Impromptu Risotto-ish

Garlicturino86 (GT8) and I were hungry, so we decided to cook together. We took a look at the fridge and pantry and pulled out the items that were available for us to use. They were surprisingly limited: black beans, chicken broth (with vegetables and herbs), garlic, jasmine rice, pasta, a very small amount of frozen broccoli, fresh carrots, and milk.

“What can we possibly make with this?” I asked.

“Well, we can use the rice and chicken broth to make a sort of risotto,” GT8 replied.

I set to work peeling carrots and GT8 finely chopped 3 cloves of garlic. We heated 1.5 cups of chicken broth to a boil, then added 1 cup of jasmine rice and let it cook, covered, for about 15 minutes. I defrosted the broccoli and cut it into bite-sized pieces. Once GT8 had cut the carrots into bite-sized pieces we set them to boil as well, allowing them to cook for nearly as long as the rice. I also rinsed and drained a can of black beans.

Once the carrots were fairly soft and sweet, we drained them. We heated some olive oil in a frying pan, browned the garlic, then added the broccoli, followed a little while later by the carrots and the beans. By the time they were ready, GT8 had taken the rice off the heat and transferred it into a large bowl. I mixed in the beans and vegetables. The flavors all blended together marvelously, especially the rice and beans. This is definitely a meal we would both like to make again sometime.

Cooking On the Fly

I love pasta, but it requires too much forethought. You have to get the water heating early, so it has time to boil and then you add the pasta and then it needs time to cook. Yuck. I just don’t have the patience for that. Today I was way too busy playing Solitaire to make pasta.

(Seriously, whoever came up with the version of Solitaire where you draw 3 cards from the deck at a time was evil and sadistic.)

For this dish, I went straight to the frying pan. I coated the pan with olive oil, chopped up two cloves of garlic, and let that heat for a little while. Then I added 2/3 cup whole grain rolled oats. They soaked up all the oil, fast. After stirring them around for a bit, I added 7 oz frozen mixed bell pepper slices, then topped it all off with a few splashes of soy sauce. Why soy sauce? I’ve been finding that these oats benefit from a little bit of salt, and I wanted to make sure they had enough moisture.

Oats and Peppers in a frying pan

Call me crazy (it would match my mood) but I wanted a source of protein, so I cracked an egg into the middle of this.

See above, with Egg

As awesome as that looks, it seemed a better idea to mix the egg in with the other ingredients. So I mixed it around, creating a rather more consistent texture. If the oats needed any additional moisture, the egg certainly provided it.

Finally, I wanted some nuts, so I decided to sprinkle a handful of pine nuts on top.

Oats, peppers, and egg mixture, topped with pine nuts

A few more minutes of stirring, and the moment of truth had come. Is this concoction edible? YES!!! Thank goodness, too, because I have to run to class. The recipe above makes 2 servings. Buon appetito!

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