Food, Recipes

Odds & Ends

Trying to use up everything in the refrigerator before leaving for Maine requires some creativity.  The fruit we can snack on, milk can go on cereal or in a smoothie, but the chicken sausage, spinach, kale, onion and salad fixings are another story.

IMG_1094So what to do with a collection of odds and ends?  Soup  seemed to be the best answer, and here’s what I pulled together.

IMG_1093Add to these a teaspoon of Hungarian sweet paprika which I have enough of to last a lifetime.  I will have to do as what was done in Hungary and put some in everything.

IMG_1101The end result of this concoction was pretty darned good and the accompanying salad’s ingredients used up the rest of the odds and ends.  The only thing missing was a good piece of cornbread!

If you are a soup lover, you might like this one that is hearty but not too heavy and very easy to prepare.

3 c. chicken broth

2-4 chicken sausage links

2-3 c. spinach and kale, torn into small pieces

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 cans of cannellini beans

1 can of diced tomatoes

1 heaping t. of sweet paprika (optional)

salt and pepper to taste

Blend all ingredients except for the greens together and simmer for about 20 minutes to allow flavors to blend.  Add spinach and kale and continue cooking until  they are wilted.

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Food, Random

Dinner Done Easy

Some days don’t lend themselves to spending hours in the kitchen nor does the pantry offer up many choices.  So it is at my house until all the coming home chores are done and there’s time to think about restocking the foodstuffs.

This day I used what ingredients were on hand and came up with a tasty, easy to fix dinner essentially made with four ingredients: chicken,  black quinoa, tomatoes and spinach, all healthy and a lovely combination of color.  For lack of a better name, let’s call this dish Braised Chicken with Warm Quinoa Salad.  I very much like the quinoa, but this would work very well with couscous or a variety of pastas that would give an entirely different flair.


Braised Chicken with Warm Quinoa Salad

6 skinless chicken thighs, bone in

2 T. olive oil

1 c. chopped yellow onion

2 sprigs fresh thyme

3 bay leaves

6 cloves minced garlic

1/4 c. dry white wine (I used vermouth)

1 1/2 t. white wine vinegar

1/4 c. chicken stock

salt and pepper to taste

3 c. quinoa

1-2 c. cherry tomatoes

2 c. spinach

Salt and pepper chicken thighs on both sides and saute  in hot olive oil until browned on both sides.  Remove from pan and sauté onion with thyme and bay leaves until onion is translucent.  Add garlic and cook for about a minute.  Stir in wine, vinegar, chicken stock, salt and pepper.  Return chicken to pan, cover and cook over low heat until chicken is tender.  When it is done, let it cool, then remove the meat from the bones and shred it.

For the quinoa, cook according to package directions.  While it is cooking, make a dressing with 1/4 c. olive oil, 2 T. white wine vinegar, 1 T. pesto, salt and pepper to taste.

When the quinoa is done, mix with the dressing.  Add the tomatoes and spinach and mix all ingredients together.  Divide the salad among plates, arrange the chicken on top, drizzle some of the pan juices on the chicken and enjoy.

Makes 6 servings

FYI, I did the chicken in a slow cooker for about 3 hours as I was outside working in the yard and didn’t want to have to run inside to see if all was well.    Prepared this way, the chicken could not have been any more flavorful or tender.  I can’t wait to try this again with pasta.  I’m thinking it would be delish made with cheese ravioli.

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