Thursday, March 29, 2012

Quinoa Paella

You guessed it. Paella made with Quinoa instead of rice, courtesy of my friend Alex. Check it!

1 1/2 cups quinoa
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in 1/4 inch strips
1 can mixed vegetables, drained and rinsed (corn, green beans, peas)
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
1 large onion, chopped
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. smoked paprika
pinch saffron threads
1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Soak and rinse the Quinoa to get rid of the bitter taste it can sometimes have. Meanwhile, heat some oil in a large pot and throw in the onions and garlic for about a minute. Then add the chicken strips. It should take just a few minutes for them to cook. When chicken is done, pour in the broth, quinoa, saffron, and another half cup of water.

Stir and cover. Once it starts to boil, turn down the heat and add the remaining ingredients. Continue cooking on low heat, stirring occasionally, until quinoa is cooked and water is absorbed (15-20 minutes). Squeeze lemon juice on top.

serves 4-ish people

Sunday, March 4, 2012

White Bean and Cilantro Hummus

Yeah yeah, Hummus. Whatever, right? Well for your information I've been craving Trader Joe's wonderful White Bean Hummus quite a bit lately, and while the Kebab shops that are so thick on the ground here always have the regular chickpea stuff on the menu, it just wasn't quite as satisfying as making it myself from the lovely white bean (alubia blanca here in EspaƱa).

I bought some Tahini the other day to make Baba Ganoush (didn't make that a post because it wasn't very pretty...) and had some dried white beans around already, so I figured it was meant to be. The only thing I didn't have that I think is pretty necessary for a good hummus was parsley. I could have gone out and bought some, but I already had some cilantro lying around, and while I'm well aware that they're completely different it just seemed silly to go out and buy another green leafy garnish, especially since cilantro is so darned delicious.

Thus, white bean hummus with cilantro was born. I hope you enjoy this tasty kitchen baby.

-1 can of white beans or dried white beans, soaked overnight.
-1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed butter)
-juice from 1 lemon or about 4 tablespoons
-2 garlic cloves
-cilantro leaves
-dash of cumin
-salt to taste
-a good quality extra virgin olive oil. It should be a little bit green.

If using dried beans, drain the water from soaking, then refill with enough water to cover them by about 1.5 inches. Bring to a boil and then simmer covered about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until soft. drain water and sprinkle with salt.

combine all ingredients except olive oil and a few cilantro leaves and blend until smooth. Drizzle with olive oil and top with cilantro leaves. Enjoy with pita or crusty whole wheat bread (if you're a whole wheat sucker like me).