Monday, December 17, 2007

Winter Food

Winter is a great time to cook. I love the heat from the oven, and the smells of spices when it's cold out. And conveintly enough we hit a cold spell just as our break started. It had been in the 80s which makes it very hard to make winter comfort food. This weekend I made some sweets: Hello Dolly Bars which came out awesome. I made one pan to eat and another to freeze for Christmas Eve. I also made some Cocoa Cookies which tasted good but looked horrible.

Mostly though I've been in a tad of a rut with cooking. I need some new cookbooks but we're low on money until January but I might try to talk H into at least one:) Right now I'm lusting over two: Veganomicon and 125 Best Vegetarian Slow Cooker Recipes. I admit that the first one attracted my attention with its title. I mean how could I resist? I can't imagine Cthulu as a vegan. But the recipes look so good: Samosa Baked Potatoes! Chickpea cutlets! And the slow cooker...well I decided I needed to get past my intense terror of burning the house down, and utilze a slow cooker in my very busy life. I enjoy cooking but there are times when I really don't have the time to enjoy. A slow cooker would really be perfect.

I'm also wishing for good cooking equipment. I wonder if I could talk H into this? Doubt it. I did get a free stainless steel wok with steamer from Harris Teeter (the grocery store). I was pretty excited, and can't wait to try it out. Definitely going to be doing stir fry this week.

Tonight I made Quinoa and Potatoes Casserole. I found it on a new blog I've been reading: My Aim Is True. I made a few changes. First, instead of dill, I added thyme and rosemary (I love rosemary with any kind of potatoes). Second, I cut the potatoes smaller. Third, since I am not a vegan, I mixed breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese for the topping. Thumbs up from both H and I. It was prefect for a cold day. Even Piper liked it! I also made up a vegetable soup. Very simple and good with the casserole.

Here's the recipe:

Quinoa, Leek & Potato Casserole

1 cup quinoa

1/2 tsp olive oil

1/4 onion (I used a sweet onion)

2 cloves garlic (I used four but we're nuts about garlic here)

1 tsp rosemary
¼ tsp. thyme

1 leek, chopped into rounds (just the white & light green part)

3 small red potatoes, sliced into bite size pieces

1 can pinto beans

1/4 cup breadcrumbs
¼ cup Parmesan

salt & pepper

Preheat your oven to 425. Meanwhile, cook the quinoa (just like you cook rice). Get an 8x8 glass dish and line the bottom with the quinoa.
Saute the onion and garlic with the olive oil in a small skillet. Add the pinto beans, leeks thyme, rosemary and let simmer. Add salt & pepper to taste.
Boil the potatoes in water for a few minutes to soften.
Now layer everything up. The beans & leek mixture goes on top of the quinoa. Then drain the potatoes and layer them on top. Then cover everything with a generous sprinkling of breadcrumbs/parmesan. These will toast and give it a crunchy texture.
Bake for about 15 minutes. Serve up hot.


Lolabola said...

trying to leave you a message again. (blogger can be such a tease!)

I have been lusting after that veggie slow cooker book as well.

we have a little 4 quart slow cooker and cooking quinoa in it overnight makes the best best breakfast.

La Ley diApache said...

Hi Ginger,

I'm Abeya, Ernesto's friend and reader from Neverneutral. What a beautiful, smart, brave and warm blog you have! and your kids, they are just lovely. It's been very nice to pay a visit. Reading about your thesis research, I would like to share with you this CFP I got from the Society for the Anthropology of
Consciousness, a section of the AAA. I thought you might be interested. Web address:
I you would like me to forward the whole email to you, please contact me at:

PS: that casserole looks sooo yummy!

Ginger said...

Ha Lolabola...blogger is a tease! I need to add you to my site so I can go visit more often. I've never thought of quinoa for breakfast. I did find some recipes for rice type things for breakfast. Hmm...maybe I need to expand my breakfast menu.

Abreya, I'm glad you enjoy the blog:) We always love having new vistors. Thanks for the link, and I'll contact you about the email. Sounds very fasinating!