

Greek Pasta With Chicken

Chicken and sun-dried tomatoes cooking

Once your chicken is cut up, heat your olive oil in a small pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add in  your chicken. When the chicken is about halfway cooked, add in your sun-dried tomatoes (with some of the oil from the jar, about a tablespoon or two) and turn the heat down to medium and finish cooking.

Greek Pasta

Cooking the pasta

Your water should be boiling by now, so add in your pasta and cook for about six minutes. Taste a piece to make sure it’s done before straining. Be sure to save a few tablespoons of water to mix back in with the pasta. Once your chicken is done, mix with pasta, serve with feta on top (and a glass of white wine) and enjoy!

Greek Pasta With Chicken

Greek Pasta With Chicken

Image

Greek Inspired Pasta Dish

26 Sep

Pasta is one of the easiest and most malleable dishes to make (so you can expect to see many pasta dishes). It’s kinda like Meryl Streep, that woman has so many characters and such a broad range, but underneath it all is a familiar face. But I digress, back to pasta. You can put just about any meat you want in it, or no meat at all and it’s still filling. Same goes for the veggies, it all depends on what you like and if you’re going for a theme. Everything goes with pasta, or at least, I haven’t found anything that hasn’t. So don’t be afraid to take a risk and add any veggies/meats you like! I had half a bell pepper left over so I chopped that up as well. The recipe for the Chicken Greek Pasta is below. I paired it with a Riesling by Fetzer. I love their wine by the way. It’s reasonably priced and has such a wonderful flavor. I’m a big fan of Rieslings and since I’m on a tight budget, Fetzer fits the bill. Oh, and the dish is from IKEA. For those of you on Facebook you may recognize this dish from a few weeks ago. After a friend asked for the recipe and then reported back success, I knew I wanted to start the blog off with this!

Greek Inspired Pasta Dish

Linguine with spinach, sun dried tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, grilled chicken and Feta Cheese.

CHICKEN GREEK PASTA WITH FETA (makes 2 servings)

4 oz Linguine (or any pasta of your choice, 2 oz for each person)
3 oz Grilled Chicken (I used pre-cooked to cut down on prep & cooking time)
Fresh Baby Spinach, 2 handfuls
2 Spoonfuls of Sun Dried Tomatoes soaked in Olive Oil (I used julienne cut)
1/4 Small Onion, chopped
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
Dried Basil to taste (optional)
Salt & Pepper to taste

In a medium pot boil about 3 qts of water. I usually salt the water. (Yes, there’s a big debate about salting pasta water which I will save for another post.) Cook the pasta for about 7 minutes. Drain, but save about a tablespoon of water and mix back in with pasta.

While you wait for the water to boil work on the fixings.
In a medium saucepan saute the onions in the olive oil, after a few minutes throw in the spinach. Once the onions and spinach start to cook down, toss in the chicken. I scoop a couple spoonfuls of jarred sun dried tomatoes into the pan. Salt, pepper to taste. I also use about a teaspoon or two of dried basil. Mix together with drained pasta. Sprinkle with feta and enjoy!

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