Something New

September 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

Food ruts happen often. I think I’ve written about them here before. We gravitate towards the familiar and the tried-and-true. In my case, that’s usually something involving bread, cheese, or chocolate. When it comes to the last meal of the day, supper regularly revolves around a meat and its accompaniments. A diet consisting of mostly the same thing is probably not the most healthy nor the most inventive, I am realizing.

This week I felt the food rut about to engulf me and recalled a recent Real Simple recipe I’d seen just as I was headed to the grocery store for inspiration. I’d cooked with quinoa only once before and that was as part of a stew, which didn’t really offer the full experience of the grain, I’m sure. This recipe involved kale and sweet potatoes, and I’d already combined those two good-for-you-and-good-tasting vegetables with success in other recipes. I decided to give it a go. Not having walnuts or pesto, however, I did amend that part of the recipe and just threw in some red pepper flakes and a good shower of balsamic vinegar at the end. Oh, and some garlic, because why not?

Real Simple’s picture trumps mine, but my bowl did resemble their finished product, albeit looking more toward the other side of mush. But, as the Black Keys have taught me, “the look of the cake, it ain’t always the taste” and that bit of wisdom holds true for this dish.

The browned bits of sweet potato and the kale wilted just enough to make it less of a workout to chew elevated the relatively bland taste but welcome texture of the quinoa. The versatility of sweet potato seems to know no end and a dish like this really highlights that aspect. The touch of balsamic was just right to give the whole dish more zing and also acted as a kind of sauce, which was necessary since I omitted the pesto. Pair all that with a feeling of superiority based on making one healthy decision all week, and I call last night’s dinner a triumph.

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