Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Just-Over-30 minutes-Trio!

I am super-proud of myself for creating a super-healthy, super-delicious and super-pleasing-to-the-senses meal last night with not one, not two, but three wholesome dishes! And everything in just over 30 minutes! Enough with the "super," I suppose and no, I am not trying to imitate Rachel Ray; though I must point out that she says, "under" 30 minutes.......!

Dish 1: My Mint-Cilantro Pesto Pilaf: 

1. Took a handful of almonds, some fresh cilantro, a nice bunch of fresh mint leaves, half a jalapeno, a couple cloves of garlic, lemon juice and salt in my nifty food processor. Within a few pulses, my beautiful mint-cilantro pesto was ready. I tasted it and boy-oh-boy, it awakened my senses like crazy. I almost thought of using it as a dip.......and that minty-lemony-cilantroey (just invented that word!) aroma was simply amazing.

2. I wish I had brown rice or wild rice. But well, I just used regular white rice. Washed a couple cups of rice in my rice cooker and then poured in that mint-cilantro pesto onto the washed rice. Added a couple splashes of olive oil followed by 3.5 cups of water. Now usually the water to rice ratio I use is 2:1, however, in this case, I had all that pesto as well- hence I used half a cup less water. Stirred it up and tasted it once more before switching on the rice cooker to do its thing.

Look at that gorgeous mint-cilantro pesto!

Dish 2: Root-Medley: 

1. Took a sweet potato that I had lying in my pantry for over a month now. Luckily it was absolutely fine. Roughly peeled and chopped it up into bite sized pieces. Chopped up a couple carrots, a couple broiler onions. Threw in a couple cloves of garlic. Sprinkled some salt, freshly ground pepper, italian seasoning and drizzled some olive oil. I had some mushrooms that were going err, bad--- picked out the ones that looked OK- a grand total of 2 and threw that in as well. I placed all this on a baking sheet.

Root-medley (with some mushrooms) ready to get roasted

2. Put it into the oven at 425 degrees F for 30 minutes.

Towards the end, I baked some broccoli florets for 10 minutes and added it to the root-medley for color and as you know, broccoli is good for you!

Roasted Root+Broccoli-Medley

Dish 3: Herbed Chicken: 

1. Took a couple boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Cut them into bite sized pieces and put them in a baking dish. Added salt, pepper, italian seasoning, lemon juice. Also stuck a few cloves of garlic in between, here and there. Drizzled some olive oil and mixed it all up. Covered it with foil.

2. Put this into the oven at 425 degrees F for 30 minutes.

Tender and moist herbed chicken

Note: The great thing about this meal was that I could cook both the chicken as well as the veggies in one go at one temperature. Plus my pesto pilaf was getting ready simultaneously in my rice cooker! 

The kitchen was alive with some tantalizing aromas. We couldn't wait to eat dinner. The pilaf was just right with the mint and cilantro flavors going on. The roasted veggies were cooked to perfection and the chicken was amazingly tender and moist, which was quite a pleasant surprise because boneless, skinless chicken breast usually ends up being a bit dry. The juices that were released in the process worked like a sauce that we just spooned over the rice for extra flavor--- delicious!

The highlight of the evening was this comment from my son, "This dinner is phenomenal, Mommy!"

Herbed Chicken on a bed of Mint-Cilantro Pesto Pilaf with roasted root-medley on the side

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