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chicken spinach
Chicken / Spinach, Red
Onion & Red Pepper

quinoa pilaf
Quinoa Pilaf

Menu Plan for the week of April 5, 2013: Wednesday's Recipes

Chicken / Spinach, Red Onion & Red Pepper
Quinoa Pilaf

Cooking time:  30 minutes for menu          Cooking schedule: see below for instructions

      With our cool weather the spinach has been plentiful this spring. 

Chicken with Spinach, Red Onion & Pepper    Preparation and cooking time: 30 minutes
    Bright red pepper and sweet red onion add color to the spinach, all cooked lightly, more of a salad than a hot vegetable.  I cut the breasts in half, the short way.  They cook a bit faster and it makes a nicer presentation.

2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
1 red onion
1/2 red pepper
6oz (180gr) spinach
1/2 tsp paprika
4 tsp oil
1/2 lemon
1/3 cup shredded cheese

Slice onion and pepper.  Pick through the spinach, discarding any wilted or damaged leaves.  Wash and spin dry if necessary. Juice the lemon, picking out pips.
Heat 2 tsp oil in a large skillet.  Add paprika and sauté 30 seconds.  Add onion, pepper and sauté until crisp tender, about 5 minutes.  Remove to a plate and cover to keep warm.  Add chicken and brown on both sides.  Cover the skillet, reduce heat and cook until chicken is done, another 5 - 7 minutes.  Sprinkle with cheese and cover to melt.  Remove chicken to a plate and cover to keep warm.
The finish:  Return pepper and onion to skillet with 2 tsp more olive oil.  Heat through.  Add spinach, lemon juice and sauté just until spinach wilts a bit 1 - 2 minutes.  Put vegetables on individual plates, top with chicken and serve.

Quinoa Pilaf                                                               Preparation and cooking time:  25 minutes
    The thing I like best about Pilafs (other than the taste) is they are equally good hot, warm or cold, making them perfect for summer cooking, when we all want to be a bit more relaxed.

1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup (8oz, 240ml) chicken stock (or the amount of liquid your package recommends)
1 small - medium carrot
1 rib celery   optional
1 shallot
2 tsp olive oil
4 - 5 cherry tomatoes  for garnish  

Put quinoa and stock in a small saucepan, cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until done, about 15 minutes  (or whatever your package says).
Chop celery, carrot and shallots.  Heat oil in a small skillet and sauté shallot, celery and carrot for 5 minutes.  Cut cherry tomatoes in half.  When quinoa is done, stir in sautéed vegetables.  Spoon into a bowl and serve, garnished with tomatoes. 

Cooking schedule: 30 minutes
Assemble all food, utensils and serving dishes
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
large skillet with lid, small skillet, small saucepan
with lid, 2 plates, lid

Slice onion, pepper
Cut chicken
Sauté paprika
Add pepper, onion, sauté
Cook quinoa
Remove pepper, onion, cover
Brown chicken
Chop shallot
Slice cherry tomatoes

Turn chicken
Chop carrot, celery if using
Cover chicken, cook
Sauté carrot, shallot, celery for quinoa
Shred cheese if needed
Juice lemon
Add cheese to chicken, cover, melt
Remove chicken, cover to keep warm
Return peppers, onion, heat
Add carrot, shallot to quinoa, stir
Add tomatoes, serve
Add spinach, lemon to skillet, sauté
Remove spinach, peppers, onions to plates
Top with chicken, serve

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