Sunday, June 19, 2011

Skillet Chicken with Mexican Green Rice

I have to say I've been on a bit of a cooking roll this week. I love when that happens. I wanted to try some new things but also use up some ingredients we had on hand. I had found chicken thighs marked down recently at the grocery store and originally planned on making a recipe that involved roasting apples and chicken thighs, but since it's definitely summer here (the high temps have been in the low 100s), roasting sounded like a horrible way to cook dinner. I pulled out one of my trusty America's Test Kitchen 30-Minute Supper magazines for a different idea. I found this recipe in the issue from last summer. I had always wanted to try it, but chicken thighs aren't something I usually have on hand.

Skillet Chicken with Mexican Green Rice
Source: America's Test Kitchen 30-Minute Suppers, Summer 2010

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, excess fat trimmed
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped fine
2 poblano peppers, cored, seeded, and chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 14-ounce can green enchilada sauce
1 cup long-grain white rice
1-1/4 cups water
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Cook chicken until well browned on one side, about 5 minutes. Transfer to plate.

Add onion, poblanos, and remaining oil to now-empty skillet and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cumin and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add enchilada sauce, rice, water, and any accumulated chicken juices and bring to boil, scraping up any browned bits. Nestle chicken in rice browned side up, cover, and cook over low heat, stirring every 5 minutes, until rice is tender and chicken registers 175 degrees, about 20 minutes.

Stir in cilantro and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.


This ended up taking me more like 45 minutes than 30 because I couldn't fit all the chicken in my skillet without really crowding it and had to cook it in two batches. I was a bit worried my kiddos wouldn't like this because Boy #1 doesn't dig on spicy food, but it wasn't really spicy at all which was good. If you wanted it hotter, you could add in a minced jalapeno with the onion and poblano. I don't think I stirred mine often enough because I had some rice that stuck to the bottom of the skillet.

All in all, we really liked this. My kids ate it no problem, and the rice cooked in the enchilada sauce was really tasty. I don't know about you, but I cannot find 14 ounce cans of enchilada sauce lately, only the big 28 ounce cans. It works out okay because I freeze the other half to use later, but it sure would be nice to get just the size I need. It was actually kind of funny because I had found a bag of something dark red in my freezer recently and had no idea what it was. Then when I was packing up the remaining green enchilada sauce, I realized what was in the mystery bag--red enchilada sauce! Why I hadn't labeled it, I don't know.

Anyway, this is definitely something I'd make again! I finished up the leftovers for lunch yesterday, and they were still tasty, although the rice wasn't quite as good as it was originally.

FYI, the picture in the magainze is a lot nicer looking. Their rice isn't nearly as saucy as mine, but that's okay...I like saucy rice. And their pieces of chicken were more browned than mine.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Garlic and Fresh Oregano Grilled Chicken

The husband, boys, and I were all out front recently while the husband and I worked on cleaning up the garage and the boys rode bikes. My friend and neighbor Claudine happened to stop by on her way to work to give me some fresh oregano she had just picked from her garden. Don't you just love neighbors like that?! I heart fresh oregano and was overwhelmed with choices of what I could do with it. Something Greek? Italian? I didn't know. I thought some kind of really fresh, light marinade for chicken would be good, so I did some Googling. I found a couple recipes that sounded tasty and ended up making a modified version of one from

Garlic and Fresh Oregano Grilled Chicken
Source: Adapted from

1/4 cup olive oil
6 cloves coarsely chopped garlic
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh oregano leaves
1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoon ancho powder

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Mix until thoroughly combined. Marinate chicken for 6 hours or more. Prepare indirect grill and cook until done. Makes enough marinade for 2 chickens quartered.


The original recipe called for half a cup of garlic. That seemed like waaaaaay too much to me. Plus I didn't have that much garlic. I love me some garlic, but half a cup? Really?! I basically used what I had and called it good. I also went light on the ancho chile powder since Boy #1 isn't a fan of spicy. I used chicken legs as my chicken part of choice and grilled them for close to 30 minutes. I had quite a bit of marinade left over, so I thawed a chicken breast and left it marinating overnight and then grilled it in the morning for the husband to take in his lunch. I warned him he shouldn't get used to freshly grilled meat every morning.

