In case you haven’t figured it out at this point, I love to celebrate. I will take any scintilla of a celebration and run wild with a themed meal, special evening, brunch, or parade. So, it should come as no surprise whatsoever that I firmly believe that a six month wedding anniversary is truly a day to be remembered.
We were lucky to have the opportunity to spend last weekend (the weekend before our six month wedding anniversary) in the lodge where we were wed! My fellow Buffalo River Foundation board members, plus families, were able to spend a weekend floating the beautiful Buffalo River, eating delicious homemade food (including brunch made by yours truly) and developing our goals for the upcoming year. We spent our weekend waking up to this breathtaking view:
How breathtaking is that view? You need to add Ponca to your bucket list. If you haven’t been, you must. If you’ve been, go back. As often as possible. Our weekend was spectacular, although Mops is still pouting at us for abandoning her for two whole days. Life is rough for this dog, really, really rough.
The beautiful Ponca weekend is especially lovely in contrast to what we will be doing on our “real” six month wedding anniversary (if that is a “real” thing). This dream team will be divided so that Husband can attend a a gun show. I’d complain, but that just means I have a whole day to treat myself to a perfect day of farmer’s market, yoga, and sushi. In short, it appears that we are both celebrating our marriage by doing our favorite things – just not together! So, you win some, you lose some. But, you always, always eat well. Or at least that’s my life motto. Evidence:
Speaking of eating well, this one-skillet dinner is really a treat. The dish tastes like a rich pasta, but with the quinoa base it’s both heartier and healthier. The flavor comes from a pan sauce made with lemon, white wine, just a bit of herb cream cheese and a low-sodium chicken bouillon cube. I love sundried tomatoes – they add such an intense flavor hit that is both sweet and acidic. I use whole sundried tomatoes when I cook, but you can chop them up if you prefer. I think that the pan sauce and the vegetables have enough flavor to carry the meal, but you can top with some feta or Parmesan cheese if desired.
Sundried Tomato & Spinach Chicken Quinoa
You will need:
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. minced fresh garlic
- 1 tsp. Italian spice blend
- 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, whole or halved
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- 2 low-sodium chicken bouillon cubes
- 2 tbsp. herb cream cheese
- 3 cups fresh baby spinach, washed
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. fresh parsley
- In a large skillet on medium-high heat, toast olive oil and garlic until slightly fragrant.
- Add chicken and spice blend and saute for 5-7 minutes, until chicken is slightly cooked (not all the way finished, but fairly close).
- Pour in wine and add 1 bouillon cube, breaking up with a spoon. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat 2 cups of water with the remaining bouillon and the rinsed quinoa to boil. Cover, reduce heat to simmer, and cook for 15-20 minutes. When quinoa is cooked, remove from heat and let rest for five additional minutes. Stir in 1 tsp. olive oil and 1 tsp. fresh parsley.
- After the chicken-white wine mixture has cooked for 10-15 minutes, stir in herb cream cheese, fresh baby spinach, and lemon juice. Increase heat to medium and cook for five minutes, until cream cheese has melted and the baby spinach has wilted.
- Serve in a bowl with quinoa on the bottom and top with chicken mixture.
- Chicken leftovers are delicious for the next several days; cooked quinoa is safely stored in the fridge for a week. I store leftover quinoa separately so that I can get creative with “recycling” options.