Tonight I cooked one of my favourite meals. Incredibly simple, reliably delicious and you can make it with anything. Really the only compulsory ingredients are the lemon & the fresh herbs, both of which we have growing in the garden, so I can always make it.
Here it is:
- 2 cups of cooked grain (brown rice, white rice, millet, quinoa, cous cous, risoni...)
- chopped onion/leek/red onion/spring onion (any one will work)
- 2 cloves garlic
- about 2 cups vegetables, chopped finely - I use a max of 4 different vegies ( peas, corn, carrots, cauli, broccoli, green beans, mushrooms, silverbeet...)
- rind and juice of half a lemon
- generous handful or two of chopped fresh herbs (mint, parsley, basil, chives...)
- Some nut type thing for garnish (flaked almonds, pine nuts, sunflower seeds...)
- Stirfry the onion, garlic & lemon rind
- Add the chopped vegies & stir fry until just cooked
- Add the pre-cooked grain, lemon juice and herbs, and heat through.
- Serve & sprinkle over the nuts.
Just like that, it is a fabulous side dish. But behold my innovations:
Vegetarian dinner: stir through a tin of cooked chickpeas and some cubed fetta when I add the grains
Carnivore dinner: stir through some prior cooked meat (tonight I added chicken; I haven't tried red meats but I reckon a gourmet sausage would work well. Fish would be great, too) that is cut up into small chunks, again at the same stage as you add the grains
Cold salad dish: don't add the herbs until after you take it off the heat and cool it, so they don't wilt. Also stir through something fresh, like chopped cucumber or snowpea sprouts. I took this to a barbecue and it was a hit.
I was also going to make a chocolate cake with cherry-chocolate sauce but the babies didn't go down until 8.30 (7 being their ostensible bed time) so date night is a bit of a write-off, apart from the excellent dinner.
You may well ask, why am I using the precious few moments of date night remaining, blogging?