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"We must have a pie. Stress cannot exist in the presence of a pie." David Mamet

Friday, May 20, 2011

Recipes for Poets - Distracted Poet's Rice and Veggie Mix-Up

Deb Ager of 32 Poems challenged readers to post a recipe for busy poets (not an oxymoron) that takes 20 minutes or less to prepare. The time limit seems apt for a species of writer that often prizes brevity. On the website, I loved reading what other poets like to eat - seems random, but somehow the dishes sounded delicious. The 32 Poems website has the details and links to other poets' recipes.

I made this last night when I wanted something super "clean" and healthy and fast. It's also in keeping with my latest obsession to reduce food waste by using up as many decaying vegetables as possible. I actually made this without oil by steaming the vegetables. While it served my purposes last night, I missed the taste of sauteed onions, so I modified it here.  
This is pretty much the brown rice and veggies recipe that we used to eat at Yaffa Cafe for $3.95 (I'm dating myself) when we were young and poor in the East Village. For all I know, Yaffa still serves it. It's perfect not only because it's fast, but forgiving: you can keep your mind on creating a perfect line break without compromising the meal. And if you add an egg or two, you can eat the leftovers for breakfast the next morning. 

Distracted Poet's Rice and Veggie Mix-Up
(inspired by the Yaffa Cafe)
Serves 4

2 cups brown rice
3 cups water
1 onion diced
2 tbs olive oil or butter
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp dry thyme
2 cups fast-cooking vegetables - I used:
- spinach leaves
- carrots diced
- broccoli florets
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup shredded cheese of your choice

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat and sautee onions, garlic, thyme, and rice until onions are translucent. Add water and, once water comes to a boil, reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 10 minutes, add vegetables and cover for another 10 minutes until the vegetables are al dente and all of the water has been absorbed by the rice. You're essentially steaming the veggies while the rice finishes cooking. Add salt and pepper, mix and serve, covered with cheese. Let it sit for another 10 minutes before serving.

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