We’re keen on quinoa

I bet I’ve used this title before, but I’m too lazy to check.

I got an email from my ten year old niece the other day, expressing concern about my eating habits. Specifically, she wanted to let me know that I eat too much quinoa and couscous. She’s had quinoa and isn’t much of a fan, but I keep telling her she just hasn’t had it in the right dish yet. Maybe if I made her these quinoa-stuffed peppers, she’d be a convert.

who could resist that?

who could resist that?

Hahahaha. NO. She’d hate them. They include no fewer than six foods she doesn’t like, but maybe someday. After all, I only liked vegetables in the form of canned Green Giant Kitchen-Sliced Green Beans for about, oh, I don’t know, twenty years?

And look at me now! I like all kinds of food, including (but not limited to): peppers, spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, black beans, onions, cheese, and quinoa, all of which are in this dish. These were from the February issue of Vegetarian Times, and while they turned out stellar, I had some beef with the recipe (get it? BEEF! With a vegetarian recipe!). For one thing, I didn’t read it carefully and somehow missed the fact that the cooking time for the whole thing adds up to almost two hours. I guess that one is technically my fault. For another, they tell you to use a saucepan to make the filling without mentioning that you need the world’s largest “saucepan” because somehow you will need to fit a diced onion, two cans of diced tomatoes, a can of black beans, a ten ounce bag of frozen spinach, some other vegetables, 3/4 cup of quinoa, and two cups of water in it. Seriously. I didn’t even use the celery and carrots they called for and the pot came dangerously close to overflowing. So, if you make it, please do yourself a favor and use a dutch oven.

all's well that ends well

all's well that ends well

Also not a good idea? Accidentally making an incredibly time-intensive meal like this one on a Friday night when you are exhausted and your RA is flaring up and you’ve been up since 4:50am.

I learned that lesson for you, okay?

Late winter is a bad time for me, fatigue-wise, as my body doesn’t do the best job adjusting to weather changes, especially now that I live in a place with really drastic swings from cold to warm and back again. So, what better time to… spring forward!

I tried to make up for some of that lost hour by subbing in a regular old pasta dinner for the baked pasta I promised Matt I’d make.

lemony pasta and asparagus

lemony pasta with asparagus

I used up some random handfuls of pasta (macaroni and some penne) in this. I just cooked ~3 cups of pasta, adding asparagus near the end (woody stems removed, chopped into 1 inch pieces), draining, and making an impromptu lemony sauce with 1/2 T unsalted butter, a big handful of parm, 2 T lemon juice, and a few generous shakes of pepper. The pasta was still hot, so I added the butter, parm, lemon juice, and pepper, and stirred and stirred and stirred until it was all coated with cheesy, lemony goodness. This is probably about 4 servings, give or take.

And now, unfairly, it’s almost 9:30. Even though it’s only been dark for two hours.

I’m leaving for a conference on Wednesday, and Matt’s coming with me, so the next couple of nights should be really exciting, food-wise, as I try to figure out what we have to use so it doesn’t go bad while we’re gone.

Stay tuned!


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