Where there’s a will, there’s dill

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Living in NYC has been a joy and a curse – the dichotomy of the good times and the bad smells is probably what inspired New York’s black and white cookie. One of the things I struggle with is wanting to try every restaurant/pastry/coffee concentrated in this tiny island, but facing the reality of the student budget. Talk about raining on your parade.

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summer corn tomato feta quinoa salad

So for the past month I’ve been challenging myself to make my groceries last two weeks and only eat out four times a month. While some moments have been a little rough (saddest lunch to date: handful of sandwich meat and an egg) it’s actually inspired some really tasty meals! It started off with a green bean quinoa salad that had caught my eye in Bon Appetit, which afterwards had me staring at a huge bunch of dill that I had barely used a quarter of. What to do? I ended up with two delicious and easy quinoa salad recipes and my first chicken soup. Great back to school meals that will last you at least a few days in between labs and studying.

Note: The vinaigrette I used is only a shadow of the former recipe since I had none of the required spices…you can also just throw your favourite pre-made vinaigrette on top, or a more simple recipe like this one

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Chickpea, Quinoa, and Feta Salad (adapted from Bon Appetit)

INGREDIENTS

Salad

  • 8 oz. green beans, halved crosswise
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup walnuts 
  • 1 15.5-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 4 oz. feta, crumbled
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Spice Vinaigrette

  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper

PREPARATION

  1. Cook green beans in a large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Using a sieve or a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl of ice water.
  2. Rinse pot, prepare 1 cup of quinoa according to instructions (add two cups of water, bring to boil, simmer for 15 minutes)
  3. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Cook walnuts, tossing occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes; let cool.
  4. Add all vinaigrette ingredients into a small tupperware container. Seal lid and shake vigorously.
  5. Toss green beans, quinoa, walnuts, chickpeas, feta, dill, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Add vinaigrette to taste.

summer corn tomato quinoa salad

Summer Corn, Cherry Tomato and Feta Quinoa Salad (adapted from my leftovers)

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 oz. pint of cherry/grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 ear of sweet corn (could probably substitute 1 can of corn during winter)
  • 4 oz. feta, crumbled (add more! Eyeball how much cheese you like)
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Spice vinaigrette

PREPARATION

  1. Prepare 1 cup of quinoa according to instructions (add two cups of water, bring to boil, simmer for 15 minutes). When done, remove from pot and place in large bowl.
  2. While quinoa is boiling, rinse cherry tomatoes and slice in half.
  3. Microwave corn for 1 minute and 30 seconds. Husk the corn and use knife to slice off all the kernels
  4. Toss tomatoes, corn, feta, dill, lime juice, and vinaigrette in a large bowl.

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Lime Chicken Soup (adapted from Bon Appetit)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small or medium white onion
  • 1 can of small white beans
  • 4 bone-in chicken thighs
  • 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp lemon pepper
  • 3/4 cup pasta (I used fusilli, elbows, original recipe called for orzo)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1 lime

PREPARATION

1. Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until translucent and soft, 5-8 minutes.

2. Add chicken and broth and beans; season with salt, pepper and lemon pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer until chicken is cooked through, 15-20 minutes.

3. Transfer chicken to a plate. Let cool, then shred chicken into bite-size pieces.

4. Meanwhile, return broth to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, 7-8 minutes.

5. Remove pot from heat. Stir in chicken and dill and juice of 1 lime (to taste).