Monday, September 6, 2010

Chip's lunch: September 7, 2010

We're back! I went for a late run last Thursday and promised myself I'd pack lunch Friday morning. It never happened. Chip threw together a few unphotogenic things that morning and was on his way.

We had a nice, relaxing Labor Day weekend (minus a bit of a cold that I had). We spent lots of time together, doing things we enjoy (a few little house projects, some long walks in the cool evenings, a few runs in the glorious afternoon sunshine, and a trip to the Three Creeks Metropark), and I also spent some time cooking. I decided to bite the bullet and buy some saffron on Saturday for $19. We both think saffron is awesome, but the price is hard to stomach. However, I'd been staring at Clean Eating Magazine's September/October issue long enough that all I wanted to eat was their "Penne with Broccoli, Kale, and Pine nuts in Simple Saffron Broth."

This issue gave recipes for five sauces that could be modified to make a bunch of different dishes. We tried the Alfredo sauce already, and we were both dying to try the "simple saffron broth." It's easy: in a medium bowl, whisk together 2 cups vegetable broth, 4 teaspoons arrowroot powder, and 1/2 teaspoon crushed saffron threads; set aside. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add 2 finely chopped shallots (I also added 2 small cloves crushed garlic) and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in broth mixture (I added 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder), increase heat to high, and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens slightly and comes to a boil. Remove from heat and season with salt. Cover and set aside to steep for at least 10 minutes.

I cooked up a 12-ounce box of organic penne (I meant to buy whole wheat penne, but I was on the phone with my mom in the grocery store, and I was very distracted), and with three minutes left to boil, I threw in 2 cups of organic broccoli florets and 2 cups of organic chopped spinach. Then I drained the pasta, and added the toasted organic pine nuts and the saffron sauce. It was really delicious! We added plenty of sea salt, and I improvised with the garlic and chipotle powder. We both felt it could use a little *something* else, but neither of us could put a finger on quite what. I think I'll try this again, but I'll for sure play around with the seasonings a bit more.

Organic penne with saffron broth, organic broccoli, organic spinach, and organic pine nuts, steamed asparagus with black pepper and sea salt, organic dried cranberries, organic Thompson raisins, raw almonds, organic raw cashews, organic dark chocolate, banana, and a CSA apple.

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