Now we’re cooking with gas

Update: Baby still lacks a pediatrician or a pediatrician-scoping plan. Baby’s closet is still full of Mama’s costume items, sentimental T-shirts and sacks of gifts for other people. Baby has no other room furnishings. Baby’s mama has yet to get to bed before midnight. Baby likes to party at 5 am. Mama likes to fall asleep in her cubicle.

But WAIT, we have made progress this week. After partially dissembling ye olde laptop, we now have documents from 1996 transferred onto our Mac. And really, that’s what is important, no? Does baby want to be born into a world where vital college essays are trapped on old Compaq computers? No, I did not think so.

I have also finished one-fifth of baby’s thank-you notes … only four-fifths left to go (sorry everyone. but thank you!) And I have stayed late at work a few nights. Good times.

We have also eaten food.

In response to queries about the soup, I will say that it is a delicious way to eat eggplant. It is also a good way to pack in a few extra servings of high-fat dairy, and I know everyone is just desperate for more ways to consume whole cream. We liked it enough to cut the recipe out of the Post and put it in the recipe box. But I would put it in the “special fall treat” category, not the “dinner staple” category. It tasted like a first course at a nice restaurant — which is great, of course. But it did not meet my nutritional and heartiness standards for Amazing Main Dish Soup Staples.

This means I am still lacking a Favorite Eggplant Recipe. Please advise.

Tuesday night was another culinary winner: quinoa.

Now I must say that I love quinoa … but I love it in the same way I love the novel Moby Dick. I acknowledge it as a great, edifying, worthwhile thing, but it’s not the kind of thing I am just dying to devour. Nevertheless, I have a weakness for small grains, and I admire quinoa’s  relatively high protein content —  especially since I rarely eat meat and want Pavo to get a college scholarship.  So I am forever in search of tasty quinoa variations. And now we found one.

Recipe notes: I personally thought the dressing was a little too buttery and too much liquid for the quinoa. I cooked the quinoa according to their directions, but I also almost set a tea towel on fire in the process, and I think you could just cook quinoa the simple way (which is what I have below). I wound up adding extra quinoa to bulk up the recipe. And we threw in a bunch of extra cilantro, but then, we like cilantro. It was good served warm for dinner and made a great chilled salad for lunch the next day. In fact, I wish I had some right now.

So here is my slightly modified recipe:

Black Bean Tomato Quinoa

  • zest of one lime
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and somewhat cooled
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1.5 cups quinoa
  • 1 (14- to 15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus even more if you like it

Whisk together lime zest and juice, butter, oil, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4teaspoon pepper in a small bowl.

Make at least a half-hearted attempt to wash quinoa in a few changes of cold water, draining in a sieve each time.

Place quinoa in a saucepan with 3 cups of water, bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 12 – 15 minutes. Like rice, the quinoa is ready when the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and allow to sit covered for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

While quinoa is cooking, chop and combine vegetables, black beans and cilantro.

Combine quinoa with black bean mixture. Pour in dressing, stir and add salt and pepper to taste. Eat and enjoy.



Filed under food, recipes

7 responses to “Now we’re cooking with gas

  1. Big Sis

    Three cheers for quinoa!
    I’m looking forward to trying out this recipe 🙂

    Regarding eggplant… have you tried eggplant parmesan?

  2. the vessel

    yes, but I need a good eggplant parmesan recipe. we were nonplussed with the eggplant parmesan recipe we made.

    The only sticky wicket is that we have japanese eggplants from the garden and get other small-varietal eggplants from ye olde farmers’ market. So many of the recipes call for stuffing eggplants and the like … which requires a much larger fruit.

  3. Sara K.

    Yum! We are just discovering quinoa at our house! Thanks for the recipe, busy mama! Also thanks for stopping by at Pike Schemes! We loved it!!!

  4. Aunt Beth

    I love quinoa, too, and maybe esp. in your recipe!
    Ideas for a basic pediatrician-scoping plan: Narrow list to pediatricians convenient enough to get to with baby in tow. Do you want a doc in a group or in a small practice? What hospitals does s/he have priviliges in? Does s/he have a fabulous nurse-practitioner that you will see some of the time? Do you have strong feelings about any particular baby-raising philosophy that you hope to be on the same page with your pediatrician with? You might like to have a pre-baby visit and ask questions.

  5. Spotter

    I love the blog, Ali! Your post about cleaning out the closet cracked me up.
    I also love that you posted a good quinoa recipe. I bought a 4 pound bag of quinoa at Costco recently (so healthy! so cheap! and it’s organic! who can resist?!). And then realized when I got home that I usually only make quinoa once every 3 months and am never terribly fond of it… So I’ve been in the market for some good recipes. I think I’m going try it this weekend for tailgating at the Ole Miss-Auburn game!

  6. Here’s how we chose our pediatrician (whom I love):
    Asked other moms who theirs was. Do you like him/her? How easy is it to get an appointment? Do you have to wait long in the waiting room?

    So one person told me she didn’t like hers. Another said it was tough to get an appointment.
    Those two were out.

    Another mom told me that she loved her ped and that she could get in easily even on the weekend. So then I called that doctor to say I was pregnant and looking for a ped, etc. The receptionist asked who recommended them, and when I told her the mom’s name, she said, “Oh, Max and Jake!” They knew the kids. I was sold.

    The other thing to remember is that if you don’t like whomever you choose, you can always change. Two of my friends have done that.

  7. Christine

    Do you want holistic MD pediatrician? Georgetown area?

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