This marinade was good, but it wasn't amazing I didn't think. For chicken breasts I think I like my Saito Chicken better, and we really loved the Marinated Grilled Chicken Legs that we had recently. If you have the ingredients on hand, this is worth making, but I think if Claudine ever graces me with more fresh oregano I'll find something different to make with it.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Summer Drink Series #1: Blackberry Margaritas

Summer is definitely upon us here in Phoenix. Today I think is going to be the hottest day of the year so far with a forecasted high of 110. This is the time of year I start to wonder why it is I live here. But I have a pool in my backyard which makes it somewhat bearable. It's definitely going to make training for my half marathon tricky since pretty soon even the lows will be in the upper 80s or low 90s. (Did you know I'm training to run a half marathon? I am. You can follow my progress on my weight loss blog if you're interested.)

Anyway, I was toying with the idea of having a series of blog posts over the summer of tasty adult beverages. I posted on my Facebook page asking for ideas and if people thought it was a good idea. They did and they offered up some tasty sounding ideas, so my idea is a go. I rely heavily on peer pressure, in case you can't tell. So here's the first drink in my summer adult beverage blog series.

I hadn't had a chance to flip through the most recent Cooking Light issue when my friend Jen said there was a tasty looking recipe in there for blackberry margaritas. The mere mention of the word "margarita" generally makes my ears perk up, so I quickly found my copy and looked up the recipe. Tasty indeed! Coincidentally, not more than a day or two after that conversation, there were blackberries in my produce basket from the produce co-op. The Good Lord obviously wanted me to make these. I thought they'd be a perfect accompaniment to the queso fundido burgers I had slated for the husband and I to have later that week. I just had to hide the blackberries from my kiddos.

Blackberry Margaritas
Source: Cooking Light, June 2011

1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 lime
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup 100% agave blanco tequila
3/4 cup Grand Marnier
2/3 cup fresh lime juice
12 ounces fresh blackberries

Combine 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar and kosher salt in a dish. Cut lime into 9 wedges; rub rims of 8 glasses with 1 lime wedge. Dip rims of glasses in salt mixture. Combine water and 1/2 cup sugar in a microwave-safe glass measuring cup. Microwave at HIGH 2 1/2 minutes, stirring to dissolve sugar; cool. Combine syrup, tequila, Grand Marnier, fresh lime juice, and blackberries in a blender; process until smooth. Strain mixture through a cheesecloth-lined sieve over a pitcher; discard solids. Serve over ice. Garnish with remaining lime wedges.


I love me a good margarita and this definitely fit the bill. Although we skipped the whole straining step in an effort to save time and get to drinking sooner. However, that pretty much backfired because then they were too thick and seedy. So we threw some ice into the blender and had frozen margaritas instead. Normally we aren't frozen margarita people, but these were really tasty.

Summer Drink #1 was deemed a success!

I loved the color of these margaritas!!

Queso Fundido Burger

I've been up since before the sun was up because Boy #2 decided it was time to be awake. I didn't want him to wake up Boy #1, so I went into his room with him to try and keep him contained and quiet. I'm tired. I also don't feel like accomplishing anything around my house, so I'm going to update my blog and then lay on the couch and read some magazines. Sounds like a lovely afternoon, doesn't it?

As you know, I am a huge fan of Rick Bayless. Occasionally I scour his website for new and yummy sounding recipes. A long, long time ago I came across a queso fundido burger recipe on there. I sent it to my friend Jen along with myself and then somehow forgot about it. She came across the email recently and made the burgers and said they were great. I mean, it's a Rick Bayless recipe so how could it possibly be bad, right?! I slated it for a Friday night because I didn't think my kids would really like it, but the husband and I wanted to try it.

Queso Fundido Burger

2 fresh medium poblano chiles
1 medium onion, sliced into 1/4-inch slices
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons oil
1 1/2 pounds ground chuck
8 ounces chorizo, cooked
1 to 2 canned chipotle chiles den adobo, finely minced, seeded if you wish
8 thick slices Monterey Jack cheese
4 hamburger buns, lightly toasted

Roast the poblanos over an open flame or 4 inches below a broiler, turning regularly until blistered and blackened all over, about 5 minutes for an open flame, 10 minutes for the broiler. Place in a bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and let cool. Rub off the blackened skin and pull out the stems and seed pods. Cut into 1/4-inch strips.

Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium. Once the oil is hot, add the onions, stirring frequently until it begins to brown, 7 to 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and poblano and cook for 2 minutes. Season with salt, usually about 1/2 teaspoon. Scrape the rajas into a bowl and cover to keep warm.

In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, cooked chorizo, chipotles and 1 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix until well combined. Divide the meat into 4 equal portions and form the patties.

Heat a gas grill to medium-high, or light a charcoal fire and let it burn until the charcoal is covered with white ash (and about medium hot); bank the coals to one side.

Place the hamburger patties on the grill and cook for a total of 4 to 5 minutes for medium rare. Lay one piece of cheese on top of each burger, top with the warm rajas and then another piece of cheese. Close the lid and continue cooking until the cheese has melted about 1 minute. Remove from the grill and place on a toasted bun. Serve immediately.


I used Anaheim chiles instead of poblanos because I had gotten some in the produce co-op I sometimes use. The onions, peppers, and garlic smelled amazing when it was cooking. Actually the burgers smelled fantastic too. I opted to just use my grill pan instead of heating up the grill and having to go back and forth, inside and out. We were watching a movie, and that would have just been a PITA.

We REALLY liked these burgers. The spice in them was fantastic, like "make your lips tingle" spicy. I love that!! I'd definitely make these again, although probably not for my kids. They do not like "make your lips tingle" spicy.

I went all out and used fancy plates...nothing but the best in paper plates for us!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Beef Bulgogi

Did I mention that we just moved Boy #2 from his crib into a big boy bed? I'm freakin' exhausted. He apparently thinks it means he can get up as many times as he wants at night and come wake me up and get up at the ass crack of dawn in the morning. *yawn* I'm a tired mama. Last night I got 6.5 hours of sleep, one of which was spent laying on the floor of his bedroom. Ugh. I know Boy #1 took awhile to adjust to not being confined when he slept, but I don't remember how long it took. I don't really feel capable of getting anything accomplished around my house today (I changed into jammies after my post-gym shower), so I'm going to update my blog.

By the way, I created a Facebook Page for my little blog here. There's a link over on the right sidebar where you can like it from here or come visit me on there. I don't really know what I'm going to do with it, I'd just been thinking about doing it for awhile and today seemed like a good day.

I've been in a bit of a funk lately, which I'm sure directly correlates to my lack of sleep, and meal planning just wasn't exciting for this week. I pulled a cookbook off my shelf that my mother-in-law had gotten me for Christmas a couple years ago and flipped through it hoping for ideas. She was a teacher at a Christian high school in San Antonio (she just retired!), and it was a fundraising project from the senior class I think. I love cookbooks where people submit their own recipes because who's going to submit something that sucks? This recipe called for flank steak, but London broil was on sale, so I thought it would be good. Bulgogi, according to the recipe intro, is a Korean treatment for steak that has very wide appeal to western palates and is remarkably easy to make. Also sometimes written as Pulgogi, Bulgogi literally means "fire meat" although this refers more to the cooking method than the spiciness of the dish. So there you go. I have no idea how to pronounce it. Bul-go-gee? Bul-gah-gee? Something else entirely?

Beef Bulgogi

2 lb flank steak or sirloin
1/2 c. packed dark brown sugar
3/4 c. soy sauce (preferably low salt)
1 Tbsp sesame oil
Dash of red pepper flakes or ground cayenne
5 or 6 green onions, sliced
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced or crushed

For cooking:
3 Tbsp sesame oil
3 Tbsp peanut or vegetable oil

For thickening marinade/sauce:
1 Tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 1 Tbsp water

Trim any visible fat and sinuous tissue from the uncooked steak and wrap the meat in plastic wrap or a Ziploc bag and place in the freezer for half an hour to partially freeze meat. Remove meat from the freezer and slice as thinly as possible across the grain. Lay out meat slices in a single layer in a low, glass or ceramic casserole dish. As you cover the bottom once, crumble some of the brown sugar over the uncooked meat and continue layering meat and brown sugar until all the steak is sliced and the sugar used.

Marinade: In a bowl, mix soy sauce, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, red pepper, onions, rice vinegar, and garlic. Pour marinade over sugared meat and cover to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Can be marinated all day or even overnight if using low sat soy sauce.

