Thursday, September 29, 2011

Let's Invent a Recipe!

Today we're going to play a game that I just invented, and it's the game of inventing!  This is a firm bite of the thumb to those menu planners who claim that no good can come from flying by the seat of your pants, mealwise.  What is a recipe anyway?  Recipes can't be copyrighted because people can change then wily-nily, and some recipes are not recipes at all, but rather instructions on how to eat food.  Exhibit A: Late Night Bacon. Exhibit B: Dark Chocolate as a Snack (Sadly, they've taken the recipe for this one down, but the reviews are still up.  Also, I remember the recipe perfectly as all it said was Take one ounce dark chocolate, eat it and enjoy!).  So in that vein, let's invent a recipe, and by invent a recipe, I mean, take ingredients and make a meal.

Today, I would like to use up the little bit of quinoa that I have, and also incorporate some black beans as I have those on hand, and am on a bean kick.  Just the two of those together sounds a wee bit bland, so I'm going to throw in a can of diced tomatoes, which I bought on sale.
Black beans are just out of the freezer, but I'll defrost them.

I cooked up the quinoa according to the directions, and added my own little magic flavor bullet:
My hand looks huge!
Vegetable bullion.  This is an excellent way to make quinoa more interesting to eat, but is high in sodium.  Since the beans we're using were dried, not canned, we should be just fine.  No hypertension here.

I added about 1/2 the can of tomatoes, and half the container of beans to the quinoa once it was done cooking.  I could have added more, but I only had about 1/3 cup quinoa left in the bag.  Why do they tell you to cook it one cup at a time, and then put about 3 1/3 cups worth of quinoa in the bag?  That's just like the hot dog bun thing, but I've got ingenuity on my side.

End result:

A delicious lunch!
I sprinkled on some feta I remembered I had, and voila!  Healthy, hearty and tasty.  Is this the most delicious thing I'll ever eat?  Of course not, but I'm very happy to eat it, and to bring it to work for lunch tomorrow.

So there you go.  I've proven my point most effectively.  Once you know a bit about cooking, or are brave, you don't need to plan meals to the letter.  Being creative is more fun, and then you have a meal that not only tastes good (hopefully), but one that you can take pride in because you really made it all on your own.

I'm just going to guess at the cost of this, but I estimate:
~$,50 for the quinoa, $.15 for the beans, $.40 for tomatoes, $.30 for feta = $1.35 for two servings.


  1. My family has cooked bacon that way--with the paper towels in the microwave--for as long as I can remember.

    I haven't made any quinoa yet ever. How would it go with cheese sauce?

  2. PS. I think my dad invented that way of cooking bacon.

  3. Cheese sauce goes well with everything, silly. Here's a fabulously cheesy quinoa recipe that I've been meaning to try but haven't gotten around to yet: