Saturday, February 19, 2011

moving makes me stretch

Although it probably would have been wise to stretch my muscles out a bit before and during the moving process, I did not.  That may very well be the reason my back hates me and my arms and legs were introducing me to muscles I didn't know I had by the medium of pain.  Regardless, the way this move has made me stretch is in the kitchen these past two days. 

Although yesterday's dinner was planned out and shopped for, I had no plans at all for tonight, but I did have spinach, carrots, and brown rice!  Yeah, I know, you're drooling already, I'm sure.  I spent most of my homeward commute brainstorming about what we could eat for dinner without stretching our poor bank account any further.  I also didn't want to buy a bunch of stuff since I know I'll finally construct a real menu and need to shop for that.

Turkish Spinach Pilaf
about 4 servings

2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup brown rice
1 Turkish bay leaf
dash of cinnamon
2 large carrots, thinly sliced (about 1.5 cups)
4-5 cups finely chopped spinach (about 4-5 cups)
15 oz can of chickpeas

Bring broth to a boil in a medium saucepan (about 2.5 quarts).  Stir in rice and bay leaf, then cover and reduce heat to low.  Simmer 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, slice the carrots as thinly as possible - I was able to get some to be nearly translucent.
Add thinly sliced carrots and cinnamon; stir to combine and simmer 5-10 minutes more.  Remove bay leaf.  Lay chopped spinach over the rice and carrots.

Cover the pot and raise the heat slightly.  Allow the spinach to steam on top of the pilaf for 5-10 minutes, then stir into the rice, adding the chickpeas.

Cover and cook until spinach is wilted and all liquid has been absorbed by the rice.

It took about an hour and 15 minutes to be ready, but I'm already brown rice-challenged and now I'm trying to cook it on a new stove with new quirks, so if you prepare this and get a better time, please let me know!

It was fun and very attractive.  It was a little less flavorful than I wanted it to be, so in the future, I may tweak it by adding tamari or perhaps an herb blend to liven it up a little - I might even do a combination of tamari and the low, sweet heat of harissa.  Only time will tell how far I can stretch!

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