Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Good and The Bad

Week 2 and 3 are coming together...  The good news is that I have FINALLY gotten the hang of posting on a blog with pictures (thanks Mike!!).  So now I can do this project much more efficiently! 

Good: Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes (and holy cow are they good) and Balsamic Vinaigrette Roasted Chicken (this will become a regular)

Not so Good: Paul's race week request of tortellini with broccoli and pesto...anyone who knows him knows that he can indulge like this.  The rest of us can just politely shake our heads at his Olive Oil laced blood :)

The Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes came from the prepped food counter at Whole Foods.  I saw them, read the ingredient list, and was ready to tackle them head on!
1 sweet potato baked (I used a fairly large one)
Apple juice sweetened dried cranberries (about 3/4 cup) coarsely chopped
1 cup Lundberg Rice Jubilee Mix (GF)
1 cup Quinoa (I used plain, but you can use red if you have it)

Cook the rice and quinoa according to directions.  Combine the mashed sweet potato, quinoa, rice, and cranberries.  Form in cakes on a sprayed cookie sheet.  Put in a 375 degree oven for 8 minutes each side.  AND, THAT'S IT!!  They lasted all week as a fantastic side, never got dry, and tasted incredible as a side dish or crumbled on a salad.

Balsamic Vinaigrette Roasted Chicken (Sorry no pics)
Bone in Chicken Breasts (your choice on quantity)
Balsamic Vinegar
Olive Oil
Italian Seasoning
In a pan pour 1/2-3/4 cup balsamic Vinegar (more if you are roasting a bunch of breasts)...I did 6.  Pour in 1/4 cup olive oil and seasoning and whisk it in the pan.  Place the chicken breast side down and marinate in the fridge for 1-2 hours  Place in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes breast side down.  Flip and cook through for another 25+ minutes.  Sounds like just "normal" roasted chicken...not so fast!  Place the chicken on a platter, container, or otherwise.  Pour the liquid into a small sauce pan.  Skim off the olive oil.  The easiest way to do this is by placing ice cubes in the sauce and getting a quick gelatin going.  From there, boil the sauce until the Balsamic thickens.  It made a beautiful thick sauce, and gave a rich flavor to the chicken.  Seriously decadent!!
The not so healthy...Paul's Tortellini
It's one of his all-time favorites that I make, so the effort was worth it.  Steamed broccoli, homemade pesto, and brutally high effort ricotta tortellini because of the quantity.  It definitely doesn't fit into healthy or painlessly quick meals, but if you want the recipe I am happy to share.
Here is a pic of the finished product :)
Have a wonderful week!


  1. Definitely going to try those sweet potato quinoa cakes. They sound totally yummy!

  2. I got 11 cakes (decent size) out of my batch. I haven't tried to freeze them, but they lasted a week in the fridge without losing moistness or flavor!

    You will love them!

  3. May try these tomorrow! Let us know about the freezer attempt.

  4. Made a variant of the balsamic chicken last night - very tasty

  5. Yes on trying the cakes (sw&q!)

  6. I had the sweet potato cake from WF, now I'll have to try making them. They are so delicious!

  7. Doise - you will love these even more, and super easy!