Jenn Reese Writer, Artist, Geek

Two Eh, One AHHH!


Two food experiments and one glorious food experience for you today.

First up, a quick-n-easy lunch: can of diced tomato (spicy), can of corn, and can of black beans on a bed of quinoa. This was dull dull dull without the sour cream. Which is a shame, since it was cheap and easy and made a ton of food. And it’s pretty! I’m openly soliciting suggestions for making this tastier:

From Food and Drink

On the other side of the healthy eating spectrum, we have a recent experiment with mac and cheese. Most of my mac and cheese recipes come from this cookbook, but this is the first time I’ve played around with the ingredients. And apparently, I played too much. Replacing the whole milk with my regular 1% was fine, but I also added too much mustard and too many chopped onions. Still tasty enough that I ate the whole batch, but not something I’m eager to repeat. (And what’s with the no breadcrumbs? Mac and cheese is greatly improved with a little texture!)

From Food and Drink

My own experiments were a bit lackluster, but this salad I had at Medina, a Moroccan restaurant in Dallas, was certainly not. Hands down, one of the best salads I’ve ever had. (Right up there with the spinach salad from Cafe Carolina.) Ingredients: baby spinach, poached figs, toasted almonds, feta cheese, cinnamon-spiced orange, honey-lemon vinaigrette, and absolutely perfect shrimp.

From Food and Drink

I’m drooling just looking at the picture. Pair this with some fantastic mint tea, and you have one of the best meals I’ve experienced in ages. Simple ingredients, complex flavors. Utterly delicious.

What’s the best thing you’ve eaten lately?

About the author

Jenn Reese


  • Suggestions for the quinoa:

    A. Add cheese. Everything is better with cheese!

    B. Add sauteed chopped onions and/or garlic.

    C. Add peas. (I often keep frozen peas and corn on hand for this kind of thing.)

    D. Replace the tomatoes with a tomato sauce of some sort.

    E. How did you cook the quinoa? I don't really know anything about quinoa, but I know some people cook rice in broth instead of plain water in some contexts. (See online recipes for Spanish rice, which seems like the same general family of thing as what you're making here.)

    F. Spices? I'm inclined to say oregano, but that's just 'cause I'm unadventurous and don't really know anything about any other spices. :)

  • ok, so have you started stocking your spice cabinet yet? a good set of spices will make a ton of low cost things taste amazing. From what you were putting together, here are some suggestions of things to throw in with the veggie/corn/bean mix. Keep in mind, I don't know what the spices are in the "spicy" tomatoes, so I'll pretend they don't exist ;-)

    -toss them with a bit of red pepper flakes, olive oil, and mint

    – put two star anise in the bottom of a pan, and heat them through so the star anise fragrances them (top on the pan!). Sprinkle fennel on top

    -fine chop non-pickled jalapenos, and mix through

  • I've been eating a LOT of quinoa. I'm not sure that Erin always cooks it in broth, but I know that's how Slyvia fixes it for Friday lunches at the office.

    We had a pretty spectacular quinoa based salad over the weekend. A garlic pepper sauce (very spicy but sparingly added) and liberal amounts of lemon juice made for a CRAZY light and addictive treat that worked well by itself and with sauteed salmon. You'll have to touch base with Erin about what else was in the salad. I REALLY remember the celery. I'm continuously surprised by how much celery adds to ANYTHING it's added to, both texture and flavor. Also bell peppers.

  • Jed — Excellent suggestions! I'm particularly fond of the cheese one. Everything *is* better with cheese! (Though, that's often true of onions and garlic, too…)

    Dena — those are some bizarre combinations that I never would have tried. Red pepper flakes, olive oil, and mint? I've *got* to try that! Star anise and fennel — wow. When are you having your next dinner party???

    Steven — quinoa with garlic pepper sauce? Yum!!! I do not share your opinion about celery, but I'm willing to keep an open mind.

By Jenn Reese
Jenn Reese Writer, Artist, Geek

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