Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Quinoa with sweet potatoes, kale and mushrooms

It's tough to the be the queen of the nerds. Sometimes I get so carried away thinking about pedagogy or writing one page response papers that they take all night and all I want to eat are Trader Joes's tamales and I am convinced I don't have 10 minutes to throw some veggies in a pan. Sad, right? But whenever I actually make myself a balanced meal I feel like a million bucks. And my In N Out burger self hates to say it, but especially a balanced vegan meal. Especially since the best laid plans of yoga, surf, and cycle classes all went down the tubes this week and I think my body is letting me know if that if I am really going to be a sedentary nerd queen, I best not be eating three tamales in a sitting.

You may be thinking...quinoa?! But actually I was informed that the secret to non-horrible quinoa is cooking it in veggie broth. So I guess my trademark secret for cooking polenta is out. Yes folks, I may be dead before I'm 40, but I'll be damned if salt isn't the most amazing thing in this whole world. Anyway, here's the first real meal I've had in about a week: it was delicious and really, not that hard. And it makes enough for crazy leftovers, so get ready.

Here we go:

1 cup quinoa
two sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
a tub of white mushrooms, cut into slices
a bunch of kale, with the gnarly stems removed and cut into smallish pieces
red pepper flakes to taste
some minced garlic, salt, and pepper

Put the quinoa in a small pot with two cups of broth or a mix of broth and water. Turn the heat on medium and let it cook.

Meanwhile toss some oil in a pan and start cooking the mushrooms and sweet potatoes. After about 10 minutes (potatoes are getting tender and mushrooms are darker), add the minced garlic, salt, pepper, red pepper, and kale. At this point, my pan was at pretty much total capacity. I threw about a cup of water in (you could use wine) and put the lid on and hoped for the best. Check on it from time to time: my quinoa and veggies were done at about the same time.

Also a piece of kale got caught outside the lid and it made me want to make kale chips; maybe more on that later.

In other moderately culinary news, we started composting! And it's totally not working! Does anyone have under-the-sink-in-an-ikea-bin vermicomposting tips? The hot hipster on youtube made it look so easy.


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Anonymous said...

This is a REAL comment by your mama and Susan O. We love your recent entries, and want to try the quinoa dish, and the persimmon tea cake too!

Love the humor...unique to the Lilster!

See you soon..YAY!!!!