Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Glazed carrots and quinoa

Ah, sometimes improv can be such a beautiful thing. I'm talkin' food here.

Tonight was one of those nights when things flowed perfectly in the kitchen. I came home exhilarated and starving after an early evening hike in the Redwoods with Ms. Dog, just as the sun was making the sky all swirly pink and silvery blue.

But wait! I had hardly any fresh produce and I had no plan! But I did have carrots, walnuts, and quinoa, plus a few other staples like clarified butter, dijon mustard and maple syrup. And so the kitchen gods smiled upon me, with a little help from Etta James on the stereo.

While I was cooking the quinoa (about 3/4 cup well-rinsed quinoa in enough water to cover, boil and then simmer for about 15 minutes or until tender), I sauteed some minced garlic and diced green onions in some clarified butter for a few minutes till they started to turn golden.

Then I added the carrots I had sliced, turned up the heat a bit and threw in a couple dashes of balsamic vinegar, and a little plop of maple syrup, stirring all along. Sprinkled in the chopped walnuts, added lots of salt and pepper and a little plop of dijon mustard. Kept on cooking and stirring till everything carmelized and the carrots were just barely tender.

Then I drained the quinoa and tossed some of it with the glazed carrots, and I absolutely inhaled it, it was so good! It was also fast and easy to prepare.

Usually after a good hike, I find a vegetarian meal won't feel satisfying enough, but this really did the trick.

As I sat there very content at the kitchen table enjoying my meal, I was pouring over cookbooks searching for the perfect recipe for chow mein noodles in peanut sauce. I think I feel another obsession coming on! But well, I've had much worse obsessions...

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