Wednesday, December 17, 2008

BSI: Carrot (Mixed Veggie Quinoa with Chicken)

I love carrots and always, always have them on hand. Baby carrots, or regular carrots - you'll find either in my fridge. I eat them raw as snacks with dip or hummus and I add them to a lot of dishes, not only for the taste, but the color. They're a great BSI choice, in my opinion!

Tonight's dinner is a simple one that we eat quite often, but I love mixing it up each time with different vegetables and marinades. Tonight, I made sure to include the BSI ingredient of the week - carrots!

I cut up the following vegetables and threw them in a medium saucepan:

1/2 onion
1/2 green pepper
1 stalk celery
1 small head of broccoli florets
1 large carrot
1 spoonful of pre-minced garlic
4 sun-dried tomatoes

I then added a 1 cup mixture of heirloom red quinoa and traditional quinoa, a splash of olive oil, dashes of onion and garlic powder, and 2 cups of water. This simmered for 15 minutes until the quinoa and vegetables were tender and the water was absorbed.

For the chicken, I used 2 Perdue thin sliced boneless, skinless chicken breasts. They're often buy one get one free and I prefer them over the regular chicken breasts. The thinner meat is easier to trim, cooks faster, and you usually get 5 or 6 pieces, versus a regular breast package that has 3 huge breasts. I can usually get two meals out of one thin sliced package. I mixed up about a tablespoon each of Annie's Goddess Dressing, lemon juice, and olive oil to marinate the chicken in. When the quinoa had about 5 minutes left, I sauteed the chicken breasts in a dry pan, over medium heat for 2 and a half minutes each side.

These two components paired together beautifully! I love the mixture of red and plain quinoa, they have a slight difference in taste, the red a little nuttier. Cooking the vegetables right in with the grains gives them great flavor - almost infused with vegetable broth and all the vitamins and minerals that otherwise would have steamed or boiled out of the veggies. The chicken was very juicy and tender, the Annie's dressing giving it a nice, flavorful kick. Just a bit of a background flavor, caused by the marinade, not too overpowering of the other flavors.

I also got another gift magazine subscription in the mail today! First, Guideposts from my grandmother, and now Taste of Home from my aunt! I've never gotten gift subscriptions before, so this is a nice treat! My old job in North Carolina used to have Taste of Home for people waiting at the office and I'd flip through and snag recipes every once in awhile. Now I have my own! I'm looking forward to getting a couple magazines on a regular basis. I haven't sat down to read it in depth yet, but I always love getting inspiration from nice, color pictures, which they definitely have.


Nowheymama said...

That dinner looks so festive!

Taste of Home does good stuff. Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Great submission for the BSI!!

Anonymous said...

Where did you get the red Quinoa? I haven't seen that yet, but it looks great! Very creative!