Tag Archives: sauteed

Bippity Boppity Bi Bim Bop

28 Aug

If you are gluten-free or have any common sense whatsoever, you know that quinoa is AWESOME (unless you can’t eat it in which case I’m sure you are still intelligent, just at a slight disadvantage in quinoa-eating competitions and similar matters). I squeem, you squeem, we all squeem for (s)quinoa. It’s a pure protein, it’s got a delicious flavor, it blends well but stays confident as a flour, it looks pretty…it’s an all-around winner. If Brandon and I are actually home for the week we probably eat it at least 2-3 times in the span of a few days. The good news is that I’m pretty sure it’s impossible to be addicted to quinoa. The bad news is that I’m addicted to quinoa. Anyways, it fits well with most anything it’s paired with, which in this case is my own version of bi bim bop. Bibimbap. B-bop. Betty boop…buhhh…whatever you want to call it. I feel slightly sacreligious calling this bi bim bop because it is not being delivered to me by my favorite Korean lady at Bell’s Diner in Ann Arbor and it’s not covered in “special Korean hot sauce” which looks exactly like ketchup but tastes like magic.

Anyways, I looked it up, and bibimbop basically suggests a dish mixed with rice. Now, if you experienced any part of my childhood, pretty much everything could hypothetically have been called bibimbop since it all got mixed together in the rice bowl. Reading that back, I feel like I am suggesting more Asian-ness than is really accurate. For goodness sake, my favorite preparation of rice included solely (lots of) butter and soy sauce. I still sometimes eat that when I need comfort food. My family called it “Katie rice” which actually is more like “it’s ok cause you’re only half Asian” rice. I infinitely digress! Bibimbop has been amazing everywhere I’ve eaten it and I have non-deliberately Americanized it for my own purposes (those purposes mostly being “I have these ingredients and I am going to mix them all together eventually but if I display them nicely and put a fried egg on top I can call them bibimbop”). Bibimbop seems like a pretty flexible concept to me. Some people put raw seafood on it, some prefer marinated beef; I like mine with a healthy dose of (Brinery) kimchi and a runny egg. Unfortunately on this day of bibimbop creation we were out of pickled foods (FOR SHAAAAME!) so while my stomach was greatly satisfied it still wept a little for its long lost best friend.

So here’s what I ended up with:

QUI-BIM-BOP (heh, sorry)

Serves 2

1 cup quinoa (in these photos, I was trying out a blend of grains including quinoas and wild rice)

2 large carrots, julienned and cooked to your preference (steamed or pan-fried…buttery carrots are always tasty)

1 cup cooked spinach (I steamed mine and then mixed it with Tamari)

2 small zucchini, cubed and cooked to your preference (pan-fried and seasoned with a little salt and pepper)

1/2 lb tempeh, cubed and cooked however you want (this would be a great use of maple/Tamari marinated tempeh–just cube some fresh tempeh and soak it in a 3:2ish mixture of Tamari to maple syrup with a clove or two of minced garlic for at least 30 min, then pan-fried)

1 cup sugar snap peas, steamed

2 large eggs, cooked to order

seasonings I would suggest you try out to taste, not necessarily all together: salt & pepper, olive oil, Tamari, Sriracha (or your favorite hot sauce), rice wine vinaigrette

As I mentioned, bibimbop is a mixed rice dish. So, simply split the cooked quinoa between two bowls and top with your ingredients. I assembled mine to look nice, then covered it all in Sriracha and made a delicious mess of it. This is a perfect dish to get creative with. Instead of marinated beef or seafood, Brandon and I (naturally) opted for tempeh (yet another thing I may be addicted to…it could be worse!). I had zucchini on hand, so they went in the bowl. Mung bean sprouts or julienned cucumber would be a super fresh, crunchy addition to this meal. Other things you can sub in might be short-grain brown rice for the quinoa or kale for the spinach. The opportunities are (gluten-free and) boundless.


What’s In The Fridge? Dinner Edition

22 May

Seeing as we didn’t get our food co-op delivery last week and we’re leaving for the next few days tomorrow morning, we’ve been letting the fridge get a little low on supplies. This tends to birth “what’s in the fridge?” meals. Sometimes they’re impressive and sometimes they’re just simple and yummy. Sometimes if Brandon cooks you’re in for an experimental dish (see future post about peanut butter & avocado sandwiches…). Any way you slice it, food is food and this is what I made last night:

I promise I’ll start taking higher quality pictures soon. I think, though, that sometimes “make dinner immediately” goes hand in hand with “what’s in the fridge?” Especially when your boyfriend has just been in an ice bath for 20 minutes and is freezing and hungry (read: not the right time to play fancy photographer). So what’s the cure for self-induced shivering and lack of ingredients? Polenta!

I’ll tell you what I threw in, but the possibilities are endless.

Basic Polenta (serves 2):

1 cup dry polenta (I used Bob’s Red Mill)

3 cups water (up to 4 cups depending on the polenta)

pinch of salt (to taste)

1 1/2 tbps butter

Bring water and salt to a light boil and slowly add the polenta.

Reduce heat to low and allow the polenta to simmer, stirring often at first, and occasionally over the course of about 25 minutes, or until the mixture is thick and cooked through.

Stir in butter and a little more salt to taste.

Meanwhile, decide what you want to top your savory corn pudding with! What was in my fridge included:

a couple carrots, half an onion, some asparagus, part of a red pepper, half a block of flax tempeh (which i actually cooked first-separately-in butter and then threw in to the veggie mix later)…

I chopped up these guys and sautéed them in olive oil, adding some salt and pepper, turmeric and some cumin.

After everything finishes cooking, top polenta with whatever you choose and serve immediately. I drizzled a little more olive oil (I was taught well working at Mani) and grated parmesan cheese on top.

Quick and easy dinner: complete.

Other ideas for polenta toppings:
-sautéed garlicky spinach and mushrooms with shaved parmesan
-fresh tomato sauce with fresh herbs and grilled vegetables
-roasted butternut squash with sage
-grilled asparagus, roasted garlic and a poached egg

The possibilities are simply endless.


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