Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Dinner Delights

My mom and my sister are in Oregon visiting my grandparents for the week, so my dad has achieved bachelor status again. Whenever this happens, I instinctively feel like I need to feed him all week - otherwise I'm pretty sure he will live on chips, cheese steaks, and wine, and what kind of a diet is that? So yesterday morning before work, C whipped up a quick marinade that I found online, and we put chicken drumsticks in the fridge to soak up the goodness all day. After a serious BodyPump workout, I stopped by the store for a few ingredients, and went home to mix up this yummy Southwestern Quinoa Salad! Dad came over for dinner, and we watched the Caps lose (boo, hiss) - but it was made just a tad bit better by how successful our eats were!

Southwestern Quinoa Salad
original recipe from AllRecipes.com - modified by me!

1 cup quinoa
1 tablespoon country crock margarine
2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
½ cup diced red bell pepper
½ cup diced red onion
1 can corn, drained
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup crumbled feta

¼ cup lime juice
¼ cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ tablespoon chili powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon basil
1 packet Splenda
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Rinse the quinoa thoroughly under cold water, and drain. Melt margarine in a large saucepan over medium heat, and cook and stir the quinoa until the water has evaporated and the quinoa is lightly toasted, about 3 minutes. Pour in the chicken broth, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until the quinoa has absorbed all the broth, about 15 minutes. Cool quinoa in refrigerator at least 10 minutes. 

2. Mix together red pepper, red onion, corn, black beans in a bowl. In a jar, mix  lime juice, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, and spices. Mix quinoa and veggies together in same bowl, then pour dressing over the top. Stir to coat, then add in feta and gently mix in. Chill the salad at least 30 minutes before serving; serve cold. 

Modifications: The original recipe called for all lime juice, but I didn't have enough so I mixed lemon and lime. Ultimately, I thought the dressing was a bit too tart - I added in a teaspoon of honey, actually, and then the packet of Splenda, neither of which were called for. I could have used just the little lime juice I had, and it would have been fine. Additionally, I didn't let the quinoa cool long enough in the fridge, and I didn't chill for 30 minutes before serving, so ours was really more like room-temperature. It was still delicious, though! I think that, served cold, this would be delicious and refreshing on a summer day!

The recipe for the chicken marinade was really simple. We baked the chicken at 350 until it was done, but I would have loved this on the grill!

Caribbean Drumsticks 
original recipes from weightwatchers.com

1/4 cup(s) fresh lemon juice   
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar   
2 clove(s) (medium) garlic clove(s), crushed through a press   
1 tablespoon jerk seasoning   
1/2 tsp table salt  

Mix all ingredients in a large Ziploc, add drumsticks, and refrigerate anywhere from four hours to overnight (in my case, all day), turning occasionally.

Modifications: about a half tablespoon garlic powder since I didn't have any fresh - fresh garlic would have been perfect in this though. Wish I'd had some!

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