Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Garlic Chicken Stir Fry with Quinoa

This recipe can be found on the back of the Trader Joe`s Organic Quinoa box.  It is quite delicious and an easy introduction to quinoa if you have never tried it before now.

1 cup organic quinoa
2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
4 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 yellow pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
20 leaves fresh sweet basil, julienne
Pecarino romano cheese, grated
Salt and pepper

Rinse quinoa in cold water and drain, repeat.  In 2 quart saucepan, add 2 cups chicken broth and 1 cup quinoa.  Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes until liquid is absorbed.  Quinoa will appear translucent and will be soft.  The germ ring will be visible along the outside edge of the grain.

While quinoa is cooking, cut chicken into 1 inch pieces.  Heat large skillet over high heat and add oil.  Add chicken and saute for 5 minute until golden brown.  Add onions and bell peppers, saute for 1 to 2 minutes until peppers become slightly limp but still bright in color.  Season with salt and pepper.  Remove from heat; add basil and quinoa.  Toss until basil wilts.  Sprinkle with Pecarino romano cheese.  Serve hot.  Will serve approximately four.

Note:  I also added some toasted pine nuts to what I served at home.  For those of you unfamiliar with Pecarino romano cheese it is made from sheep's milk (Pecarino) and is a great substitute for romano.  It is somewhat more salty so I typically do not add salt to the recipe.  We are able to use it in place of a cow's romano due to a dairy allergy in the family.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Italian Seasoning

2 Tablespoons basil
2 Tablespoons marjoram
2 Tablespoons oregano
2 Tablespoons rosemary
2 Tablespoons thyme

Mix together BEFORE using as Italian Seasoning in recipes. This will keep indefinitely and is less expensive than buying it at the store.

Pasta e Fagioli

If you like the Pasta e Fagoili soup at Olive Garden, you will like this soup as well.  My recipe is lower in sodium than what you will find in the restaurant.  You can also brown the meat on the stovetop and then add all the remaining ingredients to a slow cooker if you need to do so.

1 - 2 lbs lean ground beef, Italian sausage, lamb, turkey, veal or pork or any combination
1 T olive oil (omit if using Italian sausage)
2 t Italian seasoning
1 large onion, chopped
4 carrots, sliced thin
4 stalks celery, chopped (including leaves if available)
1 28 oz diced tomatoes
2 c red kidney beans, drained (1 can)
2 c white kidney beans, drained (1 can) also called cannellini beans
24 oz gf beef broth
1 T dried oregano
pepper to taste
Tabasco sauce to taste
8 oz shell pasta
1 T fresh parsley chopped

In Dutch oven, saute meat in olive oil with Italian seasoning if needed (see above) just until begins to brown. Add onions, carrots, celery and tomatoes. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Drain and rinse beans. Add to pot. Add beef broth, pepper, Tabasco sauce and chopped parsley.
Simmer until celery and carrots are tender.

In separate pot, boil shell pasta according to box instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water.

When soup is ready, spoon serving size of pasta into dish and ladle soup on top. Serve with freshly grated pecorino romano cheese.


Crock pot version:  Follow all directions above OMITTING pasta.  Cook pasta separately and add to soup immediately prior to serving.

Gluten free version:  Omit pasta altogether.  It is quite tasty without the pasta.

To freeze this soup.  Cook using the crock pot version making sure to omit the pasta until prior to serving.