Thursday, November 12, 2009

The most non-photogenic meal ever.


I've been busy this week! Monday evening was spent at the vet and then baking cookies to thank the clinic. Tuesday, I baked a Tollhouse Cookie Pie and a coffee cake for our friends and their family. The cookie pie recipe is on the fritz and I need to play with it to get it to work right. I ended up keeping that one because it didn't pass inspection. I didn't take any pictures so I'll make the coffee cake again soon and  post about it- it sure is yummy!

I spotted two recipes recently that enticed me and I wanted to try them out. Danimal looooooves artichokes so I knew I needed to test out Artichoke Chicken. The other, couscous with butternut squash & cranberry salad sounded like something I'd enjoy. All in all it was a decent dinner but I wasn't thrilled with the results.

Artichoke Chicken
Adapted from

1 (15 oz) can of artichokes, drained & chopped
3/4 cup 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
3/4 cup 1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 pinch garlic powder  3 garlic cloves, chopped
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (my package had 3)
1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

In a medium bowl, mix together the artichoke hearts, Parmesan cheese, mayonnaise, garlic, and mushrooms. Place chicken in a greased baking dish, and cover evenly with artichoke mixture.

Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until chicken is no longer pink in the center and juices run clear.
 This recipe was just ok. I'm not a fan of creamy chicken dishes but I wanted to see how it could work. The chicken was moist and had a decent flavor but nothing great. Danimal rated it a 6 out of 10. I probably wouldn't make this again.
Quinoa Salad with Butternut Squash and Cranberries

adapted from Erin's Food Files ( ) which was adapted from TheKitchn
Makes about 5 servings

1 medium butternut squash (or other hard winter squash), peeled* and cut into 1-inch chunks
3/4 cup uncooked cous cous  1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 cup water  2 cups water
1 onion, diced
4-5 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
Zest of one orange
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cumin
1-3 teaspoons salt--to taste
1 can garbanzo beans--rinsed & drained
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss squash with a bit of olive oil and spread on a baking sheet. Roast squash, stirring occasionally, until tender - -about 30 minutes. Allow to cool before combining with other ingredients.

Cook quinoa as directed (my bag said add quinoa & water in saucepan, bring to a boil. Cover & simmer for 10-15 minutes). Fluff with a fork and set aside.

Saute onion in a skillet over medium-high heat until translucent. Set aside and allow to cool.

In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, olive oil, zest, spices, and 1 teaspoon of salt. In a large bowl, combine squash, quinoa, onions, garbanzo beans, and cranberries. Pour on the vinegar-oil dressing and stir to combine. Taste to check seasoning and add salt if needed. This salad can be served room temperature or cold.

I had never had quinoa before tonight and wanted to see how it would work with this recipe. I liked it but I think this recipe would be better and more substantial with couscous (as it originally called for)... next time I'm going to try it with Israeli couscous if I can find it at the store. Danimal wasn't a fan but he doesn't like butternut squash or dried cranberries.


1 comment:

  1. Hey! That's a recipe from my blog! Thanks for linking back to me. I really love the Cous Cous salad, and have always wondered what it would taste like with quinoa. I bet you're right that it seems like it might be too soft. I actually shared some with my neighbors, and the guy doesn't like cous cous, but he actually really enjoyed it!

    Oh, and you posted this on my birthday too! Haha