It has been a loooong time since I’ve shared a recipe, or at least it feels that way. When Trader Joe’s didn’t have what I needed to make a lentil curry dish for lunch this week, I was forced to go against the list.
Regular readers probably know that I’m a stickler to my store list. My handy-dandy list limits impulse buys, ensures I remember (most) things, and keeps me from wandering around like a lost and very confused child. Yes, the list is a must, so you can imagine how devastating it can be when my little TJ’s is missing 3 of the 5 ingredients I need for a recipe.
I improvised. TJ’s – 1, Tiff – 0. But my improvisations helped me make something awesome. TJ’s – 1, Tiff – 1. It’s a tie; I’ll leave it at that.
Tuscan Tomato Rice Bowl
- 5 servings of brown rice
- 3 cups low-sodium veggie broth (best if it’s got a fair amount of tomato in it)
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- small handful of grape or cherry tomatoes, chunked/diced/whatev
- 1/2 cup fresh, thinly sliced basil
- 1 bag fresh spinach (looking back, I think I’d buy a frozen box of it next time)
- 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 3 oz sliced, sun dried tomatoes NOT in oil (I used 5/6 the full 3 oz. I ate 1/6 in a sandwich. Recommended!)
- Cook rice according to package directions in broth. Meanwhile, prepare other ingredients.
- Heat oil in pan. Add onion and saute until soft.
- When rice as 10 minutes remaining, gradually fold or stir in spinach. It will wilt and cook down significantly.
- To onions, add fresh tomatoes and basil. Cook and stir 3 minutes or so, then remove from heat.
- When rice is done cooking and needs to rest, stir in any remaining spinach, chickpeas, and sun dried tomatoes. Then stir in the onion, basil, and tomato mixture. Let all ingredients cool slightly. Serve into 5 containers for a week of awesome lunches.
This comes to approximately 310 calories per serving if you divide it into 5 servings. It really depends on which ingredients you choose, but that’s about what mine equaled.
Note 1: I would have loved to have added a little more fresh spinach and some toasted pine nuts. However, I cook on a budget. I also cook simple meals. I think you all will appreciate both aspects. If not, go buy yourself some pine nuts. I bet they’re lovely.
Note 2: I would have also loved to add feta cheese. That’s no surprise. I’m also keeping an eye on calories, and I think many of you will appreciate that as well. If not, go buy yourself some feta. I bet it’s lovely.
By the way… I named this “Tuscan” because of this funny “news” article from The Onion:
Area Woman Will Eat Anything With ‘Tuscan’ In Name
MARCH 2, 2009 | ISSUE 45-10
JEFFERSON TOWNSHIP, NJ—Veterinary assistant Lauren Millardi, 27, will eat any dish prefaced with the word “Tuscan,” sources reported Monday. “Tuscan shrimp, Tuscan garlic chicken, it doesn’t matter,” said Millardi’s boyfriend, Tim Vernacini. “I’m not really sure if she even knows what makes food Tuscan, but there’s something about that region-specific culinary modifier that she finds inordinately appetizing.” Vernacini added that Millardi likely would have loved the 2003 movie Under The Tuscan Sun had it not failed to meet her strict film criterion of having taken place between the years of 1743 and 1919.
This dish would actually be much more “Tuscan” if it included white beans and orzo instead of chickpeas and rice. Close enough though, right?