Make ahead Chicken and Quinoa Stew

A few things before we get started on this DELICIOUS recipe.

  • This is a make ahead recipe. YAY! Do it on Sunday and it should last a minimum of 4 meals. So, you either got dinner covered Monday through Thursday or your lunches covered… However you decide to split this meal up, you end up with some free time on your hands 🙂
  • Healthy- you get protein/grains from quinoa and brown rice, protein from chicken, you get veggies and cheese and poblano peppers and tomatoes. EEEEE!!!! So good.
  • This recipe was adapted from the Cooking Light April 2016 issue. They called it King Ranch Chicken and Quinoa Casserole. My husband and I both agreed that it tasted more like a stew.
  • Final point- the pictures do it no justice. Stews always look like a mish mosh of stuff. But stews are usually so delicious. So here ya go!
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Stew/Casserole cheese laying situation happening here
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Crispy quinoa and brown rice final layer
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Final layer of cheese

1.5 cups per serving about 4 servings in this dish

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups of rotisserie chicken chopped/shredded or homemade shredded chicken
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa or brown rice
  • 5 tbls EVOO
  • 3 poblano peppers chopped and seeded
  • 1.5 cups chopped onion
  • 1 tbsl minced garlic
  • 2 tbls all purpose flour
  • 2 tsps cumin
  • 1 tsp chile powder
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1- 14.5 ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1- 4 ounce can of mild chopped green chiles
  • 3.5 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • 8inch square baking dish
  • Optional: chopped scallions on top

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400F
  • Mix 1 tbls EVOO with cooked quinoa and spread across baking sheet and bake for 10-15 min (this step is really optional… it just gives a crispiness to the quinoa). We also used a quinoa/brown rice blend because that’s all we had on hand and it came out delicious… so if you don’t have quinoa, think about substituting it with brown rice.
  • Heat a dutch oven with olive oil, add poblano peppers, onion and garlic. Sautee for about 5 minutes.
  • Stir flour, cumin, chili powder. Then add stock, tomatoes, and green chiles. Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Remove pan from heat and stir in chicken.
  • Pour half the mixture at the bottom of the dish, top with half quinoa/brown rice and add 2 ounces of cheese. Repeat layers once more.
  • Bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes

I seriously wanted to eat the entire thing in one sitting. I hope you guys enjoy this as much as I did.

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Fast Food Decency

 

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“I can barely taste the difference”

My mantra = eat. real. food. But sometimes, real food isn’t there. And other times, you have your period. So you really just want to have fast food.

My problem with fast food, more than anything, is the industry’s general treatment of animals. I don’t go overboard, but I try to minimize my support of fast food restaurants for that reason alone. Emphasis on “try.”

Of course, there are obvious health hazards related to eating fast food regularly. But of course health matters vary based on your personal circumstances and level of activity. The occasional fast food meal won’t make or break you.

In any event, sometimes fast food is what’s there. Here are a few decent options.

McDonald’s: South West Chicken Salad

Remember those gross salad shakers McDonald’s use to have?

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What on earth were they thinking?

Those days are long gone, my friends. The Southwest Chicken Salad is actually super delicious and yummy. It has mixed greens, chicken, beans, cheese and some little tortilla chips. The ingredients are reliably fresh, at least in my experience.

It’s also really cheap, as far as salads go in New York, around 5 – 7$ depending on the location. As a comparison, a lunch salad in the city is usually around $12-15 dollars.

McDonalds: Vanilla Cone

The McDonald’s Vanilla Cone is truly a hidden gem. It’s nothing less than a tragedy how few people know of its existence.

Dude, this stuff looks and tastes like ice cream. But it only has 170 calories. And 5G of protein. It’s not a bad choice – I have it quite often.

Plus – it’s like .99 cents. Some locations even have an extra small size. Ask for a “kid’s cone.”

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“Can I have a Kid’s Cone please? But make it for 28 year olds.” 

Wendy’s:  Chili + Baked Potato or Side Salad

Some of the best moments of my life were moments I spent eating Wendy’s chili. Depressing? Yes. True? Very.

If it weren’t for Wendy’s Chili, I’d never have any excuse to eat saltines. And I love saltines very much.

I usually get my Chili with a baked potato + sour cream and chives. Alternatively, I get the caesar side salad, and dump the chili on top of it.

Wendy’s: Everything You Actually Want, But in a Tiny Version

If you happen to find yourself at Wendy’s, and you actually want the real stuff, you’re in luck. Wendy’s has itsy bitsy versions of quite a few menu items.

Just ask for the “value size.” And yes, they have tiny Frosty’s too.

Bonus Sauce: Even though your fries and nugs are now tiny, the BBQ sauce stays the same size.

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No, this soda is not enormous. 

Burger King: Ceasar Salad

Burger King’s salad is not nearly as good as McDonald’s, but at least the ingredients have appeared fresh in my experience. And it isn’t gross. At the very least it’s better than getting a Whopper.

Taco Bell: Fresco Menu

Taco Bell has a light menu, called the “Fresco Menu.” These are decent choices, calorie-wise. In fact, pretty much any soft taco is a decent option. The Bell also has rice in a styrofoam cup. #epitomeofclass

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“I’ll have one of everything, please. Actually, make that two.”

A word of caution: these items are not exactly filling.

I find that the Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes are far more suited to my tastes. Not terrible. 270 calories. Could be worse – I could be eating an entire antelope followed by a jar of Nutella.

Any Suggestions?

These are just a few decent fast food options – I’m sure there are many more out there.

I’d love to hear your recommendations.

…Together, we can make sure that no fast food item will ever go uneaten.

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Take a pizza my heart

Let me preface this by saying dinner was so easy to make and Hubby approved ::two thumbs up::

I introduce to you my cheat clean dinner for the week…drum roll please!!!!

*Tortilla pizza*

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Be still our hearts… friends, our pizza days are not over…just modified.

As you get to know me, you’ll see I focus on high protein-low carb meals. Carbs have always been a big problem for me. Unfortunately they don’t go straight to my ass, more like my stomach and thighs 😦 Ok, less about me and more about this pizza.

One Mission tortilla= 6 carbs Trader Giotto’s Rustica sauce = 4 carbs per 1/2 cup (trust me, you won’t need to use that much for one slice) and zero carbs for cheese and Hormel turkey pepperoni. Max carbs for this meal is 10 grams.

Here’s what you got to do:

Preheat oven to 350 F

Spray your baking sheet with cooking spray

Lay your heavenly wrap on the sheet

Spread sauce, cheese, and pepperoni on top (remember, you can substitute with any topping or no topping at all…ain’t nothing wrong with the ol’ reliable cheese and sauce)

Pop it in the oven to desired crispiness. Personally, the crispier the better. I love the crunch! – This was about 10 min.

Serve with a side salad and I’d say you got yourself a gourmet Italian dinner 😉

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