Humble minion (humbleminion) wrote,
Humble minion
humbleminion

Lazy bachelor cooking time

Yeah. 'Bachelor' is appropriate for me once more...

Nameless but extraordinarily healthy spinach thing

Ingredients

1 cup brown rice
2 cups vegetable stock (if you make it from boiling water, let it cool for a while)
half a packet of frozen chopped spinach
half a can of chickpeas (rinse and drain it under cold water a couple of times to get rid of the horrible tinny smell that canned chickpeas seem to get)
5 decent size mushrooms, sliced
a bit under a teaspoon of whole cumin seeds
olive oil

Method

Put the rice and stock in a saucepan over a high heat, stirring occasionally. Once it starts to boil, turn the heat down all the way to simmer, and put a tight-fitting lid on it.

After about 20 minutes, put the spinach in a saucepan on a low heat. Move it around a bit with a fork until it thaws, breaking up the big lumps of frozen stuff. Put a bit of olive oil in a third saucepan over a medium-low heat, then add the cumin seeds. Once the cumin seeds are darkening in colour and starting to release their aroma, add the mushrooms. Stir to saute the mushies, drizzling some more olive oil if the bottom of the saucepan looks dry. You want the mushrooms to darken and soften (particularly the woody, fibrous bits of the stem) without drying and shrivelling. Remove from heat once it gets to this point.

Once the rice has been simmering for between 25 and 30 minutes, take it off the heat and leave to sit on one side, still covered for 5-10 minutes.

When the spinach is thawed, add the chickpeas. Warm for a couple of minutes, then add the mushrooms (including any liquid, cumin seeds etc that might be at the bottom of the saucepan). Mix it all together. If there's still watery liquid at the bottom of the saucepan, pour it off as best you can, then turn the heat up for a few minutes, stirring continually to stop everthing starting to stick.

Dish the rice. Pour the spinach/chickpea/mushroom mix on top. Eat.

You can also use couscous instead of the rice. It's faster, but I think the nutty flavour of brown rice matches better. Your mileage may vary...

Serves: One, assuming you're a guts like me and can scarf down a load of rice. The half-packets of spinach and chickpeas make it a bit more convenient to cook for two though.
Difficulty: Pretty easy if you can multitask even a little bit (you need to keep track of three things at once), but it's important that the rice is turned down promptly once it starts to boil, and that the lid on the rice saucepan fits tightly or the rice won't soften.
Kitchen Mess Factor: Three saucepans is a bit of a pain, but the spinach and rice ones should clean very easily if you leave them to soak. The mushroom one can be stubborn if you burnt the olive oil a little.
Date-impressing quotient: Low. This is for feeling nutritionally virtuous, not cooking to impress! It's surprisingly subtle in flavour and warming in cold weather though, so don't write it off as just boringly worthy food - I'd eat this one even if it WAS unhealthy.
Cost: Vegie stuff is always cheap! A couple of bucks, max.
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