Pasta, Rice, and Grains

Green Chile Chicken & Quinoa Stew

For the last three weeks, the majority of our meals have come from either the hospital vending machine, a Chick-fil-A drive-thru, or Disney World.

Talk about extremes. (And my favorites were obviously from Disney World!)

After getting back from our trip this week, I spent most of yesterday limping around the kitchen for some make-ahead meal prep. I whipped up a big batch of quinoa to be used in stew and for a winterized version of our favorite salad, shredded a massive amount of chicken portioned in half-pound baggies for the freezer, and popped open the jar of Cookwell & Company Two-Step Green Chile Stew that came with this month’s HEB Primo Picks.

Green Chile Chicken & Quinoa Stew

Because a girl can only feed her family Funyuns and waffle fries so many times before feeling a little like a terrible person. And a girl only needs to hear her 3.87 year-old say, “Momma, I can have broccoli for a treat today?” once before really feeling like a terrible person.

But I actually had a plan for the post-vacation and post-vending machine detox. A quick-fix green chile stew beefed up into a healthful, hearty one-bowl meal with shredded chicken, navy beans, quinoa, pico de gallo, and a dollop of fat-free Greek yogurt on top.

Green Chile Chicken & Quinoa Stew

It’s healthy, delicious, and just a hint of some low-grade heat from the green chiles. Minimal prep time – admittedly not as fast as swiping a card and punching D12 – but maximum nutrition. And that’s just something you can’t get out of a vending machine or from a drive-thru window.

Green Chile Chicken & Quinoa Stew

Ingredients

  • 32 oz jar Cookwell & Company Two-Step Green Chile Stew
  • 8 oz "leftover" chicken, shredded*
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 can navy beans, rinsed and drained
  • For serving:
  • 3 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1 small jalapeno, seeded (or not) and diced
  • 1/3 cup chopped red onion
  • Juice from 1/2 lime
  • Salt
  • Handful of cilantro
  • Sour cream or plain yogurt
  • * I make "leftover" chicken in the oven in a foil pouch - 2 breasts per pouch at 425 for 20 minutes.

Instructions

  1. In a medium/large pot, heat the green chile stew over medium heat.
  2. Add the shredded chicken, cooked quinoa, and navy beans, simmering until heated through.
  3. Stir together the tomatoes, jalapeno, red onion, cilantro, lime juice, and salt and set aside.
  4. Ladle the soup into bowls, top with a generous scoop of pico de gallo and a dollop of plain yogurt or light sour cream.

Notes

Yields: ~6 servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 30 minutes

This recipe was developed in conjunction with H-E-B and I was provided ingredients as well as compensated for my time. Messy fingers, stretchy-waisted pants, and baby-Elmo-clogged-toilets are all mine. You can find H-E-B on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. And if you’re as lucky as we are, 4 locations within a 5 mile radius.

FacebookTwitterTumblrShare

{ 5 comments }

Chicken Lo Mein

There are some days that only the ringing of the door bell can fix. Assuming the person on the other side of that door is holding a large brown bag full of an oil-drenched sodium bomb.

Or a margarita. (And one day, I’ll bring that dream of a margarita delivery service to life. Or at least be their very best customer.)

No amount of justifying “but homemade is soooo much better – and better for you!” fixes those days. Carbs must be over-paid for. Then delivered outside of the promised window without the extra spicy mustard you specifically requested. And then consumed in excess, and far too fast.

But on days when you don’t need the psychological effect of throwing your credit card at a stranger standing on your front step, homemade is so better. And better for you. Because there’s room in everyone’s kitchen for a take-out recipe that doesn’t come drenched in a 1/2 cup of oil.

Chicken Lo Mein

For the last 5 years, that bowl of DIY take-out Chicken Lo Mein has been the second-most popular noodle dish in this house. 5 years.

The recipe comes courtesy of my friend Elly over at Elly Says Opa. Her blog is usually the place I visit when I’m short on ideas for our weekly menu. Also, it’s where I go when I want to look at dreamy photos of delicious Greek food that no one else in this house would eat with me.

Well, at least not before I introduced them to the magicalness of gyro and baklava at Greek Fest… but that’s a different story and a different recipe.

Today, it’s Chinese Food from my favorite Greek blogger.

Chicken Lo Mein

We make a few minor changes to the recipe. We don’t incite the natives to rebel by including mushrooms. And the open-bag-of-frozen-snap-peas-dump-in-pan keeps the littlest native from picking through her bowl of noodles looking for an offending chunk of celery or an icky chunk of carrot. (Because in typical 3 year old logic, carrots are awesome raw and carrots are awesome cooked to a mush in a can of soup. But she will cut you – and by “you” I mean “me” – over anything in between).

And sometimes we add orange juice and strips of orange zest. And sometimes that orange becomes grapefruit.