Heat a large skillet on medium high heat and mix the remaining sesame oil with the peanut or vegetable oil. Working in small batches to preserve the heat of the pan, use a little of the mixed oils and quickly fry the steak until just cooked medium rare. Remove cooked slices to a warm serving platter and repeat the process until the whole batch of meat is cooked. use more oil if necessary. After meat is cooked, reduce heat to medium and add leftover marinade to skillet. Bring to gentle simmer and stir in cornstarch/water mixture. Stir while thickening and pour over cooked meat.


The marinade smelled fantastic. I love the smell of sesame oil. As I was cooking the meat Boy #1 kept saying, "Mommy dinner smells so yummy!" It ended up being super tasty. I think our meat ended up being more on the medium or medium well side because I wasn't really sure how long to let it cook before flipping it, but it was still good. The sauce on top was really good, too. Since it had raw meat marinating in it, I heated it to boiling just to be safe. We all really liked this. Boy #1 complained at one point that he was getting full and asked if he could just eat half of what was left on his plate. I said sure, but then a couple minutes later he and I realized he'd eaten all of it! We just had the meat with some frozen Asian blend vegetables, but I think the meat would be really good in lettuce wrap form, too. I'll definitely make this again!

Sadly, none of the pictures I took of the cooked meat turned out. :(

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Lasagna Cupcakes

I'm still not caught up on older posts, but we had these last night and they were so yummy I had to post them right away. A friend of mine posted a link on Facebook to the recipe, and I thought they looked so cute and tasty. Plus I love lasagna, but I hate making it because it takes forever and makes a ton. We're pretty much eating lasagna for a week straight when I do make it. This seemed like a clever way to have lasagna, and all I needed to buy for it were the won ton wrappers.

Lasagna Cupcakes
Source: via my friend Callista on Facebook

24 won ton or gyoza wrappers
Marinara sauce
1 lb. Italian sausage or ground beef
Ricotta cheese
Mozzarella cheese

Spray or wipe a cupcake/muffin tin with olive oil. Place one wrapper in the tin form it into a cup shape. Add a small dollop of pasta sauce then some sausage. Add a spoonful of ricotta cheese. Once you filled in the first layer, gently press another wrapper on top of the ricotta layer, forming another cup. Repeat the filling and top each with shredded mozzarella.

Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.


Isn't that clever? Boy #1 claimed he didn't like ricotta, but the rest of us gobbled them up. I had really wanted to use gyoza wrappers for their round shape, but my grocery store only had won ton wrappers. It wasn't that big a deal except that there were corners on each of the cupcakes. I made my own marinara by heating up a can of crushed tomatoes with some seasonings added in, so I had my muffin tin on the counter next to the stove. I put the first layer of won ton wrappers in each spot/hole/whatever-you-want-to-call-it then put a spoonful of sauce in each. Then I added a spoonful of sausage, then a spoonful of ricotta. I kind of squished each layer down as I went with the back of a spoon. Then I repeated. It all came together really fast.

I'll definitely make these again. Easy, relatively inexpensive, pretty quick...all pluses in my book!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Grilled Mac and Cheese with Pulled Pork Panini

I know, crazy huh?! I've mentioned my love of the Panini Happy blog before. Awhile back I was at the grocery store and saw the Food Network magazine at the checkout stand. On the cover was a panini with macaroni and cheese and pulled pork. Holy yummy, Batman!! I made a mental note to look up the recipe online. Then a couple days later I got an email from the Panini Happy blog that this recipe was her latest post!! It was meant to be. Recently pork loin roasts were on sale, so I grabbed one with the sole intention of making this sandwich for the husband and me to try. We had pulled pork for dinner on a Thursday, Friday night I made Pioneer Woman's mac and cheese for my kiddos then after they went to bed the husband and I had these sandwiches. Efficient use of food, huh?

Grilled Mac and Cheese with Pulled Pork Panini
Source: Food Network magazine and

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
4 cups prepared macaroni and cheese, warmed
2 onions, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup barbecue sauce
2 cups prepared pulled pork
8 slices sourdough bread
12 slices sharp cheddar cheese (about 6 ounces)

Spread the macaroni and cheese in an 8-inch-square baking dish to about 3/4 inch thick. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until firm, about 45 minutes. Cut the macaroni and cheese into squares that are slightly smaller than the bread slices.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until caramelized, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Combine the barbecue sauce and pulled pork in a saucepan over low heat and cook until warmed through, about 5 minutes.

