Guess who’s back in the kitchen again? My dear, helpless husband who’s still trying to figure his way around. Remember his first meal (the only one he’s made since we got married), the best lasagna ever? Yup, that’s right..it was his FIRST. I’ve spoiled him rotten all these years, haven’t I? But you know what? He’s got some MAD skills! A natural talent! Well, minus his “can it take any longer?” pace. He’s def got me on my toes. I gotta step up my game now. Nonetheless, Tim made another home-run dish. He found an Ellie Krieger recipe, which he ran by me first ;). Although I followed her other recipe, to the tee, I had to change some things (actually…a lot) mostly because we didn’t have those ingredients on hand.
The original recipe called for saffron, which is not a staple in our pantry. I’ve actually never cooked with it, but I hope to soon! It seems so fancy ;). Instead of mint leaves and thyme, we decided to stick with two of our fav herbs (possibly the only two herbs we consume), basil and cilantro. We really need to expand our horizons. Another time. As my normal tendency is to pack as many vegetables as possible into a dish, just green beans didn’t cut it for me. Hence, say hello to mushrooms, asparagus, and broccoli! It was a bit more work for Tim (he didn’t seem too happy), but I had full confidence that he could do it! I just had to make sure to eat plenty of snacks to keep my tummy from grumbling in the meantime.
So how long did this dish take to make? 3 hours! Yes…but it was totally worth the wait! So good! Feast your eyes on this….and please make it for yourself and your loved ones!
Basil Lemon Chicken, Quinoa Salad
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- 1 lemon, preferably unwaxed
- 1 1/4 tsp salt, plus more to taste, divided
- Pinch of cajun seasoning
- 2 Tbs chopped basil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
- 1 1/4 pound skinless boneless chicken breast, pounded to 1/2 in. thick
- 1 pound asparagus
- 8 oz. cremini mushrooms
- Cooking spray
- 2 Tbs finely chopped cilantro
- 1 Tbs honey
- 1 Tbs honey dijon mustard
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Prick the lemon in 3 places with a fork and place in a small pot with 1 tsp of salt and cover with water. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 50 min or until the lemon is very tender. Drain and set aside to cool.
- In the meantime, combine the basil, cajun seasoning, garlic, 1 Tbs of lemon juice, 1 Tbs olive oil, and 1/4 tsp salt in a small bowl. Pour the marinade into a plastic bag, add the chicken and let it marinate in the fridge.
- Cook quinoa.
- Steam the broccoli and asparagus for about 10 min or until tender and set aside to cool. Roughly chop. Sauté the mushrooms in olive until browned (you can skip this if you don’t mind the texture of raw mushrooms).
- Preheat a large nonstick skillet and cook the chicken for about 4 min on each side or until cooked through. Set aside to cool. Cut into bite-sized pieces.
- Slice the ends off of the lemon and slice it in half lengthwise. Scoop out the pulp. Slice the peel thinly and then again into 1/4 in. pieces.
- In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients. In a small bowl, combine the rest of the lemon juice, honey, and honey dijon mustard; whisk in the remainder of the olive oil; and season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
Don’t ask me why he decided to use such a GINORMOUS pot to boil one dinky little lemon. No wonder it takes him so long to cook anything! Not complainin’..just sayin’ 😉
In case you’re interested, I got that meat tenderizer from QVC, and it’s simply the best! No more pounding the meat to death (although it’s great for anger management) and being afraid of spreading chicken germs on my countertop. Oh how those chicken germs terrify me…
Doesn’t the broccoli floret look so cute in his monstrous hands? And it wasn’t even that small…
Yes, I got him that Lego man shirt from Korea…
I he loves it!
Doesn’t it just scream FRESHHH?!?! I packed the leftovers to take with me to school the next day, and I made quite a few of my classmates jealous ;). I was so proud to bust open my tupperware in front of everyone hehe. I shall stay busy so the hubs can cook more often.
– Have you cooked with saffron before? What does it taste like? Does it really make all the difference in the world? Worth the money?
– Do you ever feel so proud of your packed lunch that you just want to show it off? Obviously I do ;).