Monday, July 16, 2012

Cheap and Easy Weeknight Dinner Series: Farmers' Market Skillet

I wish I could say that all of these ingredients were fresh from the local farmers' market as the title would suggest. Had last weekend not been a record high of 105 degrees (before humidity), then that might have been the case. Instead, I willingly opted for the air-conditioned grocery store. Despite my laziness, the meal was still amazing. Super quick to pull together, incredibly healthy, and very flavorful, this meal is the complete package in my book and one I will most definitely make again. Fiance didn't even know the dressing was Honey-Lemon (which is a major victory considering he isn't always a fan of lemon). We both gave it two thumbs up! Oh and ps- I'm sort of obsessed with the blog where I found this recipe. It's a new favorite, but the recipes look incredible and I will be trying many additional dinners. I should also mention that the main light in my kitchen has been out for over a week now. My building is kind of falling apart (I'm super pleased about it, in case you were wondering) and I guess they are dealing with emergencies and taking forever to handle maintenance requests. I've made do by moving a standing lamp into the kitchen and utilizing the surface light under the microwave, but it's not the ideal situation. The floor space in the kitchen is super limited to begin with and adding a standing lamp isn't helpful. Not to mention Winston is convinced the lamp is haunted and out to get him, so whenever he walks into the kitchen to get food he has to stay as far away as possible. As a result, he's frequently behind my feet and I've almost broken my and his neck several times. Finally, the pictures kind of suck and are few and far between because I was trying to remember ingredients in the dim light, not to mention pictures.

Farmers' Market Skillet
recipe from here

Ingredients (serves 2-3)
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small zucchini, quartered and sliced (or half a large one)
2 ears sweet corn, kernels cut off the cob (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 green onions
salt & pepper
1 vine-ripened tomato, chopped
1/2 cup feta
2 Tablespoons chopped basil

For the Honey Lemon Vinaigrette:
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 Tablespoons honey
1 garlic clove, microplaned or finely minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

I started by mixing together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. I diced the garlic because the dressing gets mixed into the food so you really don't taste it. At this point, I also cooked the quinoa. Put the quinoa and chicken broth (you can also use water if in a pinch) in a small pot. Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer. Simmer about 20 minutes, stirring every so often until the water is absorbed.

Then, I chopped up the garlic for the dish and cooked it for about 45 seconds in the hot oil. I also chopped the zucchini, green onions and cut the corn off the cob. A great tip for cutting raw corn: place the cob upright in a shallow bowl. When you cut down the corn stays in one place rather than hopping all over your kitchen. After the garlic briefly cooked, I added the veggies and cooked for about 5 minutes until just tender.

Add the quinoa and half of the dressing and stir. Cook for about a minute then add the tomatoes, basil, feta and the rest of the dressing. Stir and cook for just another minute or so. This picture really doesn't do justice to the meal, but it's just amazing!


  1. As mentioned in the post, I'm not a huge fan of lemon, but this dish was really good. I'm a pretty big fan of quinoa in general, especially when mixed with fresh vegetables and a tasty sauce. It's easy to do and is fairly healthy to boot.

    Also, thank providence they fixed that damn light in the kitchen. What a pain.

    1. Yes, cooking my lamp light makes for an angry fiance.


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