Preheat the panini grill to medium-high heat.

Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and brush on one side of each bread slice. Flip over half of the bread slices; layer 1 slice of cheddar, 1 macaroni-and-cheese square and another slice of cheddar on each. Top each with one-quarter of the pulled pork and caramelized onions and another slice of cheddar. Top with the remaining bread slices, buttered-side up.
Working in batches, cook the sandwiches until the cheese melts and the bread is golden, about 5 minutes.


This sandwich was FILLING. I couldn't even eat half of mine. My only complaint was that my pork could have been saucier, but that was my fault, not the recipe's. This was awesome cheesy yummy goodness. A diet buster for sure, but awesome. If you make it, make sure you use a sturdy bread because this is a monster sandwich. And it's not for the carb-shy. Decadent for sure. I want to make it again saucier and see if it really does make a difference.

I could only fit one on my panini press at a time.

Look at that gooey cheesy macaroni goodness spilling out...

See, definitely needs more sauce.

Broccoli with Garlic Butter and Cashews

I know I've mentioned the parenting message board I'm a member of before, The Mamasphere. This recipe was posted by one of the members and got rave reviews from everyone that's tried it. The member's username is AmRo, so it was dubbed AmRo's Broccoli Cashew Yumminess by someone else. We've actually had this several times as a side dish and as a main dish by adding chicken and serving it over quinoa. See, I wasn't kidding about incorporating quinoa more often! I love the flavors of the sauce and the crunch the cashews add to it. Really I'm just a sucker for anything with cashews.

Broccoli with Garlic Butter and Cashews

1 lb of broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces
1/3 cup of butter (I cut this to about 1/4 cup)
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Several twists of black pepper (to taste)
2 cloves garlic, minced
Chopped cashews, as few or as many as you'd like, but probably no more than 1/3 cup.

1. Steam the broccoli until tender/crisp.

2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for a minute or so. Mix in the soy sauce, brown sugar, and pepper. Bring to bubbling, then reduce heat to low and simmer for a few minutes to thicken a smidge. Add the cashews, pour the sauce over the broccoli and stir to coat.


Super easy and super tasty!! I've made it with fresh and frozen broccoli and had good results both times. It really comes together quickly, and it's so good. I've toasted the cashews each time I've made it. Plus the ingredients are things I normally have on hand. Well, not always the cashews but everything else.

I forgot to take a picture before I was packing up the leftovers.

Herbed Chicken Breasts with Tomatillo Salsa and Queso Fresco

This was another from my new favorite cookbook, The Best of Cooking Light Everyday Favorites. I had queso fresco left from the yummy Roast Chicken Chimichangas and thought this sounded super tasty. It could also easily be made low carb by skipping the breading portion and just grilling the chicken instead.

Herbed Chicken Breasts with Tomatillo Salsa and Queso Fresco
Source: The Best of Cooking Light Everyday Favorites

2 quarts water
1/2 pound tomatillos (about 10 small), husks and stems removed
1 garlic clove
1/2 to 1 serrano chile
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup coarsely chopped onion
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt

3 (1-ounce) slices white bread
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled queso fresco cheese
Cilantro sprigs (optional)
Lime wedges (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare salsa, bring water to a boil. Add tomatillos, garlic, and chile; cook 7 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Combine tomatillos, garlic, chile, chopped cilantro, onion, lime juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a food processor or blender; pulse 4 to 5 times or until coarsely chopped. Set aside.

To prepare chicken, place bread in a food processor, and pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs measure 1 1/2 cups. Arrange crumbs on a baking sheet; bake at 350° for 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely.

Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound to 1/2-inch thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin. Combine 1/2 teaspoon salt, cumin, and red pepper; sprinkle evenly over chicken.

Place breadcrumbs in a shallow dish. Place egg in another shallow dish. Dip chicken in egg; dredge in breadcrumbs.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 4 minutes on each side or until done. Top chicken with salsa, and sprinkle with queso fresco cheese. Garnish with cilantro sprigs and lime wedges, if desired.

