I try to make additive rather than subtractive New Year's resolutions. For instance, one year I decided to transform myself into an enjoyer of whiskey--I at that time (as I still do) thought it was the most badass of the basic liquors, but knew I would have to acquire a taste for it (as I had needed to do for beer and almost all foods except pepperoni pizza). My resolution meant I got to go to whiskey tastings and make whiskey cocktails at home, and be generally badass with my liquor tastes. It was fun, and now whiskey is my favorite liquor. (I know some would argue that liquor is subtractive rather than additive, but I would argue that most things are good in moderation).
Some friends and I have dubbed 2014's motto "Onwards and Upwards: Yes, Please." 2013 had the biggest valleys and highest highs of my life--I am hoping that 2014 can be more evenly keeled, yet still on a decided upward trajectory. All of this is to say that my additive resolution for this year is to cook more. B and I are still learning to cook and to make it a priority in our lives. One of the ways I think I can get myself to do that is to use very flavorful foods that are (mostly) fresh and that don't require too much work on my part to mix together into a meal.
To that end, our first homecooked meal of 2014:
BASIL PESTO QUINOA
1 cup Quinoa
2 cups Mushroom Broth (any broth would do, though the mushroom is delicious and vegetarian-friendly)
*1/2 bag Frozen Peas (about 1.5 cups)
*1 Red Bell Pepper
*15 Kalamata Olives
*3 tablespoons chopped Sundried Tomatoes
3 tablespoons Basil Pesto (I used premade from the store)
*2 tablespoons grated parmesan (I think feta would actuall be great in this dish)
*2 sprigs parsley
salt and pepper to taste
1. Rinse the quinoa and then bring both the quinoa and the broth to boil in a medium saucepan. Turn heat to medium and allow the mixture to simmer until all liquid disappears and you can see the whorls in the quinoa (10-15 minutes).
2. Cook the frozen peas according to package directions (I microwaved it in a microwaveable bowl with a TBSP of water for 5 minutes).
3. Seed and chop bell pepper.
4. Pit and slice kalamata olives.
5. Once the quinoa is ready, remove it from the heat and stir in the basil pesto. Stir in the peas, pepper, sundried tomatoes and olives.
6. Add as much parmesan, parsley and salt and pepper as your tastebuds desire.
This is great as a light meal with a side of toast, as a side dish for a bigger meal, or as an easy make-ahead lunch. It would likely also be good with a variety of substituted vegetables.
Recipe loosely adapted from this one.
What are your resolutions for 2014? Got any easy, flavorful meals you can share?