intensely trivial

The “trivial” — a foodish post

I realized I’ve been writing a lot on the heavy business of birth. That always makes me a little nervous, because maybe it’s too intense for my regular readers who aren’t doulas or birth advocates. So, for those loyal “intensely trivial” readers who prefer the trivial to the intense, here’s a post to remind us all that there are other things in life besides birth. 🙂
Like eating healthy. We have a sugar problem around here. We love it too much. We stock up on sugary products when they’re cheap, and those things sustain us unhealthily — which, if God worked the way I tend to think he should, would lead to his striking me with diabetes, and I’d forever be insulin-dependent and never again be able to satisfy my sweet cravings. (This reveals some intense stuff about the way I view God, I know.) So I decided to limit my sweets consumption to one serving a day. You know what? It’s not that bad! I made it through Valentine’s Day, but Easter is not yet here, and those hard-shelled, brightly colored eggs filled with white, puffy, way-too-sweet filling are calling my name. You know what I’m talking about. I bet you’re addicted to them, too.
And legumes. I love the possibilities they call up. The organic dry pinto beans in the bulk bin at Hy-Vee are SO. GOOD. One day, Jonathan “helped” me pull the handle on the bin, depositing 4 lbs. of them in my bag. Now I’m really glad we ended up with that many. Here’s one recipe I made with them recently:

Anasazi Chili with Quinoa
from One-Dish Vegetarian Meals, by Robin Robertson

1 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 T. chili powder
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. dried oregano
1 t. salt
1/8 t. freshly ground black pepper
2 14-oz. cans tomatoes
3 c. cooked anasazi beans (I used pinto — 1 c. dry yields about 3 1/2 c. cooked)
1 1/2 c. water
4 c. hot cooked quinoa (start with about 1 1/4 c. dry and cook with twice that amt. of water)
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper, cover, and cook until the onion is softened, about 5 min. Add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, and salt and pepper. Stir to blend. Add the tomatoes, beans, and water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 30 min., stirring occasionally. Taste, and adjust the seasonings. Spoon the chili over the hot quinoa.

It was delicious and simple. And you can’t argue with quinoa, except that it’s slightly expensive, but given how nutritious it is, I think it’s worthwhile. (I always buy it in bulk from our local health-food store.)
Here’s another recipe I want to try soon, for chickpea and pasta soup. I love this blog, The Well-Seasoned Cook, especially because she has a love affair with legumes, too.
Since the holidays, it has been good to get back to healthy cooking and eating. I’ve pushed myself to try new recipes again, something I’ve always loved, but when the holidays came, I was kind of depressed and couldn’t get out of the rut. Around here, it’s normal for us to have at least two brand-new dishes a week. So, I’ve been cooking new stuff more often, and we go way light on the meat. It feels great.


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  1. * Jessica S. says:

    Our neighbors are Orthodox and introduced me to one of their favorite Lenten meals: Lentils with Bulgar over salad. Sam ate thirds! All you do is boil a bag of lentils with enough water to cover them by an inch until the lentils crack. (Salt the water with about 2 t salt-of-your-choice). After the lentils crack, add the bulgar, and cook for about five minutes or so.

    Fry one small diced onion in 1/2 cup olive oil. After the onion starts to turn crusty brown, mix it with the lentils.

    Then, pile greens of your choice on your plate, shredded carrots, and fresh squeezed lime or lemon juice. Add the lentil-bulgar-olive oil mixture on top. WOW! (We added a tiny bit of feta on top, which shocked my neighbor. As this is a lentil dish, it’s supposed to be vegan.)

    Posted 8 years, 3 months ago

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