Friday, January 10, 2014

Favorite recipes: Chicken Pilaf Saute and Mediterranean Quinoa

I've had some requests from friends for a few of my favorite recipes lately, and am finally getting around to typing them out. Figured I'd post them here for easy sharing later on, too. Maybe I'll get around to taking pictures next time I make these recipes. :)


This first one is my most common way to fix chicken and rice: it's easy, healthy, frugal, and gluten free to boot. I've made it often for company because it's easy to get it going and then turn my attention to preparing the rest of the meal. It feeds a large group very economically, and most people seem to like it.

Chicken Pilaf Saute
8 c. cubed, cooked chicken (I always use half or less)
4 c. uncooked rice (I always use brown rice)
1/2 c. chopped onion
3/4 c. butter or oil of some kind
10 c. broth (can also use water in a pinch)
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. thyme
2 c. slivered, toasted almonds (optional)

In a large soup-sized pan, saute chicken, rice, onion, and butter 10 minutes. Add broth, salt, and thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce heat. Cover and simmer 'til rice is done.

Mixing in the almonds. Can add a little cheese on the top, or save the almonds to sprinkle on top. If serving for company, it looks nicer to transfer to a casserole dish before adding the almonds/cheese.

Makes 8-10 servings.


And this is my favorite quinoa recipe. Again, super fast and easy, like all my most-used recipes. :) It comes out soft and creamy, almost with melt-in-your-mouth smoothness. It's great as a vegetarian main dish, or you can easily toss in a cup of ground beef or sausage (pre-cooked) if you like. I think I initially found this on, but have made a number of tweaks.

Mediterranean Quinoa
1/4 c. butter or oil of your choice
1/4 c. chopped onion (or more, if you like onions)
1 bell pepper, chopped (can use more, and it's pretty if you have both red and green peppers)
1 1/2 c. uncooked quinoa (half regular quinoa and half red is my favorite)
5 c. broth (can use water)
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped (or 1 can diced tomatoes)
3/4 c. pizza or pasta sauce
Salt to taste
Sharp cheddar cheese

Saute onions and peppers in a large skillet for 7 minutes or so. Add quinoa, broth, and Italian seasoning; bring to a boil. Cover and turn down heat, simmering for 20 minutes or until quinoa is soft and most of the liquid is absorbed. Stir in tomatoes, pasta sauce, and salt.

Smooth mixture out in the pan and sprinkle a little cheese (or a lot, hehe) over the top. Replace lid and let cheese melt just a bit before serving. (Obviously you could also transfer it to a casserole dish before adding the cheese in, then let it warm in the oven until serving; I just usually don't bother.)

Makes 6 servings.