Friday, February 27, 2009

Quinoa - The Ancient Grain

I've been reading about quinoa. It's considered a "whole food" with enough protein and carbohydrates to sustain life. Did you know there's an international seed bank that is to save society if something horrible happens? Quinoa is an ancient grain that could provide sustainability for the world should the inevitable global meltdown happen.

I got this sun dried tomato quinoa box at the funny grocery store (local food coop) about a year ago and it was so rich, I could hardly stomach it. I'm pretty sure I threw most of it away. (Please say prayers for people who are starving in the world. I mean it. I'm not being sarcastic.) But I bought some plain, ordinary quinoa grains about two months after that and have since been researching ways to cook it so it would be palatable.

I tried tonight. I was feeling adventurous. Plus, it's snowing - so I'm hunkering down for the night and good food smells make me happy.

I figured quinoa was like rice, so I put two cups of water and one cup of quinoa in a pan and brought it to a boil, then covered it and simmered it for about 20 minutes. Perfection. In the meantime, I sauteed choppped onion and garlic with italian seasonings and red pepper flakes in a tiny bit of olive oil. When it was nice and translucent and a little browned, I added the cooked quinoa and sauteed it a little, too. I tasted it and it definitely needed salt and pepper, so I added some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and I gobbled a bunch of it down. It's super yummy. And I think I'm sustainable.

Thank God.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Crinkly Fingers

Baked Chicken Fingers
adapted from

Olive oil
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 c. skim milk
1 T. dijon mustard
1/4 cup almonds, sliced
1/4 c. rolled oats
1/2. c grated parmesan cheese
1 T. dried parsley flakes
1/2 t. ground black pepper

Preheat oven tp 350 degrees. Lightly coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray. Trim any fat from chicken and cut into strips. Stir milk and mustard together in a bowl. In a separate container, mix together almonds, oats, parmesan, parsley and pepper. One at a time, dip chicken into milk mixture, then dridge them in oatmeal mixture, making sure each piece is coated evenly. Arrange on baking sheet and bake for 14 to 16 minutes, turning once, or until chicken is cooked through and coating is golden brown.

The original recipe didn't call for parmesan cheese, but I wanted it, so I substituted it for whole wheat bread crumbs. You could go either way for less fat. These were easy to overcook, too. So watch it! Super yum!