Sunday, September 13, 2009

Aaaand more catching up!

Man, it's like I can't get a break here! haha. We've just got one computer between the two of us right now until next weekend (when hopefully my computer will be back to normal!) so I haven't been able to blog as much as I'd like. :(

With my extra time, I've made a few fun meals and thought I'd share them with you guys as I sit here sipping on a much needed glass of vino waiting as my chili simmers (more this evening on my vat o delicious).
My favorite glass to drink wine from. No clue why, but I love it. In case you can't see the side, it just says 'Bah!'

Since my kitchen has been neglected for the past few weeks, I made sure I incorporated some fun meals this weekend. Do you ever get really excited about a whole afternoon of cooking? I sure do. :)

I kicked off the weekend with a light fish dish on Friday night. Quinn posted a recipe for Baked Flounder with Feta and Spinach a few days ago and I thought I'd give it a shot. I went with a bag of frozen cod instead of flounder because a) I really don't trust the seafood counter at my closest grocery and b) I didn't feel like making the trek elsewhere. It's true. We all get lazy sometimes.

The recipe was super easy and required very few ingredients - fish, breadcrumbs, feta, spinach and lemon. Hi, easy end of the week meal! I only had panko on hand so I spiked it with the last bit of Greek seasoning my mom gave me, some crushed red pepper, salt and garlic powder. Popped that baby in the oven and 20 minutes later, dinner was ready! SO what I needed.
Next time I might throw the feta on top of the panko so it gets a little melty on top. The panko sort of fell all over the place as I plated :[ oops. Despite my plating snafu, the dish tasted great!

Last night was another quick dinner experiment since I got off of work at 7 and had to be in bed early for my race this morning. So I've read about this Trader Joe's Harvest Grains Blend on a few blogs recently and figured since it contains all my favorite grains, why not give it a try? I mean, if I love all these grains (israeli couscous, red quinoa, orzo and baby garbanzos) on their own, shouldn't this be a little bag of heaven??

As you know, I can't ever use a bag of anything by itself and this bag o grains was no exception. I picked up a baby eggplant, yellow squash, tomato and a shallot to spice things up a bit. With the grains, I roasted some chicken thighs we had in the freezer and voila! Perfectly balanced pre-race dinner. Wooo!

Veggie Grains
1/2 bag Trader Joe's Harvest Grains Blend, cooked according to package directions
1 baby eggplant, diced
1 small yellow squash, sliced into disks, then quarters
1 medium tomato, diced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 to 1 tbsp hot pepper sauce

In a large pan, heat olive oil and saute shallot until soft. Add eggplant and tomato and stir for 2 minutes. Cover, lower heat and let cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in salt and balsamic vinegar, cover and cook for another 3 minutes. Stir in squash, cover, turn off heat and let sit for 4 minutes.

Add grains and hot pepper sauce to eggplant mixture and stir until combined. Serve immediately.

YUM. It's even better the next day :) I busted into this jar of hot pepper sauce we got at (of all places) the airport in Budapest.
Go figure, it's one of the best sauces in the kitchen these days! It has a nice smokey, spicy flavor...a little bit goes a long way. It's also a bit salty so I use it in small doses. In my opinion, a chili garlic paste would work just as well in its place :)

For the chicken, I was at a total loss. I threw some rosemary, thyme, kosher salt, minced garlic and black pepper into a bowl. Jamie doused the chicken thighs with some olive oil and stuffed the herby mixture under the skin and sprinkled some more on top. A quick splash of lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon) and they were ready to go into a 450 degree oven for 25-30 minutes. Perfect combo with the grains!

Time to check on the chili! Recipe and race recap will follow later on tonight!


MarathonVal said...

I have catching up to do too!!! I've been totally behind on my Google Reader so I'm excited to go see what I've missed, I know you've been up to a lot of exciting stuff!

Have a great day! :)

Anonymous said...

Love that wine glass!!

Paige@ Running Around Normal said...

Aww haha I love that glass of wine:) Sounds like you had yourself quite a yummy meal!

Rosey Rebecca said...

Love the veggie grains!! I want that glass!

We Are Not Martha said...

Oooh delicious dinner :) I LOVE your "wine" glass!!

Anonymous said...

Can't wait for race recap! I'm sure you did great. :D
Yay for another condiment to add to your ginormous collection. ;)

Anonymous said...

ha! i always drink wine out of random glasses too ;) and YES i get excited about cooking that takes up the afternoon/evening (if I have time...) throw on some music, pour a glass of wine, hang out with the Kitchen! always a good time

Holly said...

what spices are all in the greek seasoning? that sounds DELICIOUS!

that fish = should be in my belly!

Karena said...

I think it's a perfectly sized glass! So perfect, I filled it twice ;) Hoping for another afternoon of cooking soon!

Re: greek seasoning - not a damn clue haha. My mom picked up a pack of spices IN TEST TUBES when she and my dad went on a cruise and I tossed the box w/all the details. I did some googling and I'm pretty sure it contained these ingredients (at least what I could tell from sniffing it): oregano, thyme, marjoram, basil and parsley - no, I'm not just listing dried green herbs, though that's exactly what it looked like! ;p