Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Veggie Delight!

Tonight I decided to try a couple of new items for dinner. My lovely sister sent me a Weight Watchers recipe that she had tried (and loved) for spinach quinoa. Living in the South now, it is probably a crime that I had not yet attempted to make fried squash. Down here you can pretty much fry anything I have come to realize. We tried butternut squash in the fall for the first time, so tonight we tried yellow squash! :) No dinner fails this evening - we had a delicious spread of panko-crusted baked chicken, spinach quinoa and fried squash. It ended up being quite labor intensive to make all three, but was worth it in the end.

I gathered the items I needed for the spinach quinoa and went to work.

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa (pre-rinsed)
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 cups spinach, baby leaves, packed, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Heat oil in a large, nonstick skillet, over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, until onion is tender, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Add quinoa to skillet; cook, stirring frequently, until quinoa starts to turn golden brown, about 2 minutes.
  • Add broth, black pepper and red pepper flakes to skillet; bring to boil. Cover skillet and reduce heat to low and simmer for 13 minutes; stir in spinach. Cover skillet and cook until spinach and quinoa are tender and liquid is absorbed, about 3 to 5 minutes; season with salt. Yields about 1/2 cup per serving.
As for changes I made to the ingredients/recipe...I used just 1/2 of a large onion because that seemed like plenty to me and I used 2 cloves of garlic because I really like garlic. :) I also used just 3 cups of spinach because I felt like that was a lot of spinach. I followed the directions exactly and it seemed to work well. It yielded a very large batch, so plenty of leftovers for lunches!

For the fried squash, I simply cut the yellow squash into about 1/4" thick medallions. I dipped them in egg, then a 1:1 ratio mixture of flour, corn muffin mix, salt and pepper. Here they are after being dipped, ready to fry at this point.

I used canola oil on medium heat and fried them for about 2-3 minutes on each side. Here is a picture of the finished products on the plate! :) While the squash was tasty, we try not to eat too many fried foods, so this may just be an occasional treat from now on. The quinoa will probably make it into the regular rotation when I want to do something besides brown rice. I was bummed that the cold I currently have skewed my taste buds a bit tonight and I needed to add more salt than normal to really taste everything, but the quinoa did have great flavor!

Unfortunately Ethan wasn't too interested in trying the quinoa, but did sample the squash and gobbled up the chicken tonight! With his belly full and a much too large hat Josh brought home from work on his head, he was all smiles this evening!


  1. i'm glad you liked the quinoa!!! i loved it leftover too - mixed with a can of tuna! sooo healthy!

  2. I wish I could smell/taste right now so that I could have really tasted how great it was! I just had my leftovers for lunch! :) No tuna for me though!! Eww. haha.


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