Quin-WHAT?

Hey, that’s not quinoa!

Once upon a time I decided I was going to make J like quinoa.  As in, when it’s not hiding in stuffed peppers.  Actually, it was more like once upon a time I needed to make something for dinner, I found this recipe, and it had quinoa and I thought hoped maybe J would like it.  Whatever, the point is I made quinoa tonight.  And it sucked.  The chicken found in said recipe was slightly better.

Here is a breakdown of how tonight’s dinner went:

Make rub for chicken.  Don’t have lid for big enough sauce pan for quinoa; use big pot instead.  Heat olive oil and place chicken in pan.  Put lid on top.  Freak out that steam is rolling out of pan.  Envision lid exploding off of pan, sending molten chicken all over kitchen.  Go get J to check chicken.  J says chicken is fine.  “Are they supposed to be black?”  “Yes, J, that’s why it’s called blackened chicken.  Duh.”  Flip chicken.  Get testy when J tries to help.  I’ve got this, silly man.  Notice apartment is getting smoky.  Complain to J.  J opens window so fire alarm doesn’t go off.  Quinoa isn’t cooking fast enough.  Turn up heat on burner.  Flip chicken again.  Apartment looks like we’ve been chain smoking for two hours.  Check temperature on chicken.  One piece done, one not.  Remove cooked piece of chicken.  Turn down heat on other piece of chicken.  Other piece finally done.  Quinoa complete.  Pour into bowl and add spices/herbs/juice.  Taste quinoa.  Make face like just licked a foot.  Refuse to let J try quinoa because don’t want to ruin his quinoa experience.  J insists, tastes quinoa, says “eh.”  Refuse to serve quinoa; leave it sitting in bowl in messy kitchen.  Plate chicken.  Unsuccessfully try to cut chicken with butter knife.  Taste chicken.  “Eh.”  Finish chicken.  Go back to taste quinoa to see if it’s less disgusting.  It is not.  Make foot-licking face again.  Fin.

Quinoa FAIL

Needless to say, I will not be making this dish again.  I honestly don’t think there was anything wrong with the recipe; the comments on the original article were excellent.  I just think I should be banned from cooking meat.  This, mis amigos, is why I bake.  And my quinoa tastebuds are apparently vegan, because they hated the chicken broth base (J didn’t think it was THAT bad.  I beg to differ.).  Water only, they say (or maybe almond milk?).

Cooking: 1.  Ky: 0.  I need a cookie.

Sneaky Quinoa

Sometimes I like to see if I can slip a healthy recipe by J and see if he notices.  Once, he told me that the spinach-chicken meatballs that I made tasted “too healthy.”  Since then, I haven’t tried another ground chicken recipe.  Until now….dun dun DUN!

I was originally planning on making another recipe from Ambitious Kitchen (the sweet potato & chicken Mexican stirfry), but I saw this one for Enchilada Chicken and Quinoa Stuffed Peppers and was sold.  Anything I can mush up and shove into the oven always wins.

I followed the recipe as stated, except for leaving out the cilantro and adding in jalapenos.  I was a little worried about not cooking the meat beforehand, but the recipe turned out really well, and the meat was fully cooked.  It was moist and flavorful, and J didn’t even notice that there was quinoa in there (bwahaha).  The enchilada sauce really helped make the dish, and as far as canned sauces go, it’s surprisingly healthy, with few ingredients (and no weird chemicals).

The verdict?  I would make it again.  It was a nice “set it and forget it” type of dish.  I think I would add hotter enchilada sauce next time (I used mild here).  And I’m curious to see how it holds up for left-overs.  But all in all, I call a win.

Lunch Dilemmas

Lunch is usually by far my least healthy meal of the day.  Why?  Because I’m lazy.  Pure and simple.  By the time 10:00 pm rolls around, I don’t really feel like making my lunch for the next day.  And I’m certainly not motivated enough to make it before I go to work.  The result is that I end up either a) skipping lunch and snacking when I get home, b) bringing a granola bar and snacking when I get home, or c) getting something from the snack machine…and snacking when I get home.  As one of my students would say, “Yikes!”

There was one week when I was super-motivated, and ended up making a variation of this layered salad from Oh She Glows.  Basically, I left out the wheatberries and the ginger and parsley, and left everything else the same.  It was SO nice to just be able to grab a container every morning, and know that I had lunch at the ready.  And guess what?  I was full enough, so that I didn’t have to eat when I got home from work.

So, the mission for today is to make this recipe so that I’ll have lunch for the rest of this week.  I’m planning on using the wheatberries and parsley this time, but still skipping the ginger.  Sunday is the new lunch day.  Or something like that.