Thursday, November 12, 2009

5 minute Improv - Vegetarian Pilaf

So the brown Jasmine rice took 30 minutes to cook. Other than that, it was a delicious and easy one pot meal. The leftovers from the previous night's stir-fry intended for a second meal, were eaten at lunch. Veteran's day, the teenager was home for lunch. I was going to ask her to make herself a quesadilla or something while I zipped out to a meeting, but the improv bug hit me. (Or I'm a softy momma realizing my youngest child is about to launch and I will miss taking care of her). I put some rice on to cook and managed some other work for 30 minutes. Then I opened a can of Amy's vegetarian lentil soup with vegetables and heated it. While wondering where I was going with this meal, I just decided to pilaf it. I threw in a couple handfuls of raisins and sliced toasted almonds. I seasoned this with a chutney I had on hand made locally, it could be recreated by blending cilantro, garlic, lemon, water. Then I added the lentil soup and stirred. Since it was in pilaf format, the mushy texture of canned lentil soup didn't bother me and the flavors were delicious with the lemon cilantro addition. I think the teaspoon of butter I folded into the rice made it yummy too. Keeping it simpler, I avoided the dried apricots and pistachio nuts. "Next time, I'll add those and everything from scratch, including fresh spices". My daughter looked up at me with a smile of proud recognition as she served herself a bowl, "This looks like a kind of pilaf!" Knowing that she doesn't always know what to call my creations, I affirmed that yes it was, as if I had intended to create a pilaf  from the start. It's unlikely that she bothered to make the salad that I suggested from bagged wild greens and dressing on hand (sigh), but I had to run to a meeting.
This would be delicious served with the Indian condiments like Patak's hot and sour lime, mango or carrot pickles mixed with or next to plain yogurt.

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