Tuesday, January 02, 2007

I'm back!...

...and not a minute too soon. I think a few more days on vacation and my body would have forgotten how to digest dietary fiber. Though I did try to keep myself from going crazy by making a couple of spinachy meals, eating salads wherever I could, and several giant platefuls of plain grated carrots, the order of the day (er, two weeks) was certainly refined starches, dairy, and too much sugar.

No greenmarket today (I'll make a quick trip tomorrow for necessities), so I scrounged for dinner in a massively crowded, extremely picked-over Trader Joe's. It was so picked over, in fact, that there were barely any bagged salads left, and no spinach (!!)...so I took the last bag of baby romaine leaves, since I've recently read that romaine can be cooked as a green. Inspired by my new favorite cookbook, Moosewood Restaurant Cooks At Home, which I got for Xmas (thanks big sis!), I also picked up some white beans and couscous in addition to green beans and some other staples.

So tonight's meal was a little experimental, but turned out well enough to share the recipe - Garlicky Greens with Cannellini Beans and Parmesan Couscous (we also had some of my favorite roasted green beans).

Ultimately, I bet this would have been yummier if I had used spinach or chard. I don't know if it was just a psychological thing, but I couldn't get over the romaine flavor in a cooked green. Not bad, just kinda weird. You know, like a 65-degrees-and-sunny day in New York in January.

Garlicky Greens with Cannellini Beans for Two
6 oz. romaine leaves, spinach, or chard (or a combination), washed and trimmed
1 can (15 oz.) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2-3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1-2 tsp. olive oil
pinch red pepper flakes
salt to taste

Heat about 1 tsp. olive oil in large frying pan over medium-high; add garlic and cook until garlic is aromatic and just turning pale gold in spots. Add greens and salt and cook until mostly wilted; set aside. Wipe out frying pan, add a splash more olive oil and red pepper flakes. Cook until fragrant and add white beans, mashing them against the bottom of the pan, until heated through; add greens, stir to combine, remove from heat, and serve immediately.

Parmesan Couscous
Make couscous according to package instructions (use butter), and add a bunch of finely-grated Parmesan and a LOT of black pepper. Figure out how to make couscous without it turning out really dry, and you've one-upped me.


kara z. said...

welcome back! hey, do you have a slow cooker? if you do, i have a recipe for vegetarian french onion soup that i must give you. (it's even better than the beef broth version!)

pollyanna cowgirl said...

ate arugula, scallions, and mushrooms tonight...you are rubbing off on me! :)