The week before Thanksgiving never ceases to amaze me. The days are shorter while the To Do list grows more lengthy by the minute. The last thing we need is our waist lines expanding due to the stress of it all. To help combat the holiday bloat eating light in between grub fests is essential. Cooking with an assortment of vegetables and grains is fun, healthy and can be scrumptious.
Two delightfully healthy dishes have found their way in to my belly this week, and they have a lot in common. They are comforting, warm and hearty without being laden with calories. Think about making them in between gorge sessions. Or enjoy them post-Thanksgiving when we are all joyfully unbuttoning our pants while secretly pleading to the scale gods to keep the damage to a minimum.
Contains Dairy and Gluten
Contains Dairy and Gluten
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
1 yellow squash, thinly sliced
1 tomato, thinly sliced
1 bunch of asparagus, trimmed
1 small red onion, sliced in half moons
1 tsp. sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tbsp. Herbes de Provence
1 tbsp. fresh rosemary
¼ cup grated parmesan
6 Carr’s whole wheat crackers, crushed (or your favorite cracker will do. I like the sweetness this brings to the dish)
Preheat oven to 376 degrees. Use extra virgin olive oil to coat a small tian dish. At the bottom of the dish, spread out a layer of asparagus stems (use the tender part of the stems for this and keep the tips to create the design later). Season this layer with salt, pepper, olive oil and Herbes de Provence. Arrange the vegetables on top of this layer in overlapping circles, alternating zucchini, squash, tomatoes, onion and asparagus. Once the vegetables are arranged, sprinkle this layer with salt, pepper, olive oil and Herbes de Provence. In a food processor, quickly pulsate crackers, parmesan and fresh rosemary until coarsely ground. Generously cover the vegetables with the crumb mixture. Bake 30 minutes covered, then uncover and bake for another 20 minutes until vegetables are tender and the top is brown.
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup quinoa
16 oz extra lean ground chicken breast
6 mini sweet red peppers, thinly sliced
2 tsp. cilantro
1 tsp. cumin
1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 15 oz can dark kidney beans, rinsed and drained
½ cup pickled jalapenos, finely diced
½ cup salsa
4 scallions, thinly sliced
Juice and zest of one lime
Salt and pepper, to taste
Cook quinoa based on package directions. In a large bowl, marinate the kidney beans in the white wine vinegar while you prepare the rest of the dish.
In a large skillet on medium heat, brown the ground chicken breaking it in to small pieces with a wooden spoon. Add the sweet red pepper, garlic, cilantro, cumin, salt, and pepper stirring occasionally until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Take off the heat; add the zest and juice of one lime.
Combine the quinoa, beans, chicken mixture, pickled jalapenos, scallions and salsa together. Allow the salad to sit for at least 15 minutes so the flavors combine. Mexican quinoa salad is great hot or cold. Top with scallions, salsa or sour cream for garnish.