This week’s recipe comes from Super Natural Cooking: Five Delicious Ways to Incorporate Whole and Natural Foods into Your Cooking by Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks.
Spring Minestrone with Brown Rice
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 shallots thinly sliced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 3/4 cup medium-grain brown basmati rice rinsed
- 6 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup sugar snap or snow peas trimmed and cut in half diagonally
- 8 spears asparagus trimmed and diagonally sliced into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup green peas fresh or frozen
- Fine-grain sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, then add the shallots and garlic and saute for a couple of minutes until soft. Add the rice and cook, stirring for 1 minute, then add the stock and bring to a boil. Cover, lower the heat, and simmer until the rice is just tender, 35 to 45 minutes.
Add the sugar snap peas, asparagus, and green peas, and season with a few healthy pinches of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Simmer for another 2 or 3 minutes and serve immediately; this way the vegetables stay crisp and bright.
Thoughts on This Week’s Recipe:
Ease of preparation: This recipe was very easy…it takes a little time to cook, so you have to plan for that, but it’s just to let the brown rice cook. Other than that, it’s super simple!
Overall opinion: I loved this! It’s the perfect dish for a rainy or cooler Spring day.
Husband’s thoughts: I once again was surprised, but he really liked this too!
Would you make it again? Yes, I would definitely make this again…and probably soon while asparagus are still in season.
Did you omit or add anything? Nope.
How did you serve it? I just served it on it’s own, although it would also be good with some crusty french bread.
Would you change anything next time? Nope! It’s great as is!
This Week’s Recipe:
This week’s recipe is Autumn Herbed Chicken with Fennel and Squash…and yes, I know it’s Spring, and not Autumn, but my good friend and college roommate Monica made this for me and some other college friends the other night and it was so good that I just had to have it again and try it for myself. Here’s the recipe if you want to print it out and try it with me this week, or just save it for next Autumn!
Autumn Herbed Chicken with Fennel and Squash
- 3-4 lbs chicken thighs or breasts (i used breasts)
- Salt & Black Pepper to taste
- All purpose flour as needed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 fennel bulb, cut
- 1/2 butternut squash peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4″ cubes
- 1 t dried thyme
- 3/4 c walnuts (optional)
- 3/4 c chicken broth
- 1/2 apple cider or juice
- Cooked rice, pasta, or quinoa
- 1/4 c fresh basil sliced into ribbons
- 2 t fresh rosemary finely minced
Season chicken on all sides with salt and pepper, then lightly coat with flour. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat until hot. Brown chicken in batches to prevent crowding. Brown on each side 3-5 minutes, turning once. Remove with slotted spoon. Transfer to slow cooker.
Add fennel, squash and thyme. Stir well to combine. Add walnuts, if desired, broth and cider. Cover; cook on low 5 to 7 hours or on high 2.5-4.5 hours.
Serve over rice or pasta and garnish with basil and fresh rosemary. Makes 6 servings.
Monica’s Notes: Due to my “gluten situation” I obviously don’t coat the chicken in flour, so, I basically skip the whole first paragraph of the recipe. Then, due to the fact that I have issues following recipes and always want to change things…I usually double the chicken broth, don’t add walnuts and don’t add the squash in to the crock pot until 2-3 hours before everything is done cooking. I also add pepper and rosemary to the crock pot for extra seasoning.
And since I loved it so much when Monica made it, I’m going to do it just the same way! But if you do try the first step with coating the chicken in flour, let me know how it turns out!