Sunday, January 12, 2014

Buffalo Chicken Quinoa

Now that I'm sharing this dinner, I want to eat it immediately. We love Frank's buffalo sauce in this house but go through phases of eating a lot of it and then carelessly avoiding it for awhile. It's been in the cabinet too long at the moment. This quinoa is a perfect weeknight meal and the leftovers make a great lunch. This is easily transitioned to a vegetarian option by removing the chicken and adding more broccoli. If you like things extra spicy, you can change your hot sauce preference. I once (accidentally!) made this with the Frank's extra hot. It was just too much for me, especially when reheated. I'll stick with the delicious tang of buffalo wing sauce. This recipe was a Pinterest discover from Half Baked Harvest.

You will need:
*1 cup quinoa (be sure to rinse it well before cooking)
*2 cups water
*1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
*1 cup broccoli florets
*1 cup shredded carrots
*1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles, plus more for serving
*4 green onions chopped, divided
*1/2 cup olive oil
*1/2 cup hot sauce (I recommend Frank's buffalo)
*1 teaspoon seasoned salt

1. Place quinoa and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer with the heat on low. Cook for about 20 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Remove cooked quinoa from heat and fluff with a fork.

2. While the quinoa is simmering, cook the chicken pieces in a skillet. While the chicken is cooking, make the sauce by combining the olive oil, hot sauce, and seasoned salt in a measuring cup. Whisk to combine. Once the chicken is almost finished, add the broccoli and about 1/4 cup of the sauce.

3. Remove the skillet from the heat once the chicken is fully cooked and the broccoli has softened to your liking. (I prefer to leave it a little crunchy) Stir in the carrots, blue cheese crumbles, cooked quinoa, and half of the scallions. Mix in sauce until the dinner is coated. I like to use most, if not all of it. Serve topped with additional blue cheese and the remaining scallions.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Crockpot Chicken Gyros

Happy New Year!
Here's a healthy, delicious, and simple crockpot recipe to kick off 2014. We've enjoyed this meal a few times. Eating this dinner brings me back to enjoying gyros while basking in the Mykonos sun a few summers ago. That vacation was a once in a lifetime opportunity for us so I like to relive it whenever possible. This is a quick version of this popular Greek dish that can cook while you're at work all day. As soon as I spotted this on Kate's Recipe Box, I knew it would be a winner in our kitchen. I immediately doubled that recipe to yield more leftovers that we could enjoy in more wraps and over salads. This reheats well, and I think it would freeze well too. I need to find a good, authentic Greek style pita option to enjoy these in. Maybe I'll have to look into making my own.

You will need:
*2 pounds chicken breasts (frozen works well here, no need to thaw)
*6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
*1 onion, diced
1/2 cup water
*2 tablespoons olive oil
*4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
*2 teaspoons oregano

*1/2 teaspoon allspice
*2 teaspoons lemon pepper
Tzatziki sauce, tomatoes, romaine and pitas, for serving

1. Place the chicken breasts in the base of a slow cooker. Whisk together the remaining ingredients and pour over chicken. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

2. Shred and serve in pitas with desired toppings.
Don't forget the tzatziki! I use Trader Joe's prepared or make my own.