Weekly Recipe: Tagine Chicken with Quinoa and Stewed Vegetables

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to cook a recipe each week that I haven’t cooked before.  This week my new recipe is tagine chicken with quinoa and stewed vegetables.  I found both recipes on Allrecipes.com – it’s a great website to visit for inspiration.  I followed the recipe for tagine chicken pretty closely, and I just used the stewed veggies recipe as a jumping off point for what I actually made.

I had all of the ingredients for the tagine chicken except for the couscous.  So I stopped in at the grocery store to pick some up.  Upon looking at the box and reading the ingredients list, I realized that couscous is highly processed.  *sigh*  So I looked around for 100% whole grain couscous to no avail.  I’m sure it exists, but not in that particular grocery store.  Then I caught site of quinoa.  It seemed healthier than the couscous, so I bought it.  It was pretty good! The main dish was easy to make and made my house smell delicious!

Then I realized that I’d be feeding a bunch of people and there probably wasn’t enough without some kind of side dish, so I did a search for Vegetables on allrecipes.  I found the recipe for vegetable tagine and used it as the basis for the stewed veggies I actually made.  So, here’s what I did with those:

Moroccan Inspired Stewed Vegetables

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 carrots chopped
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped into medium-large pieces
  • 1 can sliced stewed tomatoes, low sodium if possible
  • 2 tbsp  tomato paste
  • 48 oz fat free, low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 15 oz can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • salt and pepper
  1. Heat the oil in a pot over medium heat.  Add onion, garlic and bell pepper.  Cook until onion is translucent.
  2. Add the carrots, potatoes, broccoli, tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken broth, coriander, cinnamon, garlic powder, turmeric, and cumin.  Bring to a boil and then simmer until potatoes and carrots are tender.
  3. Add the garbanzo beans, salt and pepper.  Simmer until the garbanzos are warmed through.  Serve.

This recipe makes PLENTY of food.  And it goes very far as a side dish.  You could make a vegetarian meal out of it if you put it over couscous or quinoa.

So here’s the downside.  I forgot to take a picture.  That means you don’t get to see all the yumminess for yourself.  You’ll just have to make it and see!  DH really liked it.  Our friends liked it too.  I liked that most of the ingredients didn’t have weird stuff in it.  I mean, the apricots in the chicken dish had a couple of ingredients that protect the color, and the canned stuff all had extra salt, but other than that it was real food.

I’d totally make this stuff again.

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DH Cooked: Weird Chicken Burritos

After DH made chicken burritos like we always do, he thought he’d try following a recipe in the cookbook he picked up.  We both looked at the recipe and thought it sounded weird, but we agreed he should cook it anyway.

 

Onion-Clove MIxture

Brown some chicken breast, cube it and set it aside.  Then chop an onion and mince some garlic. Stick it in a sauce pan with some hot oil and ground cloves.  Yeah… now you know why it sounded weird. Who puts cloves in a burrito?

Add the Rice

Add a can of tomato sauce, some chopped tomatoes, and rice.  Simmer until the rice is cooked.  Add chicken stock as necessary to keep the mixture from drying out.

Burrito Pouches

Warm your flour tortillas until they’re pliable.  Add the chicken & rice mixture to each tortilla along with some shredded cheese, fold it into a little square and hold it closed with a toothpick.  Put the burrito pouch thingies into a baking pan and bake for about 10 minutes until the cheese is melted.

OK, we will never make these again.  Well, OK, we might make burrito pouches again, but never with this recipe.  The cloves were completely off-putting.  It was impossible to think of them as burritos when they tasted nothing like the burritos we know and love.  If I remember right, this recipe was the one that made DH and I decide to avoid using this cookbook for any additional Latin Cooking.

DH Cooked: Chicken Burritos and Pomegranate Margaritas (I cooked pineapple!)

A few weeks ago my husband thought he should make burritos.  After all, when Americans think of Latin food, we often think of things like burritos and tacos.  He wanted to make the kind of burritos that we usually make as a kind of day off from following a specific recipe.

Chicken

The first step was to cut the chicken into chunks and cook it.

Burrito Accessories

Then add the toppings, fold up your burrito and eat!

Pomegranate Margarita

And of course you have to enjoy it with a Pomegranate Margarita.  We didn’t really follow a recipe, just used pomegranate juice, triple sec and tequila. It took a bit of taste testing to get the ratios right. 😉

Pineapples!

