Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Introduction to Poetry

I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide

or press an ear against its hive.

I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,

or walk inside the poem's room
and feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author's name on the shore.

But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.

They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.

by Billy Collins from The Apple That Astonished Paris

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Red Quinoa With Oro Blanco and Avocado

Serves 4

Heating the quinoa in the saucepan imparts a nutty flavor to this pseudocereal (technically it is not a grass). This dish makes for delicious leftovers or it can be made ahead; you should add the avocado the day the quinoa is served.

2 teaspoons olive oil
3/4 cup halved and then thinly sliced leeks (about a half of a small leek)
4 cups red Swiss chard chopped, with red stems chopped and set aside (about 4 leaves)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup red quinoa
1 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 oro blanco grapefruit, peeled, with individual wedges cut in half
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 medium avocado chopped into 3/4 inch pieces

1. Heat oil in a 12 inch skillet on medium. Add leeks and red chard stems. Cook and stir occasionally until softened, about 5 – 7 minutes.
2. Add chopped chard leaves and kosher salt to skillet and cover. Cook for about 8 minutes, stirring once so that leaves wilt evenly. Uncover and set aside.
3. Meanwhile, add red quinoa to a medium saucepan and heat on high for 30 seconds. Add liquid and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, until most liquid is absorbed. Taste quinoa to test for doneness. The grains should be translucent, red and the germs should have opened.
4. Toss in the grapefruit, feta and raisins. Salt the avocado and gently toss the avocado in last. Serve warm or at room temperature.
**Red quinoa is a complete protein just like plain old white quinoa. Protein is made up of amino acids, 12 of which are produced by the human body. Another 9, called essential amino acids, must be obtained from food. A complete protein contains all of the essential amino acids.
*Compared with white quinoa, the red variety has a subtle, earthy flavor, but it’s just as easy to digest. Once cooked, it has a light brownish color.

Recipe by Cristina Paul

Monday, April 6, 2009

Blah-Blah-Blahg: Food For Nought

I feel like Uncle Joey from Full House, 'cause all I have to say is: "WOH!"