Monday, November 21, 2011

Russian repast

I'm hungry for something heavy. Russian or Eastern European, like my grandma used to make. I have kasha (bulgar wheat) in my cupboard. The back of the package has a recipe. "Boil 1 c. Kasha in 2 c. water and a pinch of salt for 15-20 minutes. Makes 4 servings. "

Eeek. I halve the recipe and cover the pot as the kasha boils merrily.

An optional add-on is browning a diced onion in butter and adding cooked bow-tie pasta. Sounds hearty. Well, butter-ish would be better for this vegan. Add 100 calories, just like that! Oooohhh, I remember that I still have pasta cooked last week. Perfect.

After the onions are translucent from being sauteed in the fat on medium heat, I add the pasta. Shall I include some of the Portuguese olives sitting in the fridge? I flip the stones out of ten before I run out of want-to. Toss those in with the pasta. Stir.

Do I have any Eastern European plates? Nope. Maybe one from Mexico will do; it's painted in a homey style with similar colors (Pier 1).

I peek in the pot. Luckily kasha is not finicky about being peered at, as is rice. I uncover the pot for the last three minutes to steam off the remaining water while I steep some Pumpkin Black tea.

After fifteen minutes, the timer goes off. I stir together the grains and pasta mixtures in the saute pan. While it blends a bit, I have time to chop up a bit of cilantro and lettuce.

I like to line a lunch plate with greens: when they're mixed in they add crunch and vitamins, as well as beautiful color.

When I sit down to eat, it's not salty enough. It tastes too bland... and I don't even like much salt. Oh yeah, I remember now. Grandma used to add a lot of salt when cooking grains. I get the salt shaker and sprinkle some on top of the mix.

Rating: 3/5 Good but nothing special. Needs more inventiveness next time around.
Taste: hearty, somewhat bland (as mentioned earlier). If I weren't a vegan, bacon slivers and browning the whole thing in bacon fat would have "fixed" it (and added another 150 – or more – calories).
Calories: 500 per serving (2 servings)
Tea: Pumpkin Black Tea from leaves, not a tea bag.

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