February graced us with:

  • 1 bout of stomach flu
  • 1 death in the family
  • 1 week of construction
  • 1 visit of Very Important Business Partners From Abroad

Here’s an example of what sustained us on those many nights when we barely had enough energy to wield a paring knife for 30 seconds:

Arugula + black bean + corn salad with roasted garlic

  • .5 lb frozen corn, cooked
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 fistful arugula
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 head garlic
  • olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper
  1. Cut off the top of each garlic clove and drizzle with oil.
  2. Roast the garlic at 400F for 30 minutes.
  3. While the garlic is roasting, throw the corn, beans, and arugula together and top with avocado.  Splash with a touch of olive oil and balsamic vinegar; add salt and pepper to taste.
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Absent

February 14, 2010

It’s not been easy getting the new floors to match our kitty…

Back soon.

Last night, I informed Mr. Onepot that we were about to order Chinese.  Then, out of some poorly defined but quite persistent guilt, I found myself preparing the following:

Polenta+spinach+black bean strata

  • 3 cups water + 1 cup milk
  • 1.25 cup polenta
  • .5 large onion
  • 1 can black beans
  • .5 lb spinach (fresh, in this case, but surely frozen would also do)
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • salt, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 380F.
  2. Bring the water and milk to a boil.  (Remember that milk will trick you into thinking it’s nowhere near boiling, and then, in less than a second, puff up to an obscene height and spill all over your stove top.  So, sorry to say, you will have to babysit this just a bit.)
  3. Once it boils, stir in the polenta and salt.  Turn the heat down to low and cook for another 4-5 minutes, stirring only occasionally.  (This you don’t have to babysit!  I’ve never understood why people complain about the intense attention polenta requires.  In the Old Country, we treat it roughly and it turns out just fine.)
  4. While the milk+water are heating up, start sauteing the onion.  Once it’s soft and happy, add the beans along with a touch of their liquid.  Season ever so generously with paprika and cayenne pepper.
  5. After the beans and onions have had, say, 5 minutes to get to know each other, turn the heat off, toss the spinach on top of them, and cover.  The residual heat will cause the spinach to wilt just a touch, making it more manageable.
  6. In an altogether unrelated bowl (oh, this is so not a one-pot dish), beat the egg and combine with the yogurt.
  7. Layer!  First the polenta, then the beany and spinachy mix, and finally the yogurty egg.
  8. Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes.

(…In the end, I was so very glad we hadn’t ordered Chinese.)

Winter salad

February 5, 2010

Who says that winter is a wretched, terrible, not at all good time for salads?

Well, I do, most of the time.  But look!  This combo is pretty darn tasty.  And it’s so good for you that you can feel mighty righteous after eating it and justify just about any kind of dessert afterwards.

Winter salad

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 carrots
  • 1/2 small red cabbage
  • 1 thimble-sized bit of ginger
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • gorgonzola
  • curly parsley
  • olive oil, salt, pepper to taste

Of course, you know how to throw it all together without any help from me.  So I’ll just contribute this one nugget of wisdom: once you’ve cooked the quinoa, toss the chopped ginger and garlic in right away and let it all steam under the lid for another couple of minutes with the heat off.  This takes a bit of the zing out of the garlic.  Your coworkers will thank you for that if this ends up being your lunch the following day.

Our “Lost” treat

February 3, 2010

We have a tradition of eating fiercely hot, seriously doctored up ramen while watching “Lost.”  So here’s how we rang in the start of the final season:

“Lost” ramen

  • 1 package Shin Ramyun per person
  • 1 poached egg per person
  • 2 shredded carrots
  • a touch of shredded ginger
  • a fistful of spinach leaves
  • 4 chopped scallions

    Beer bread

    February 1, 2010

    For the longest time, we were unable to make beer bread.  Any beer earmarked for this project would simply get imbibed instead.

    And then we finally stumbled upon a solution: truly terrible beer.  You know, the cheapest 24-pack you can find… the kind that tastes like slightly hoppy water?  No temptation to drink it, none whatsoever–but oh, it makes such scrumptious bread!

    Beer bread

    • 1.5 cup white flour
    • 1.5 cup whole wheat flour
    • 1/3 cup brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 bottle (or can) beer
    1. Combine all dry ingredients.
    2. Mix with beer.
    3. Bake for 50 minutes at 375F.