Someone's in the Kitchen . . .

Someone's in the Kitchen . . .

I’ve been branching out from my usual, safe, familiar, comfortable ingredients lately and coming up with some pretty spectacular recipes that I thought I would share. They are both sooo-good and so-good-for-you, and they don’t take too much time. A little planning, but not a lot of time. I apologize that I don’t have pictures of all the finished dishes from my own kitchen. I forget about the camera and then then the food is gone.

This beet risotto was a quick-and-easy dinner a few nights ago. It would have been quicker if we had a better knife for cutting the beets with, but we didn’t. I served it with a spinach/feta/strawberry salad topped with capers (we currently don’t have any dressings) and it was good. We have a lot of leftovers because it is really filling, but that just means more for later.
I’ve made this black bean and quinoa salad twice, which we eat as a main course. The trickiest part for me is cooking the quinoa. I’m not sure the directions on the recipe are the best, although it turned out fine. It was just a bit of a hassle because I don’t have a fine mesh sieve, so I was trying to use a dish cloth to rinse the quinoa beforehand and it was tricky not to make a mess. (Adding new knives and fine mesh sieve to kitchen wish-list.)

This lime and peanut salad is very much like the quinoa salad, only you use cabbage instead of quinoa and add some peanuts at the end. And no black beans. But I used pepitas instead of peanuts because I was planning to make this yellow pea and pepita salad, and then overcooked the peas until they turned to mush (don’t worry, I made a soup out of the mush and it turned out okay and hardly took any extra time at all).

Micah ate three bowls of this curried brown rice (recipe below) with tomatoes and peas the first time I made it. I thought it was pretty darn tasty, too, so I made it again. It does have to bake for an hour, so you have to plan ahead enough to accommodate that, but other than that it is a very easy meal to prepare. And did I mention that it is tasty? I got it from The New Best Recipe cookbook.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, chopped medium
1 1/2 teaspoons hot curry powder (we use a mild curry powder)
1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger
1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed through a garlic press
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
1 1/2 cup brown rice (length of grain does not matter)
2 1/3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (we use chicken bullion)
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed

Heat the butter in a non-stick skillet over meadium-high heat until foaming; add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent (3 minutes). Add the curry powder, ginger, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook until fragrant (1 minute). Add the tomatoes and cook until heated through. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 375. Spread the rice in a 8×8 inch baking dish. Bring broth to a boil, covered, in a saucepan over high heat. Once it boils, add 1/8 teaspoon salt and pour over the rice. Stir the tomato mixture into the rice and spread into an even layer. Cover with a double layer of foil and bake 1 hour 10 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven, stir in the peas, and cover. Let stand for 5 minutes. Uncover and let stand for 5 more minutes.

I don’t know how essential the last 10 minutes of standing are. I assume the first 5 are so the peas get warm and the second 5 are so everything else gets a chance to cool a bit.

And then to round it all out we made (well, Micah made) these delicious doughnuts. Balance out our eating a bit, you know. It’s important.

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