I love being adventurous in life and in the kitchen! In the past month, I’ve tried two new foods that I’ve never had before, and one that I haven’t had in years. The first one is Swiss chard. For some reason, I’ve been resistant to trying greens other than my old standby, spinach (which I love.) When I was on vacation last month, my Aunt Claudia and I bought some baby Swiss chard at the farmers market in Michigan. My Uncle Paul cooked it up for dinner and it was delicious! I can’t believe I waited so long to try it. Now, I’m inspired to try other types of greens, too.
I made quinoa for the first time two weeks ago. Quinoa is actually a seed, not a grain. It’s high in protein and gluten-free. It cooks up like rice and absorbs the flavor of the spices you mix in with it. My friend and cooking genius, Julie Brawley, gave me a recipe for a Mexican-style quinoa which was awesome with grilled chicken and a salad. (Recipe below.) I’m now hunting for other quinoa recipes to try.
About a month ago I did a 6 Day Detox to recharge and rev up my metabolism. Brussels sprouts were one of the veggies on the detox menu. As a kid, I refused to eat these mini-cabbage looking vegetables. I tried them a few years ago at my sister-in-law’s house, but they were cooked in bacon grease. (Because bacon makes everything better – and way more fattening!) So I steamed the sprouts for my detox and tossed them with some Mrs. Dash’s seasoning and bit of olive oil. They were okay, but not great. However, Leah sent me a recipe for Grilled Brussels Sprouts with Whole Grain Mustard. So, I am vowing to give them one last try before I write them off completely. I understand that not all of my culinary adventures will be a smashing success and that’s okay. Nothing ventured, nothing gained!
Here’s my Meal Plan for this week. What new food have you tried lately?
Monday ~ Turkey Chili. Mondays are always busy, so I’ll make use of one of my freezer meals today.
Tuesday ~ Grilled chicken tenderloins, hash brown casserole, and Swiss chard.
Wednesday ~ FFY (Fend For Yourself!) I’m having dinner with a good friend at Bonefish Grill for $5 Bang Bang Shrimp and happy hour cocktails!
Thursday ~ Chicken Marsala with quinoa (instead of the usual rice) and a side salad.
Friday ~ I am SO excited for Friday’s dinner! I am hosting a potluck with my Facebook recipe group. Everyone is bringing a dish to share. There are so many good cooks in that bunch; I can’t wait to see what everyone brings!
Saturday ~ Grilled salmon, potatoes, and grilled Brussels sprouts with whole grain mustard.
Sunday ~ Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and green beans.
Fiesta Quinoa Pilaf (From EatingClean4Life.com)
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. sea salt
½ tsp. black pepper
2 cloves of minced garlic
½ tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. chili powder
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
2 cups of cooked quinoa
2 Tbs. lime juice
¼ cup chopped scallions
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and thoroughly combine. Serve hot or cold.
Note: I cooked my quinoa with chicken broth instead of water. I also substituted red pepper flakes for the cayenne pepper, since I was out. I think this would also be good if you decreased some of the quinoa and added black beans.