Thursday, August 5, 2010

Lentils, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, and Red Quinoa

This is the epitome of Healthy Vegetarian Dinner, but it is also really tasty and makes your body feel nice after you eat it, so we have it kinda frequently. My friend Anastasia, however, does not have it ever, so when she heard what I was making for her visit, she was a little hesitant. But after helping me make it and a little wine, she was very excited and even put the meal on her tumbler (, so hooray!

I started with the red quinoa, which I buy at Trader Joes. We have a rice cooker, so it can just chill (or warm, I guess) in there until the rest of the meal is done and it won't get cold or dry or anything. 2 cups water to 1 cup quinoa :)

I looks like I also added some herb, but I'm not sure what it is... sage maybe? Try it out, lemme know if it tastes nice.

Next, I started the Brussels sprouts. I preheated the oven to 400 and preped the sprouts by cutting off the icky end bit, slicing them in half, and then rolling them around in a bowl with some olive oil.

Then I sautéed them with plenty of brown sugar and more oil so they could get soft and sweet.

While they sautéed (for about 5 minutes), I cooked the lentils. First I cooked 1/2 an onion and 2 carrots (both chopped) in a pot with some oil for about 5 minutes. Then I added a couple cloves of minced garlic and cooked another minute. Then I added 1/2 of white wine, 2 cups of vegetable broth and 1 cup of the lentils, plus a bay leaf. The mixture simmered away and I left it partially covered for about 25-30 minutes, stirring whenever I needed something to do in order to look like a Busy and Important Chef.

By now, I had put the Brussels sprouts on a baking tray and had moved them into the oven (I did that while the onion and carrot were cooking, keep up).

They were meant to stay in there for 30 minutes and I was distracted by Anastasia's charming company and so didn't check on them enough - they were darker than I like when I took them out, but still sweet and good. So check on them. Speaking of which, you should probably check those lentils right about now, they might be soupy. You don't want that. Anyway, make sure you flip the Brussels sprouts and know that 30 minutes is a random estimate. Just take them out of the oven when they look a little toasty and brown and like something you would want to eat.

This is why my Brussels sprouts burned.

Finished product!

And, look, the quinoa is done too!

So I know I talked about reading Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond last time, but that was a whole two months ago and due to work and busy-ness and all the reasons I have for blogging about something I ate 6 weeks ago, I haven't finished the book yet. Another reason is that reading it is like taking a full college course in the history of all civilization. So I am going to recommend it again, this time based only on the sheer volume of interesting and relevant things I learned - things that, in fact, I frequently had to stop reading for a few minutes and take in and review in my mind, so I would remember and understand it all fully and use it to understand and explain societal phenomenon in my daily life. Seriously, read the thing.

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