Recipe: BLT-A Balsamic Rice/Quinoa

Lately, I’ve been more of a risk taker in the kitchen.  Where I am pretty traditional in my flavor palette, I’ve been trying to come up with ideas outside of my go-to’s – chicken, mexican, salmon, etc.  Last week, I tried out something new.  Here’s what I made:  Teriyaki Porkchops with Horseradish Dijon Cream on BLT-A (Bacon, lettuce (spinach), tomato, avocado) Balsamic Rice/Quinoa

rice_chops (1)

A couple notes:

1. I’ve never made pork chops.  I’ve done a pork tenderloin – this is a norm in our house at least a couple times a month – but never unseasoned chops.

2. I made this up on the fly using inspiration from my kitchen – I saw a packaged of real bacon bits in my pantry and wanted to use up the last of my quinoa but knew it wouldn’t be enough so I did a quinoa/rice combo.  Candidly, I just had several things I wanted to clear out of the fridge/pantry and wanted to see how creative I could get with my produce.

3. There is no recipe for the pork chops – I just used a store-bought teriyaki marinade that morning and the hubs grilled them up that night.  But I will share a Dijon Horseradish Cream (bottom) that I put on top that was so easy AND tasted great!

4. I make my quinoa in the ricer all the time. It’s super easy to do and I figured if quinoa and rice take the same amount of time in there, then they should be able to cook together.  This was my first time mixing the two and it turned out great.

Recipe: BLT-A Balsamic Rice/Quinoa
Rice/Quinoa (I did a mixture of 1.5 cups uncooked quinoa and 2.5 cups uncooked rice, so 4 cups total made in my ricer, plus the needed water – this was a lot but I was making a meal for my sister as well. You could  easily make this with just quinoa or just rice. Especially if you don’t want the “cleaning out my pantry” look!)
1.5 medium avocados, diced
1.5 cups chopped fresh spinach
2 small tomatoes, diced
1/4 c real bacon bits (or if you’re feeling motivated make fresh bacon bits – dont use imitation Bac-o bits or whatever they’re called, that wouldn’t be as good!)
homemade Balsamic Dijon vinaigrette (below)

Balsamic Dijon Vinaigrette
1/2c olive oil
1/4c balsamic vinaigrette
2 TBSP dijon mustard
S&P to taste
Wisk all ingredients together.

rice_chops (3)

homemade Balsamic Dijon Vinaigrette (also good on salads!)

Cook quinoa and rice in ricer.  Meanwhile, in a serving bowl add avocado, spinach, tomato, bacon bits (you may want to add more or less of these ingredients, as I mentioned I had random items I wanted to use up so I had a half avocado sitting in there and only a couple handfuls of spinach).  Add hot rice/quinoa to it.  Drizzle over the vinaigrette and mix gently to combine.  Serve immediately while still hot.

Also, I found that when I had leftovers the next day, after I heated them up, if I put a little drizzle of just balsamic vinegar on them and it really brightened the flavor again since the rice and quinoa had absorbed it.

Here was the final product:

rice_chops (2)
Also, as a bonus, here is how I made my Dijon Horseradish Cream that we ate on the pork chops:

1/4 c sour cream
2 TBSP horseradish
2 tsp dijon mustard
splash of milk

Mix all ingredients together.

rice_chops (4)
Not the best picture, but this is what it looked like.

Maybe you’ll be inspired to do a “pantry cleaning meal” and see what you can come up with from the things you’re trying to clean out!

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