I recently had friends over for dinner and it was exceptionally exciting. Since one of our friends has dietary restrictions, we took full advantage of the foods he could eat. This was not as challenging as I thought it to be. Here was the menu:
Black bean & corn salsa
Stuffed peppers with chicken, quinoa and veggies
Granny Smith apples stuffed with brown sugar and pecans
Wine, lots and lots of wine!
The first thing to do is open a large bottle of inexpensive wine!
That’s our black bean & corn salsa in the background. I love this salsa because its quick and easy to prepare, its great as a dip, a side or even on a green salad!
Here are my sous chefs working away! It was so exciting to have everyone in the kitchen!
Our next task were the stuffed peppers. We stuffed them with chicken, artichokes, tomatoes, onion, garlic, lime juice, quinoa and basil. I had originally made the quinoa with chicken stock, but neglected to read the label! Scott couldn’t have anything in it!! Luckily, I had extra quinoa, so I made it again with water!
We had stuffed apples for dessert and they were crunchy and delicious! The juice from the apples and melted brown sugar made a sticky syrup!
And this wine stopper of course!
Black Bean & Corn Salsa
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can corn, drained
1/4 red onion, diced
1 jalapeno, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tomato, diced
juice from 2 limes
2 cloves minced garlic
2-3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp cumin
pinch of salt and pepper
Combine lime juice, garlic, olive oil, cumin, salt and pepper and whisk to combine.
Combine beans, corn, onion jalapeno, cilantro and tomato. Toss with dressing and serve with chips, or as a side. If you want a little more heat mix in 1 tbsp chipotles in adobo into the dressing.That night we omitted the olive juice and added lime zest for added flavor.
Chicken and Quinoa Stuffed
4 red peppers, tops and seeds removed
2 chicken breasts, diced. (I had grilled them earlier)
1 can artichoke hearts, quartered
1 tomato, diced
2 cloves garlic
1 small onion, diced
2 tbsp lime juice
1 cup dried quinoa, cooked
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 tbsp basil
salt & pepper
Saute artichokes, peppers, garlic and onions in pan until golden. Add quinoa, cooked chicken and tomato and heat through. Add basil, lime juice, salt & pepper and mix to combine. Stuff into peppers and bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until peppers are tender.
Baked Granny Smith Apples
3 Granny smith apples, shelved with core removed
1/2 cup diced pecans
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together pecans, brown sugar and lemon juice and stuff apples. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes. Serve immediately.