I have this weird thing.
I really like “finishing” things. Like, groceries. For instance, I get this odd sense of satisfaction from squeezing the lastlittle bit of toothpaste out of the tube. Same with shampoo. I want to get every. last. drop.
My desire to use up food items is even stronger. I don’t want anything to go to waste. A spoonful of yogurt? I’ll put that in a smoothie. A handful of grated cheddar? That would be an awesome grilled cheese for the kiddos. The crusts of bread? Matty B and the kids feed the ducks.
Matty B shares my illness to an extent. He has a great sense of accomplishment in finishing off a box of cereal. For some reason he doesn’t seem as excited to finish off the flax flakes as he is the Cinnamon Toast Crunch (speaking of which, who bought that?).
I didn’t used to be this way. Ask my mom. I routinely made/make fun of the things she saves. And now I’m starting to be her. Although I don’t save toasted toast. And neither should you, mom. I’m not even sure that the ducks want old toast.
It’s not like we’re destitute. I mean, I’m not doing my routine grocery trips at Whole Foods (much to my dismay), but we don’t lack for anything we need. (I said need, Matty B. You don’t need a chainsaw.) Still, money is money and we both work hard for what we have, so it’s important to be good stewards, right?
Enter my Veggie Fried Quinoa recipe. This is more of a method than it is a recipe. But that’s better anyway. No one wants to be tied to specific measurements. That’s why the world loves Rachel Ray and her “swirl of this” and “palmful of that”.
This is where the fun comes in – clean out your fridge! Into a frying pan with a drizzle of olive oil I threw some onion, mushroom, zucchini, garlic, and garbanzo beans. Use what you have. Salt and pepper are your friends. Don’t measure. Feel empowered.
Dump in your precooked quinoa – ours was leftover from dinner- about 1 packed cup. Give a few squirts of Bragg’s liquid aminos (or soy sauce) and then go upstairs to transfer the laundry and read a few stories (“Chaucer’s First Winter” and “Grandma and Me”, specifically) to a grumpy baby with a runny nose.
When you come back, it will look like this. Stand over the pan and eat it with the spatula you used to stir it. Delish.
Applaud yourself on creating an amazing dish from leftovers.
What if there are leftovers from your leftovers?
Feed them to the ducks. Or save them for my mom.
(love you, mom:)
Veggie Fried Quinoa
Drizzle of olive oil
Approximate 1/3 cup chopped onion
Approximate 1/3 cup chopped mushroom
Approximate 1/2 cup diced zucchini
Approximate 1 tsp minced garlic
Approximate 1/4 cup garbanzo beans
Approximate 1 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
Drizzle of Bragg’s liquid aminos
Salt and pepper to taste.
In frying pan, sauté all veggies and garbanzo beans in olive oil, approximately 5 minutes.
Add quinoa, seasonings and Bragg’s. Stir to combine and let cook, over low heat, uncovered for 20ish minutes, stirring occasionally.