We're still flying without an official leader in the Craving Ellie in My Belly group. However, this week a recipe was chosen by Kayte of Grandma's Kitchen Table. She chose Salmon Florentine with the Quinoa Pilaf, from Ellie's So Easy cookbook. I have to say, I chickened out with the salmon. I've never eaten it, and I didn't know if I was ready to try it just yet. But after reading the recipe in its entirety, I decided that this would work out fine with chicken.
I was right! This was superb with chicken. And (as the title of her cookbook would indicate) it was easy! The recipe called for frozen spinach; I wilted down a bunch of fresh, and I thought it was great. To the spinach you add sun-dried tomatoes, shallot (red onion, in my case), garlic, and ricotta cheese, plus some salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. I baked my chicken for 20 minutes, then removed it from the oven, piled this spinach topping on each breast, and continued to bake for another 15 minutes. This worked out perfectly. The chicken was super moist, and the flavors of the spinach topping were incredible with it.
The quinoa pilaf was loosely interpreted by me. I did have pine nuts on hand, but no parsley or regular onion. Instead, I used some leftover rosemary, and half a red onion. The pilaf was great the way I made it, and I'm sure it would have been great the recipe's way, as well. The great thing about grain dishes, including quinoa, is how well they lend themselves to variety. This one was no exception.
I served a simple green bean side dish with all this. I steamed the beans until they were tender, and then I tossed them in some salt, pepper, and red wine vinegar. It went along with the "so easy" theme nicely!
You can find the original versions of Ellie's recipes here and here. I'm looking forward to next week's dish, which I just found out will be paella. I haven't made that in forever, so it'll be great to try again.