And when we can’t keep up with the red bell peppers from the garden, I throw in as many of those as I can squeeze into the pan.

And as long as there’s no celery or mushrooms or carrots, everyone is happy. And stays happy.

Chicken Lo Mein

A lighter, better-for-you-than-takeout chicken lo mein.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz lo mein noodles
  • 2 Tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth or stock
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • Red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp olive (or other cooking) oil
  • 8 oz chicken breast, sliced thinly
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 small white or yellow onion, quartered and sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 green onions, sliced (dark green parts reserved)
  • 8 oz frozen snow peas
  • Sesame oil

Instructions

  1. Cook the lo mein noodles according to package directions.
  2. Drain, toss with a few dashes of sesame oil, and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the oyster sauce, soy, chicken stock, cornstarch, and red pepper until smooth; set aside.
  4. Heat the oil in a large skillet (I use a nonstick pan) over high heat.
  5. Stir fry the chicken for 3-4 minutes, until almost cooked through and add the ginger, onions, garlic, white and light green onion parts, and snow peas.
  6. Cook for another 2-3 minutes until the onions are cooked to your preference, stirring frequently.
  7. Whisk the sauce and add it to the pan, letting it boil for 1 minute before adding the noodles.
  8. Toss to coat, top with dark green onion slices, and serve.

Notes

Yields: 4 servings

Slightly adapted from Elly Says Opa

Estimated time: 40 minutes

FacebookTwitterTumblrShare

{ 16 comments }

Crabby Mac

by Shawnda on October 30, 2013

in Pasta, Rice, and Grains,Quick & Easy,Seafood

Stovetop Crab macaroni & Cheese

I spent almost my entire October doing nothing that was on my To Do List.

Or fun.

We didn’t have time to move this blog over to its new location at The Brewer and The Baker (but that’s still coming), we let the blog’s 7th birthday go by (that, too, is still coming), we almost let our 7th anniversary go by but Jason swooped in and saved the day with emergency margaritas, and here I am on the day before Halloween, marathon training on pause thanks to plantar fasciitis, and looking at a 90% chance of a Trick-or-Treat rain-out.

Seriously – waaaaaaah, right?

Stovetop Crab macaroni & Cheese

My family has sustained on Chick-fil-A and Jason’s Deli, I haven’t cleaned anything in 3 weeks (well, not the house we live in), and I bought new underwear to avoid “wasting” time by doing laundry. I also set a new personal-best for the number of F-Bombs dropped in a 12 second period. (Related: No. I do not want to talk about the paint incident.) (And yes, my power-tripping 3 year old put me in time out.)

If I could turn back time , I’d go back to 2008, look Past Shawnda in the eye, which would totally freak her out long enough to distract her, kick her in the girl parts, and scream “THIS IS WHAT BUYING RENTAL HOUSES DOES TO FUTURE SHAWNDA. PUT THAT MONEY IN APPLE AND VALERO STOCK AND GO GET A REAL JOB!”

Stovetop Crab macaroni & Cheese

For nearly 4 full weeks, I have not been a real joy to be around. But that all changed the second I dropped those house keys into my Realtor’s hands. We were free. FREE!

Free to come home to a house that smelled funky because no one remembers the last time we were here long enough to put garbage in the kitchen can, much less take it out to the street. Free to eat food that wasn’t handed to us through a drive-thru window. Free to realize that you’re better off just burning wet bath towels and the washer in which they were forgotten than trying to fix them.

Free to throw together a dinner using only things I could find in the pantry and freezer because we’re nearly through November’s grocery budget.

Stovetop Crab macaroni & Cheese

There are a few times that others can appreciate my hoarding tendencies. Finding crab in the freezer to throw in to some macaroni in cheese is one of those. Otherwise, we’d have found ourselves at Jason’s Deli for the 15th time this month.

A slight variation on our standard stove top mac & cheese recipe, I went for cream cheese instead of yogurt and added worcestershire, green onions, and a little mustard to make it more of a “crab dip meets pasta” dish. Warm, creamy, indulgent and still not that terrible for you – I was almost as happy polishing off a second helping as I was throwing the keys at my Realtor’s face and running away while laughing maniacally.

But now? Now it’s time for fun :)

Stovetop Crab Macaroni & Cheese

Stovetop macaroni and cheese meets crab dip - creamy, indulgent, and takes only 30 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz pasta
  • 4 oz reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 3 green onions, chopped (dark green parts set aside)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 5 oz white cheddar, shredded*
  • 3 oz fontina, shredded*
  • Worcestershire
  • 2 tsp dijon or brown mustard
  • 1 cup crab meat, picked over for shells (this was from 1 1/2 snow crab clusters)
  • *Do not use pre-shredded cheese.

