Friday, May 4, 2012

Goodbye April Woes

The hardest thing after being sick is getting back into your old routine. Running two miles proved to be a lot more winding than I remember, and I could only rock climb for twenty minutes before getting frustrated and tired. I still haven’t done much yoga (not at all, actually), and I was at least able to complete seventy-five percent of my core workout, but I feel like my two week hiatus has completely thrown all my hard work out the window. Now, a week later, and I’m almost back to where I was, running three miles and climbing for an hour.

April was going to be the month of recipes and thyroid information galore. It was going to be the month I would be running at least nine miles per week. It was going to be the month I could rock climb V1s with ease. I was going to be Morri, Super Duper Gluten Free Blogger Extraordinaire, making The Perfect Recipe for this month’s Gluten Free Ratio Rally.

By the way, we made bagels.

On the other hand, I did set out what I wanted to accomplish for the week: I did exercise; I did go out into the world specifically to be social; I did make recipes; and I have been studying extensively on the culinary arts and the business behind it. My goal was to ease my way back to where I was before getting sick, and I think I did a fairly good job at it, despite not posting here every day. There’s even a new page on Meals with Morri, one I am particularly excited to make a place of information and growth.

In between my moments of angst, frustration, and little pity parties, this is probably the best week of sleep I’ve had in… months? Years? I can’t even remember the last time I’ve slept past 5:30 in the morning. But this week, I’ve been waking up after 6:30, a personal triumph in my sleep maintenance insomnia.

For now, I want to talk about comfort, and fulfillment, and presentation.

There are some foods out there that don’t look particularly glamorous or are especially difficult to photograph. I personally have the darnedest time taking pictures of beverages and condiments. Maybe it has to do with the settings on my camera that I haven’t fully mastered quite yet, or maybe it has to do with the containers I put them in, but some foods need some help in looking delicious.

Beverages, dressings, and condiments aside, pilaf is the perfect example of this.

Pilaf is a class of rice (though not always) dishes found all over the world. It is found in the Middle East, South and Central Asia, and terms for [rice] pilaf are found in Mandarin, Danish, and Greek. It’s the sort of One Dish Wonder food that can have all the fixings: grain (typically rice), meat (at least, a protein), fat, fruits, and veggies. It is closely related to the Spanish paella and Creole Jambalaya, two dishes that are definitely on my “To Make” list. Oh, and biryani, how could I forget?

Pilaf is the ultimate comfort food: nutritionally balanced, texture and flavor diverse, and able to feed a ton of people in one batch. It’s not the prettiest thing in the world, I know, but it’s one of the most adaptable and economical dish there is. Pilaf is the sort of dish you could have every day and every day it would be a little different, one that could feed a family that needs that kind of security.

This recipe is all about its personality, and not necessarily how it looks on a plate. So go on, make some pilaf/plov/pilav/pilafi. I guarantee a feeling of contentment, fullness, and leftovers for the next few days. 

Turkey Quinoa Pilaf

252 g Dry white quinoa
750 ml Water
20 g Dried parsley
20 g Fresh basil, finely chopped
1.25 lb. Ground turkey
120 ml Pino Grigio (or water, if you prefer)
30 ml Unrefined apple cider vinegar
1 White onion, finely diced
1 Carrot, finely diced
1 Celery rib, finely diced
4 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 Ginger chunk (about the size of a garlic clove), finely chopped
113 g Canned fire roasted green chiles
1 tsp. Sea salt   

Prepare the quinoa with the 750 ml water and cook as you normally would prepare it, either in a rice cooker, pressure cooker, or a large pot.
Fold in the parsley and basil with the cooked quinoa and then set aside.
In a large skillet pan on medium heat, generously grease the bottom with your cooking oil of choice (I used coconut oil), and cook the ground turkey until it is browned.
Add the remaining ingredients to the skillet until softened and remove from the heat.
Fold in the turkey mixture in with the quinoa thoroughly.
Serve warm as part of a salad with lettuce, tomato, feta cheese, avocado, hot pepper, cracked pepper, and your choice of an acidic vinaigrette.

Serves 6 – 8.

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