Sunday, November 21, 2010

Three Grain Pilaf

This morning I tried something new. It's called Nia. I've been wanting to go to the Arlington Center to check out their yoga classes since I can walk there from my house, and my yoga studio doesn't have a class I like on Sunday mornings so it seemed like a good day to venture elsewhere. The schedule just said Nia/Yoga so I went without really knowing what I was getting myself into. Imagine my surprise when I was told I wouldn't really be needing my yoga mat and I could put that aside. It turns out Nia is a combination of dance, martial arts and healing arts. Today's class was to Indian music and it was a lot of fun. Some of the dance moves were reminiscent of the jazz classes I took as a kid. You really have to let any inhibitions go in order to get something out of this kind of class. The focus is on moving and strengthening your body and I don't think there's a part of our body that went unmoved.
This was a good distraction for me since I'm feeling a bit sad about not having raced 'cross this year. I remember feeling similarly at the same time last year after only having had done a few races. It's been a gorgeous autumn - weekend after weekend of pretty Fall days, and as I was putting together the slideshow for tonight's NEBC banquet, I found myself really wanting to jump into the photos to ride my bike on some of those courses.
Last night I did my best to help our friend, Steve, prep for his race today. He came over for dinner equipped with brussel sprouts. In addition to sauteing the sprouts and making some other stuff, I cooked a big pile of grains to help him carbo-load a bit. This is a good basic grain dish that you could add to. It has a nice nutty, buttery flavor on it's own and would be good served with something that has a sauce so it could soak up a bit of that. To use up the leftovers, I sauteed some mushrooms, onions, fresh parsley and peas and added the grains to make a slightly different side dish.
I got this from the Modern Vegetarian Kitchen, and if you're looking for a new cookbook to liven up your collection, I think this is a good one to get. I've cooked a bunch of things from it and haven't been disappointed yet.

Three Grain Pilaf
2 tblsns olive oil or unsalted butter
1/2 cup scallions, white and tender green parts, minced
1 cup white basmati or jasmine rice
1/2 cup millet
1/2 cub quinoa, rinsed
3 cups vegetable stock
3/4 tspn sea salt
1. Preheat the oven to 350.
2. In a 2 to 3-quart ovenproof saucepan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the scallions and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the rice, millet, and quinoa and continue to saute, stirring, for 3 more minutes, or until the grains are fragrant.
3. Add the stock and salt. Raise the heat and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
4. Remove the pilaf from the oven and allow it to rest for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.

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