Mediterranean Quinoa

When Monday rains...it pours!

I had a lot of rest over the weekend but Monday definitely made up for it! Not only did I leave work an hour and a half late, but when I got to the train it was jam packed and stuck in the station. Blah! I ended up waiting for the next one a while later. It all worked out, but definitely not how I was wanting to spend my Monday evening. Do you ever notice that when it rains it pours? I know in the scheme of life, these are tiny things, but they still make a difference!

 

source

Anyhoo. I ended up on the couch in sweatpants for most of the evening, doing a little television catch up...I finally watched Bethenny from last week...and then some other reruns. I also did a little product sampling that I can't wait to tell you about. In time!

So lately I've been make a bunch of 'clean out the fridge' meals and trying to use up what we have. Many times I end up rebuying things that I already have, or planning new meals that don't utilize what I already have in my own kitchen.

This dish combines a bunch of ingredients that I had on hand and it created a delicious dish that was whipped up in under 20 minutes. Not too shabby, huh?

 

And here's just a little peak into my messiness in the kitchen. I seriously drop bits of food everywhere...all the time. Shaun loves that about me. ;)

Anyway.

I took a basic quinoa and added in some Mediterranean accoutrements in the form of feta crumbles, olives, tomatoes and spinach. Oh and a little lemon juice to boot. It even made Shaun enjoy quinoa, which is a serious feat in itself! Try it. I know you'll love it.

Mediterranean Quinoa
Serves 8; 1/2 C per serving; 3 Points+ per serving
2 C low sodium chicken broth (or 1 14oz can broth + 1/4 C water)
1 C dry quinoa, rinsed
1/4 C reduced fat feta crumbles
1/3 C kalamata olives
1 tomato, seeds removed & diced
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 handfuls baby spinach
salt and pepper, to taste

Place the chicken broth (+ water) and quinoa in a small saucepan over high heat. Once boiling, stir, reduce heat to simmer and cover. Cook for 12 minutes.

After 12 minutes, stir in the feta, olives, tomato, lemon and spinach. Cover and cook 3 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm on its own or alongside some chicken...stay tuned for more on that chicken at a later date ;)

 

This also made a great on-the-go lunch at the office. It's delicious warm but could be equally as yummy at room temperature if you don't have the means for reheating.

This dish is simply a great way to turn up the flavor on your basic quinoa...and make a simple dish feel uber special! And for under 20 minutes to prep? Yes please!

So that's my new simple, veggie-friendly dish to date! Let me know if you give it a try!

Questions of the Day:

Do you find that if one thing throws you off for the day, the rest of the day is thrown off?

Are you a messy cook?

Easy Appetizer: Baked Goat Cheese & Crackers

Last night I had the place to myself and though I hate it when Shaun isn't around, it was nice to have some along time to wrap Christmas presents and watch the girly Christmas movies that Shaun just isn't into. Somehow, I made it through half of the Muppets Christmas Carol, Love Actually, Scrooged and about a third of The Santa Clause. Not too shabby, if you ask me!

Last Friday evening, we invited our parents over for a little holiday dinner at our place. I had worked on the day of the party, so I was determined to keep things completely simple and quick to prepare, yet still chic enough for a dinner party. Shaun's mother was bringing a spinach dip appetizer and so I just added a couple of other things to the table. When I found a baked goat cheese recipe from Martha Stewart, I knew this was the ticket! I made a bunch of changes to the original recipe and the result was nothing short of delicious, sophisticated and simple.

Baked Goat Cheese & Crackers
6 oz goat cheese, in log form
black pepper
paprika
thyme
parsley
cooking spray
crackers of your choice (I recommend Club Multigrain crackers)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a very small baking dish or ramekin with cooking spray. Cut goat cheese into large rounds and sprinkle with spices, repeating for each layer of the goat cheese rounds. Bake for 10 - 15 minutes and serve with crackers.

Yum! I can't wait to make this again next week when Shaun and I are on our little holiday staycation! Have a great Thursday, everyone! Today is my last day in the office for the year, and thus, the countdown is on!

Question of the Day:

What are you favorite easy apps?