Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Lemony Quinoa Risotto

Well, hello!

I thought we were in need of something a little more upbeat after that last post. No?

How about Fall? That seems to cheer everyone up. I'm wearing a sweater today; I wore a Giants sweatshirt while walking the dog this morning (Yes, the ones going to the World Series TONIGHT. Oh, you didn't hear that? You must be a Dodger fan. Sorry about that.) I loooove me some cozy clothes. And cold weather food...the kind that often leads to the need for cozy clothes, unfortunately.

Know what else makes me happy? Risotto. And playing with new recipe ideas. Lemony Quinoa Risotto, this time. I started with a mushroom risotto recipe on the back of my quinoa package and jumped off from there, ditching the mushrooms and creme fraiche and instead bumping up the garlic, adding lemon, and tying in the cream cheese I used for my Spinach & Feta Stuffed Chicken (Which I totally made up, recipe also below). And it was Delicious. Capital D.

I used 2 tbsp cream cheese, but you'd be fine with 1 tbsp, depending on how creamy you like this sort of thing! Also, I totally forget how annoying stirring risotto can be. Pro*-tip: Grab a chair and hang out with some wine while you do it.

*I am not actually a pro. I just like to sit. And drink.

Lemony Quinoa Risotto
Half an onion, chopped
About 1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 cup rinsed quinoa
1/3 cup vermouth (or white wine)
3 cups chicken stock/broth
zest of half a lemon
1 tsp lemon juice
1-2 tbsp light cream cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Saute onion and garlic in OO for a couple minutes, then add quinoa. Move all of that around for a few minutes, til the quinoa starts smelling a little toasty. Over medium high heat, add the vermouth and stir until it’s almost all evaporated. Then add half cup broth, stirring often, until mostly gone. Repeat, half a cup at a time, until the quinoa pops open (each grain will have a halo-type look to it). It’ll take 20-25 minutes or so. It may take more than 3 cups. It depends on how high your heat is, how much you stir, etc. It usually works for me right around there.

Once the last of the liquid is evaporated, stir in the lemon zest and juice, then turn heat to low and stir in the cream cheese. Season to taste. Serve hot.

For the chicken, I stuffed the breasts with a mix of:
1 package frozen chopped spinach, steamed, then squeezed as dry as possible
A bit of minced garlic
a couple oz of light feta
2 tbsp light cream cheese
1/2 tsp dried thyme
Zest from half a lemon
Salt and pepper

Seasoned the chicken with salt and pepper, and rolled it in some bread crumbs. Cooked at 375 for 25 minutes. If you don't have/want breadcrumbs, all good. Hubs just made some last week and I'm trying to use them up.

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