Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Ice Queen Puckers Up

I just got my new edition of Real Simple, and in it, I read an article* about how to defrost meat fast.  You know, in case you forget to thaw out your chicken breasts before you go to work in the morning.  OK, let's be honest.  Not in case.  When.  When you forget to thaw out your chicken breasts before you go to work in the morning.
Aside from the fact that I really only enjoy my chicken fried and covered with delicious crispiness (preferably coupled with an equally crispy waffle), the article sort of set me on edge.  While I'm certain that it was not the intent of the good folks at RS, I took from it that it's necessary to have meat with a meal, even if it's hastily defrosted in order to be on the table before bedtime.
That got me pondering...
It seems to me that if I were to forget to defrost the meat (which, no lie, shouldn't be an if I were but a when I do), I should take that as "work with something else."  If I don't have an ingredient for a recipe, I modify or leave it out.  Same thing can go.
This can benefit a person in several ways:
  • Less stress - forget it, but don't sweat it!
  • Opportunities to think outside the box... er, freezer.
  • A meatless meal - for any number of health reasons, check out Meatless Monday - it's a great piece about how we can all make a huge difference by shifting one meal a week.
  • Less strain on the pocketbook - by subbing with what you have available, your resources will go further - try doing that instead of running to the store "for just one thing" to complete that Tuesday night meal.

Of course, some dishes need the meat, which leads me to my next thought - I'm really trying hard to plan out meals, meatless or otherwise.  
How's that going for you, Allison?  
Well, when I made the risotto the other night, I planned to eat the leftovers, and I've done that....

Yeah, so tonight was another "OK, what should I make for dinner - I should at least look like I have a plan by the time hubby gets home" night.
Since we won't get our next veggie pick-up until Saturday, there wasn't much left in the fridge.  A bunch of green onions from the grocery store.  That was it.  I mean, there were other items, but not anything that would work together-ish.  I suppose I could have heated up the two leftover pasties, but that just wasn't "it" tonight.
So what to do with those onions...not a lot of "green onion as main ingredient" recipes out there.  Like none.
No problem.  I told you when I first started this blog way back three months ago that I'm not really good about creating recipes, as measuring is not a forte of mine.  So what I have to offer instead is more of a guideline (this isn't baking, after all).

Quinoa with roasted green onions and garlic
  • 1 bunch (or so) green onions per two people
  • 3-5 cloves garlic (depending on taste)
  • olive oil
  • black pepper
  • salt (I like kosher)
  • your choice of quinoa
  • feta cheese, crumbled
  • sunflower seeds

Preheat oven to 350.  Cook quinoa according to directions.  While quinoa is cooking, trim onions and cut into 2-inch-long pieces.  Slice garlic cloves in half.  Throw onions and garlic into roasting dish, toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Bake in oven until onions are crisp-tender.  Toss onions, garlic, feta, and seeds with the warm quinoa.  Serve immediately.

Clearly, we had leftover feta and sunflower seeds - you would not NEED these, but they add some food texture and flavor that was pretty tasty.

With that, I tossed together a grapefruit, tangerine, and red onion salad that I tossed in a red wine vinaigrette (olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper).  The grapefruit was from our CSA, not one of those glowing red ones you'll get in the store, and it was a touch tart, so I am VERY glad that I added the tangerines to offset the pucker factor of the grapefruit-vinegar combo.  I also was glad that I got a little heavy handed with the kosher salt.

Mmmmmm... citrus..... Mother Nature's vaccine
Of course, now I really do want us to tear out the ash trees in our backyard and replace them with citrus - while we have to deal with the triple digits in the summer here, the winters are great when the citrus is fresh and right off the tree.  Maybe that should be a monthly objective.  For my husband.

*NOTE - I edited this; in my original, I "blamed" the article on Cooking Light.  I think I may have too many magazines; they are all starting to look alike.  My apologies to CL.

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