Sunday, May 15, 2011

Chili x2

This is the Sweet Potato Chili that Danielle recommended.

So, here I am, two months after requesting chili recipes. I made them both!

I made the Chipotle Chocolate Chili from Melanie first. Despite everything she said and everything I've read on adding chocolate to savory dishes, I still thought that putting it in would somehow give a hint of chocolate-y flavor, but now I know for myself that is not the case at all. It just adds extra depth, exactly like Melanie said. I almost didn't add it, but I'm really glad I did! I decided I had to risk it after test-tasting and thinking it seemed to be missing something. I really liked this chili and my family did too. My husband loves chipotle flavor and I wish so much that I loved it, too, but I prefer it to be subtle, so the diced tomatoes I used were the Mexican-style ones with chipotles in, rather than the chilis in adobo sauce, which I find to be too strong for me.

The Sweet Potato Chili from Danielle was good too! I did miss the meat flavor some (not the meat texture, though--this chili has great texture and the sweet potatoes are a good addition), but I think that's partly my taste buds expecting meaty flavor since my brain knows I'm eating chili. I'd give this one a shot again before trying another vegetarian chili. I cooked it in the crock pot and it smelled so delicious all day while it was simmering! The spices on this one are really nice.

Thanks again, Danielle and Melanie, for providing those recipes!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Chicken Quinoa Stew

I finally made something blog-worthy! This Chicken Quinoa Stew was pretty amazing. I found it here:

If you haven't heard of quinoa, or if you have heard of quinoa but haven't cooked with it, you should definitely make this recipe to try it out! I first heard of quinoa while I was living in Ecuador because it orginates in the Andes Mountains there, but it has recently become a lot more popular here in the U.S. Quinoa is a grain that I like to describe as a cross between rice and pasta, but the grains are teeny tiny. It's very healthy because it's super high in protein and a good source of fiber, phosphorus, magnesium, and iron. It's also gluten-free! It doesn't have much flavor, but just adds texture.

We told my 2 1/2 year old boy that the quinoa were monster eggs, and he gobbled it right up. His exact words were "monster eggs good!" And I'm happy that he's eating something good for him.

I love making stews and soups because they are so healthy and always delicious! This stew has a nice spicy kick to it that could be doctored up or down, depending on your spiciness preference.
Also, the recipe says to cook the quinoa beforehand, but I had to simmer mine for 20+ minutes to get the potatoes tender enough, so you could probably throw the uncooked quinoa in with the potatoes and it would get cooked while you simmered. It would save you time and a dirty dish.

I wasn't going for presentation with this picture, but you can see waht it looks like.