OK, something is happening.
Perhaps it's all the changes in the air right now -- new apartment, new borough, exciting new gig coming up, and the news that the comfortable, mind-numbing day job I've had for, oh, NINE years or so is - finally! - laying me off in February. I dont know. But what I do know is that somehow, some way, I have become ... a person who cooks. (And who posts RECIPES on the blog. Not just, say, recipe links or gossip. Though that will certainly continue.)
Now I know what you're gonna say. What have I been doing this whole time with pie crusts and muffins and soup? Well, yes. But it's the realization that you can leap without a net (or a recipe) and survive. That I can make stuff up on my own.
I got so excited about my quick-and-tasty invention tonight that I actually plugged in my laptop, and started typing this post as soon as I finished... this:
When you're here, you're family.
This really took fifteen minutes to make. Ok, yes, one of the important ingredients - the "Chopping Board Pistachio Pesto" from the Splendid Table - had been prepared in advance and was waiting for me at home. BUT allow me to point out that THAT recipe came from their "Weeknight Kitchen" newsletter. It's simple and fast. So even if you do this whole "risotto" in one go, it would just be a half an hour and a bit of extra chopping.
Following some primal instinct, I picked up a can of navy beans, a jar of sun dried tomatoes, and a box of quinoa, and I made the following deliciousness in 15 minutes flat. Perhaps because of the Italian flavor palette, I really think it resembles a risotto, only lighter and packed with protein from the nuts/beans/quinoa trifecta. It's comfort food that gives you energy instead of knocking you out (risotto, for me, usually involves an early bedtime... if I make it to the bed.)
The Boo's Fifteen-Minute Job-Loss Quinoa "Risotto"
(with thanks to The Splendid Table)
Probably 1/2 C leftover Chopping Board Pistachio Pesto - ? or less, whatever tastes good
1 C quinoa
2 C water
1/2 small jar (or more if you like) sundried tomatoes in oil, chopped up
1 can navy beans, drained
sprinkling of leftover fresh thyme leaves, to taste
coarse salt and black pepper to taste
splash of red wine from the bottle you didn't finish on sunday
leftover grated parmesan from when you realized the pesto recipe doesn't call for parm
Bring the quinoa and water to a boil on the stove. Turn down, cover, and simmer 10-15 until all the water is absorbed. While quinoa is cooking, mix the beans with the pesto in a big bowl. Add chopped up sundried tomatoes. Splash a little red wine in, sprinkle the thyme, add salt & pepper. Then spoon probably 3/4 of the quinoa (you can save the rest for something...) into the bowl while still hot, and mix gently but well. Serve with grated parmesan for sprinkling.
Here's to improvisation in the face of life's changes. Happy Thursday,