Tag Archives: quinoa

A kiss that leaves you wanting more

20140613-093728-34648897.jpg Have you ever eaten out and tried a dish with an ingredient or two that you’ve never had before, just to see what all the fuss was about? After a week of uninspired, hotel restaurant meals on a recent business trip, I finally escaped the hum-drum monotony of dishes prepared to satisfy the tastes of travelers from anywhere and everywhere and ventured out to find something, anything different.

I’m guessing there is an Arabic version of Foursquare, Yelp, or pick your favorite trusty food guide, but since I haven’t found one yet, and I don’t read or speak Arabic, I was out of luck and had to take my chances.  I settled on a Mediterranean-North African restaurant, all but guaranteed to find something I hadn’t tried, at least in the preceding week. Anyway, back to the important part… the food.  I ordered a dish with with a pomegranate glaze. I’ve drunk my share of pomegranate juice, but I just couldn’t imagine how concentrating that flavor wouldn’t overpower the dish. Oh, man, was I wrong. It was ah-mazing, like a perfectly balanced symphony, each bite tempting me onto the next.

Of course I had to recreate it!  I picked up a tube of harissa, a few pomegranates, and a bottle of pomegranate molasses the very next trip to the market. A half dozen chicken breasts later, I thought I was going nuts. Why was it so hard to figure out?  Turns out I was so focused on the sauce that I forgot about the most important part, seasoning the chicken. Once I took the spices out of the glaze and used them to punch up my otherwise bland chicken breasts before glazing, things started looking up. A few minutes together in the pan was just the tantalizingly, tangy kiss that I was looking for.

Harissa-rubbed Chicken with Pomegranate Glaze and Herbed Quinoa

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Fall is is about layers…

Quinoa Caramelitas
Ooey gooey caramel, roasty toasty almonds, melty dark chocolate, and… quinoa???  Oh yes, my friends, quinoa!

When I was a kid and able to eat anything I wanted, I used to beg my mother to make oatmeal carmelitas.  It’s been at least a decade since I’ve had them, but I still crave the layers of goodness, especially as the weather begins to cool and the sidewalks are covered in crunchy leaves.  Only, my body has decided that about half the ingredients are off limits.  When I finally figured out that making vegan caramel wasn’t as hard as I imagined, I knew what I would use it for…

Quinoa Caramelitas

 

Overcoming a bad reputation

IMG_1047Zucchini gets a bad rap as a bland, mushy side, but it can be so much more.  This simple, but flavorful dish is a great compliment to grilled meat, poultry, or fish, but you can also turn it into a meal in itself by adding diced chicken sausage, tofu, or feta. Oh, and these freeze beautifully!

Confetti Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini

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