College Girl Eats: Week Three

weekthree-01

Lunch: Tabbouleh and Pita Bread Sandwiches

Dinner: Baked Quinoa & Chicken Parmesan

 

My lunches this week all contained a tabbouleh “salad” that I put into a pita bread pocket with some lunch meat, greens, and sliced cheese. Tabbouleh is a Middle Eastern/Mediterranean salad or dish. I’ve heard it both ways. I checked a book of herbs out of the library once in high school … because I like to read things like that. I found this recipe in the back of the book. I’ve never followed it directly more than once and usually make it up as I go without measuring. I’ll give you the original, but also my methods below it. If you don’t want to make it into a sandwich, tabbouleh is great alone or with chips or crackers.

Tabbouleh

7 oz. burghul or cracked wheat 
2 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and finely chopped 
1 Lebanese cucumber, finely diced 
5 Tbs. finely chopped fresh mint leaves 
3/4 c. finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley leaves
2 spring onions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
juice of one lemon

To make tabbouleh, soak burghul in hot water 15 minutes. Drain; squeeze out excess water. Combine with remaining ingredients in medium bowl and season to taste.

Kelly style: I rarely measure out the burghul. I just pour some out and add more if the ratio of burghul to veggies is too uneven. This round I used a handful of baby tomatoes, quartered. I didn’t have a cucumber (and it doesn’t need to be Lebanese) but I did add some chopped carrots and bell peppers. I’ve never used mint. I couldn’t find it the first time and just never bothered to find it. I used dried parsley. The only onions I have in my kitchen are frozen… not that I could chop an actual onion anyways. I never really measure the olive oil and lemon juice either. I also use lemon juice — instead of squeezing a lemon.

I set the burghul to soaking (untimed) and proceed to chop what ever vegetables I have and toss them into a bowl. Then, in a separate small bowl, I mix the olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, and sometimes some dill. I drain the burghul and mix all three bowls together.

Dinner this week came from a recipe my sister gave me. Quinoa is all over the internet and is packed with all kinds of nutrients. This recipe is a bit more in depth than anything else I’ve made these few weeks, and I felt a bit like Sookie in the kitchen. The super clumsy one, from season one.

Baked Quinoa & Chicken Parmesan
1 Tbs olive oil
1 med. onion, diced (I used frozen onions)
3 cloves garlic, minced (approx. 1 1/2 tsp) (I used pre-minced garlic)
2 T. Balsamic vinegar
1 can tomato sauce (15 oz)
1 can diced tomatoes (15 oz)
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
basil and oregano, to taste
1 c. quinoa
2 c. water or broth
1 lb. chicken breast, cooked
2/3 c shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
2 Tbs. grated parmesan or romano cheese
2 Tbs. bread crumbs (optional) (I opted out)
2 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley (optional) (I opted out)

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add oil. Stir in the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 30-60 seconds. Add the balsamic vinegar, scraping anything off the bottom of the pan, and cook until it’s almost fully absorbed. Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, red pepper flakes, basil, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a low boil, then simmer while preparing the rest of the meal. Rinse quinoa. Place quinoa and water or brother in small sauce pan and bring to boil (if using water, add a little salt). Cover with a lid, reduce heat, and simmer until cooked, about 20-25 minutes. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, chicken, and sauce and mix thoroughly. Preheat oven to 375*F and spray 2qt. baking dish with cooking spray. Place half the mixture in the baking dish and sprinkle with 1/3 c. mozzarella cheese. Top with remaining quinoa mixture. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese and parmesan. Add breadcrumbs. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake until cheese is lightly browned and bubbly, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley (and additional parmesan) before serving, if desired.

Grocery List

Lunch

  • Burghul or cracked wheat
  • Veggies of choice
  • Parsely
  • Olive Oil
  • Lemon Juice

Dinner:

  • Olive oil
  • onion
  • garlic
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 can tomato sauce (15 oz)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (15 oz)
  • red pepper flakes
  • basil
  • oregano
  • quinoa
  • 1 lb. chicken breast
  • shredded mozzarella cheese
  • grated parmesan or romano
  • bread crumbs (optional)
  • chopped fresh parsley (optional)
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