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta in salted water, according to package directions (you will be reserving some pasta water so don't forget - put the measuring cup in the strainer in the sink if you need a reminder).
  2. While the water is boiling/pasta is cooking, cut cream cheese into 6-8 blocks and microwave on half power until completely softened.
  3. In a small pan, heat a little oil and cook the white and light green onions parts and garlic for 2-3 minutes (you want to soften and knock the raw edge off).
  4. When the pasta is finished, reserve 1 cup pasta water, drain the pasta and immediately return it to the pot.
  5. Working quickly (it has to be hot to melt the cheese), add ~1/3 cup pasta water, the cream cheese, and 1/3 of the grated cheese and stir until the cheese has melted - pressing on the cream cheese before stirring will help it incorporate faster.Stir in remaining cheese, one handful at a time to prevent clumping.
  6. Add the onions and garlic, few dashes Worcestershire, mustard, crab, and several grinds black pepper.
  7. Add additional pasta water as necessary to thin the sauce and melt the cheese.
  8. Garnish with dark green onion parts and serve hot/warm.

Notes

Yields: 3-4 generous servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 30 minutes

FacebookTwitterTumblrShare

{ 11 comments }

Black Beans with Hatch Chiles, Chicken Sausage, and Quinoa

I was just not cut out to be a hoarder. I try – like really try – but in the end, neurosis kicks in and my priorities immediately shift to depleting the mountain of whatever I just bought “because it was such a great deal!” as quickly as humanly possible.

Obtaining things – not hard. But REtaining them? Completely impossible. Except toothpaste. Good Lord, do you know how long 12 tubes last?!

I had nearly 20lbs of hatch chiles in the freezer at one point. Now? Not even close. Why buy 20 lbs in August when I know I can get them canned year-round? Maybe because for a few short weeks, I happily submit to the hype and convince myself that it’s not quite the same making Pepperoni & Hatch Pizza in September with fresh chiles as it is in April with canned chiles… but we’re all adults here and we know it’s close enough that it won’t matter.

{Also, the little Fage Total yogurts were BOGO this week! Guess who has 18 now 15 containers of Greek yogurt in her fridge? And guess who eats like 2 a day?}

{Also, Target has Clif bars 6/$5 this week! Guess who will never have to buy another Clif bar again?}

So Mission:Empty The Freezer of All Signs of Hatch Chiles continues with this week’s favorite dinner to loudly protest and pout about before even taking a single bite: beans, sausage, and rice.

Black Beans with Hatch Chiles, Chicken Sausage, and Quinoa

Why’d you type it like that – “beans, sausage, and rice.” You always say “red beans & rice.” Sausage is a given. And you didn’t say “red.” Why are you being so vague? WHAT ARE YOU EVEN DOING OVER THERE?!

Simmah down, na’! Your red beans are actually black and loaded with hatch chiles. The sausage is made out of chicken and stuffed with cheese and hatch chiles. And no, the rice isn’t really rice. It’s quinoa.

Man, you just can’t slip anything by anybody over GChat in this house :)

Black Beans with Hatch Chiles, Chicken Sausage, and Quinoa

I took a page out of my mom’s playbook (probably called Live Free and Crock Hard) (God, I hope that doesn’t means something gross in Urban Dictionary) (I’m totally not looking – and don’t you dare tell me if you do!) and made a giant vat of beans in the crockpot so I’d have lunchable leftovers for the week in the form of Black & White tacos.

If you’re going stove top method for the beans, you’ll need to decide if you’re going to overnight soak or quick soak (check your pack of dried beans for instructions). If you’re going canned, your house won’t smell awesome all day long… but you also won’t have to run the dishwasher a second time to avoid handwashing the crock.

But seriously, go make this and put a dent in your hatch chile stash. You can’t mess it up, whatever route you take.

Black Beans with Hatch Chiles, Chicken Sausage, and Quinoa

Chicken sausage, quinoa, black beans, and hatch chiles make for a healthier - and spicier - twist on beans & rice.

Ingredients

  • For the beans
  • 1 lb dried black beans
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 medium white onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 slices of thick bacon, diced
  • Salt
  • 6 hatch chiles, roasted, seeded, and chopped (directions here)
  • 1 lb sausage, cut into ~1/3-inch rounds*
  • 3 cups cooked rice or quinoa (1/2 cup per person)
  • *I used HEB Hatch Chile & Cheese Chicken Sausage; it wasn't precooked so I just cooked it separately.

Instructions

  1. Put rinsed and picked-over dried beans in the crockpot with 8 cups of water, bay leaves, onion, garlic, bacon, and a couple of generous pinches of salt.
  2. Cook on low for 8 hours.
  3. Add the chiles and sausage to the crockpot and let stand on low to heat the meat through, ~20 minutes.
  4. Serve a generous scoop of beans & sausage over 1/2 cup of cooked rice or quinoa.

Notes

Yields: 6 servings, with leftover beans

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 8 hours

FacebookTwitterTumblrShare

{ 2 comments }