Thursday, February 28, 2013

This Will Make Your Nose Run

You know when you get to the end of the stuff in the fridge and (this is particularly true on weeks when I've DONE my meal planning) there's random stuff left over and (this happened this week) 1 or 2 recipes that you had planned, but you're missing some (or all!!) of the ingredients and it's dinnertime and you're hungry and... Now what?!

You throw stuff in a pot.  That's what.

This particular round of throwing stuff in a pot yielded awesomeness.  So, for all of posterity, here is the recipe.


1 kielbasa sausage (we used something that had a fat count that would make your cry because that's what
the recipe I was planning to use it for called for... do yourself a favor, get chicken sausage or low-fat sausage or something)
1 red onion chunky diced (That's a technical term.  Straight from a culinary text book.  I promise)
2 jalapeno peppers sliced into rings (these were the only thing I would have changed. I left the seeds in and I added them at the same time as the onions... add them later and if you have any affection for yourself please remove the seeds)
2 zucchini chunky diced
1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)
1 can chick peas (rinsed and drained) (same thing as garbanzo beans... ask me why this is funny later)
2 cups (or so) spinach (add it til you feel good.  Don't worry if your pot is too full it'll wilt down to nothing.)
1 can sliced stewed tomatoes  (I never buy these... I'm not even sure why I had them... diced is fine)
1 package quinoa (Ryan hates this stuff... he calls it "that weird yucky rice", but he thought it was pretty good in this application.)

The Doing Stuff Part:

  1. Start the quinoa.  You can cook this stuff in a rice cooker if you have one... it will spew quinoa out of the vent hole if you fill it too full... to make the right amount to go with this you should fill it to the point where it will spew it out of it's vent hole.
  2. Cut the sausage into 1/2 inch slices and then into the pan* til both sides are nice and browned. Remove and set aside.
  3. Use the grease from the sausage and, if you heeded my advice and there isn't a lot of grease, a good glug of cooking oil (we needed a little more later and used olive oil)) start cooking the onion.**  
  4. Once the onions are starting to get golden and tasty looking add the zucchini.  I let these get warmed through, but I wanted them to have a little texture left so I didn't cook them too long.  If you don't care for slightly crunchy zucchini keep cooking til they're soft.
  5. At this point add the black beans and chick peas.  Stir to coat (whatever that means...).  Heat through.
  6. Add the jalapenos and spinach.  Heap it in there and, if you have the means, cover until it's wilted down.
  7. Put in the stewed tomatoes and sort of chop them up a bit with your stirring apparatus. 
  8. Once everything is heated through turn off the heat and add the sausage.  Stir it all together.
  9. Serve over "that weird yucky rice"... bring lots of water.

*A note on heat settings.  My husband helped with this.  So, he only cooks on maximum high heat.  I set the pan on the stove turn on the burner walk away to chop something... he stirs a couple times and nudges the heat up.  I bring over the next ingredient see that it's cooking a little fast (hot, burning, what have you) and turn it down and then walk away again... lather, rinse, repeat.  Medium will be sufficient... if you didn't prechop medium might even save dinner.

**I put the jalapenos in with the onion then went off to chop up the zucchini.  By the time I got that done and returned to stir there was a sort of haze of pepper fumes that made me cough and choke... don't put the peppers in until closer to the end.  I probably had this coming.  I've been using recipes from Martha Stewart all week and complaining loudly about how bland they are... this was not bland.

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