We had some pineapple left from another recipe, so I decided to saute it in some brown sugar and brandy.

Pineapples and ice cream

We ate it with vanilla ice cream and relaxed.

I Cooked: Pineapple Chicken Sandwiches

I had some canned pineapple I’d bought for a recipe I never made and chicken in the freezer that I needed to cook.  What’s a gal to do?  Look for a recipe that looks like it’s easy to make and intriguing.  I found this recipe for a pineapple chicken sandwich that seemed to fit the bill.  Basically the directions say to grill or broil the chicken and the pineapple while basting with honey mustard.  Serve inside a roll with red bell pepper slices.

Hmmm…  no bell pepper at all in my house, so I skipped that ingredient.  And I broiled instead of grilled.  And I toasted the rolls with a skillet on my stove.

I have to say that this was kind of boring.  As DH described it: “It’s chicken in bread.”  It was quick and easy enough to make, but it needed more.  Like, maybe something spicy to play off the sweetness of the pineapple and honey mustard.  Or maybe a different kind of roll (I used sourdough).

Oh well… chances are that I won’t make it again, but it was an easy experiment to make.

I Cooked: Chicken Soft Tacos

Tonight’s meal needed to be quick, easy and relatively healthy.  So I asked my husband if he’d prefer to eat chicken stir fry or chicken soft tacos for dinner.  “No delivery Chinese?” he asked.  “No handsome, I don’t have any cash” I replied.  He thought for a moment and said “Soft tacos!  It sounds exotic.”

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced or cubed
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1/2 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 3/4 Tbsp chili powder
  • 3/4 Tbsp garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Shredded cheese (whatever looks good to you.  I used sharp cheddar)
  • Corn tortillas
  • Salsa
  • 1 can of Beans (whatever looks good to you. I used black and added some of the spices above)

Directions

  1. Cook the chicken, onion and spices in a pan over medium-high heat until the chicken is done.
  2. While it’s cooking, heat the beans according to the package directions.
  3. Put the chicken and onion mixture, beans, cheese and salsa in your corn tortillas.
  4. Serve with a huge salad and maybe some veggies.

This was super easy to make and is actually something we do on a regular basis.  We just change out the meat, use different beans, add other toppings, etc.  It’s also fun to make ahead of time as a packable lunch.  Just put a serving of the meat/bean/cheese mixture in some Tupperware.  Heat in the microwave, top with some salsa and serve with a side of tortilla chips. My husband and I jokingly call them “Ghetto Nachos”.  They sure do hit the spot and are a guilty pleasure when you’re stuck in a rut of sandwiches and salads.

I Cooked: Chicken Tortilla Soup (again)

Tonight’s dinner was chicken tortilla soup.  I really wanted something comforting to eat and delicious to boot!  Since I have a lot of chicken, I thought I should make this tonight.

I chopped up a chicken breast and browned it in a pot.  Then I added a chopped onion and some minced garlic.  Once those were softened, a can of tomato sauce went into the pot along with a small box of chicken stock.  Then I added a small palm full of dried parsley, a half a palm full of chili powder, a quarter palm full of ground cumin and a dash of cayenne.  Once that came up to a boil I added a handful of frozen corn and another of frozen green beans.  Then I simmered it for about 15 minutes.  Toppings included avocado, tomato, shredded cheddar and broken tortilla chips.

It was yummy, and it got my nose running.  That’s a good thing because I’m fighting off a cold.

 

I Cooked: Chicken Stir Fry

Stir fry is another easy “go to” meal that I make pretty often.  My versions are usually full of veggies and low in fat.  We often end up with plenty of leftovers for DH and I to eat the next day.  This recipe uses chicken, but I do the same thing with beef.  I’ll often add other veggies if they’re on sale too, but this is my basic recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1-2 chicken breasts sliced about 1/2″ thick
  • 1-2 carrots peeled and sliced
  • 2-3 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, any color, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1-2 scoops garlic from the jar
  • 1 tbsp ginger from the tube
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil or sesame oil
  • Red pepper flakes to taste/desired hotness
  • Soy sauce
  • Pepper to taste
  • Brown rice, cooked

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat until hot.  Add chicken and pepper and cook until browned.
  2. Remove the chicken and add the vegetables and spices to the pan.  Cook until warmed.
  3. Add the chicken back to the pan.  When warmed back up, add soy sauce (go a couple of times around the pan).
  4. Serve with rice.
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