Nutritional Information
Amount per serving
Calories: 364
Calories from fat: 26%
Fat: 10.7g
Saturated fat: 3.2g
Monounsaturated fat: 4.5g
Polyunsaturated fat: 1.6g
Protein: 47.1g
Carbohydrate: 17.7g
Fiber: 2g
Cholesterol: 162mg
Iron: 3mg
Sodium: 770mg
Calcium: 169mg


I used whole wheat bread for my breadcrumbs because that's what we had. The salsa was super tasty and smelled so good. I had looked up the recipe on the Cooking Light website and saw some people complained that they didn't like that the queso fresco didn't melt onto the chicken, but I really liked that about it. This was super tasty and pretty easy. The salsa could easily be made ahead of time, too. I heated up a can of black beans as our side and sprinkled some queso fresco on top of them when I plated. Mmmmm...tasty!!

Spiced Cod with Broccoli Quinoa Pilaf

I felt like I was on such a roll there for awhile getting my blog updated and caught up on back posts. Then things got crazy. This past week I was completely overwhelmed getting Boy #2's bedroom switched from baby room to big boy room. I never painted when we moved into our house a year ago, and I wanted to get his room painted before his new furniture came, so I spent literally every free moment this past week working on his room. I decided a striped accent wall would be a good idea. It wasn't. His room in our old house had tone on tone stripes (flat and glossy paint in the same color) and it was a BITCH. I knew stripes would be bad, but kind of like childbirth, I'd forgotten just how bad they were. Ugh. I was up until midnight Thursday night measuring and taping. Of course it didn't help that I measured the length of the room wrong the first time. Double ugh. But it's done and looks fantastic and he is now the proud owner of a bunk bed. No more crib for my little guy! Anyway, every aspect of my life was neglected this past week as I got his room ready. Plus my oldest has had swim lessons the past two weeks, so things have been nutty.

I told the husband that one of the things I want to do this weekend is get caught up on my blogs. I have seven posts I want to do for just this blog, so we'll see how far I get. I turned on some cartoons for my kiddos this morning (do you have Boomerang network where you are? Oh my gosh, I love it!! I love letting my kids watch the cartoons I watched on Saturday mornings when I was little.) and it's mostly keeping them entertained, except that they're boys and fight a lot, so I have to keep intervening.

Anyway, I don't even remember when we had this it's been so long ago, but it was tasty and pretty easy, so it's worth posting. I received it in a recipe email I get from Real Simple magazine. I had some cod in the freezer and thought it would be a tasty way to fix it instead of fish and chips. That's all I know to do with cod. Did you know that cod are actually a really mean fish? I had no idea. The husband and I were watching a show on octopus awhile ago, and apparently cod fish eat octopus. Crazy, huh? I tell ya, I'm a wealth of knowledge.

Spiced Cod with Broccoli Quinoa Pilaf

3 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 small onion, chopped
kosher salt and black pepper
1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
2 cups chopped broccoli
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup roasted almonds, coarsely chopped
2 scallions, sliced
4 6-ounce pieces skinless cod, halibut, or striped bass fillet
1/2 teaspoon paprika

Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and season with ¾ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and starting to brown, 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the quinoa and 1½ cups water to the saucepan and bring to a boil; reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer gently until almost all the water has evaporated, 10 to 12 minutes. Fold the broccoli and raisins into the quinoa, cover, and cook until the quinoa and broccoli are tender, 8 to 10 minutes more. Remove from heat and fold in the almonds, scallions, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Season the cod with the paprika, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook until opaque throughout, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Serve with the pilaf.

Nutritional Information
Per Serving
Calories 464
Fat 16g
Sat Fat 2g
Cholesterol 65mg
Sodium 833mg
Protein 37g
Carbohydrate 44g
Sugar 7g
Fiber 6g
Iron 6mg
Calcium 109mg


I haven't used quinoa very much, but I really liked it. Actually this may have been the first time. I tried to make quinoa stuffed peppers one time, but it didn't go over well, and I don't think they were ever eaten. This time we all really liked it. I love that it's high in protein. Did you know that technically it's a seed, not a grain? See, wealth of knowledge. I didn't have raisins in mine because for some strange reason we were out of them, but honestly raisins in it sounded kind of weird, so I wasn't that upset we skipped them. This dinner came together really quickly which was nice, too. This was a dinner I really liked and would readily make again. Note to self: find more ways to incorporate quinoa into our diet!

Sorry for the lame picture...the husband's iPhone camera was all I had available.