When I cook, it is seldom with just my own tastes and palate in mind. Yes, I have the final decision in what to cook each night as the primary meal preparer in our family, but unless I want a mealtime mutiny on my hands, I need to juggle the tastes, likes and aversions of each member of the Sweet Pea Family when I plan out our daily menu.
So despite my love of raisins and dried fruit, since SPH abhors them, they seldom find a place in my menu, outside of a garnish that SPH can easily avoid. And though I love greens, especially spinach, I use them in limited quantities since the boys have a “greens threshold,” above which they will turn up their noses at a meal. Raw tomatoes, especially this time of year, are a treat to me, but the boys are not fans. I could go on, but as most family meal preparers will tell you, you need to edit and choose your menu carefully to make sure you maximize the chances your meal will get eaten.
But over the weekend, I took a novel approach to a meal. I created an entire meal with only me, myself and I in mind. SPH and the boys had leftovers they were quite excited about eating, so I took it upon myself to create a dish that was tailor-made to my tastes. Dried cranberries, spinach and other ingredients abound in this dish and the flavor combination was such a fun selfish treat.
Of course, everyone is different and perhaps my “mine, all mine quinoa” rendition may be different than what you might imagine, but I share this process to inspire you to treat yourself to a dish sometime soon that is created with only yourself in mind.
Mine, all mine Quinoa
1 cup red quinoa, rinsed and drained well
2 cups water
1 – 15 ounce can black beans, drained
1 – 15 ounce can corn kernels, drained
2 cups baby spinach leaves, chopped
¼ cup slivered almonds
½ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup sliced green onions
¼ cup freshly chopped parsley
1/2 cup rice vinegar
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoon shredded onion
1/2 cup shredded gala apple
3 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
Bring the quinoa and water to a boil.
Reduce to a simmer and cover, simmering 15 minutes or until the water has evaporated.
Remove from heat and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the black beans, corn, spinach, almonds, cranberries, green onion and parsley. Add the quinoa, and toss well.
In a small bowl, add the rice vinegar, oil, water, onion, apple, soy sauce and sugar. Mix very well. Pour over the quinoa and toss well.
Serves 1, but enough for 4 meals.
Tastes good to eat something created just for yourself, doesn’t it?
Have a sweet weekend,