Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Luck O' the Irish

Happy St Patrick's Day from the Gilles Wee Ones!

We got an early start to celebrating our Irishness at dinner last night with Nani & Baa before they head to Milwaukee today to celebrate the next step in the Hecker's future (Kate's residency match is announced tomorrow.) I made potato & leek soup and homemade Soda Bread, with the adults enjoying a Guinness or Smithwicks and the kiddos some frosted shamrock sugar cookies.
Glad that we had leftovers to enjoy again today!

The kids still fit in the shirts we got them last year, though they were a bit big last year and a bit small this year. Look how much they've changed since then!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

What's for Dinner: something DELICIOUS!

Good Catholics and Global Citizens that we are, Team Gilles has given up meat (in varying increments - Jesse for dinner only; me for the duration) of Lent. This has challenged us to branch out our menu options a bit and look for some new dishes to add to my cooking repertoire. This one that I made tonight was sooo good I just had to share it, great for veggies and meat-eaters alike. Try it and let me know what you think!

Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad
recipe courtesy Mark Bittman, How to Cook Everything Vegetarian

2 1/2 c cooked quinoa or other small-kernel grain (or 1 c raw)
1 lg or 2 med (about 1#) sweet potatoes
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, & diced
1/4 c minced red onion or shallot
1 avocado, peeled & diced
1/4 c cilantro
1/4 t cayenne, chili powder, or hot pepper flakes
1/4 c EVOO
1 lime

If your quinoa isn't already cooked, cook it. Drain and rinse. Peel the sweet potato and dice into 1/2 inch or smaller pieces. Cook in boiling salted water to cover until tender, about 15 minutes; drain well.

Toss together the potato, quinoa, bell pepper, avocado, cilantro, and onion; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the cayenne/chili powder and toss with the EVOO. Squeeze lime over salad and toss again to coat well. Serve at room temperature.
Serves 4-6, depending on how hungry your eaters are and what sides you eat it with.

We completed the meal with a side of pepper-jack and whole-wheat quesadillas, but it would be equally delicious next to grilled chicken or completely on its own.

Bon Appetit!