Thursday, March 13, 2008


It has been a very interesting two weeks here at Test Drive Kitchen. Anyone who has ever been on crutches will tell you the same thing. Sure they can get you somewhere, but what the heck do you do when you get there? Nada. Nothing. Zip. Ever try to hold a cup of coffee while on crutches? Not a pretty sight. I'm thinking of inventing a coffee patch for my forearm.

So, it's been quite a challenge to make any kind of meal without assistance. With hubby gone all day, I've figured out some shortcuts and relied heavily on anything I can roast, simmer, braise or slow cook. Basically recipes that are almost totally hands off and allow me to sit on my tush.

One of my favorite and not at all sprained ankle friendly recipes is risotto. Here is my post about a saffron butternut squash version:

Since risotto requires stove top hovering, I decided to make a "poor mans" version of this scrumptious dish with similiar flavor - but sadly not the creamy texture.

I toasted a cup of (rinsed) quinoa in a dry saucepan for five minutes, while I prepared previously peeled and cubed butternut squash in extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper. I put this mixture in a casserole dish, which then went into the oven (preheated at 425F). Meanwhile, I added 2 cups of chicken broth to the quinoa and brought it to a quick boil. Yes, mom, I did sit while I waited for it to boil! After the boil, I covered the pot and let it simmer for 15 minutes. When the quinoa was finished, so was the butternut squash. The squash is finished when brown at the edges and soft and tender to the touch. In hindsight, I wish I put some roughly chopped shallots in the roasting pan, because that would have added a LOT of flavor to my final dish.

For an early lunch today, I took a 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa and 1/4 cup of roasted butternut squash and sprinkled 1 T of shredded parmesan cheese and a pinch of saffron threads. I mixed it together and let the cheese melt.

All in all, it was very satisfying lunch. I didn't expect the creaminess of risotto, so I wasn't disappointed.

Hey, 20 minutes with barely any standing up. I'll take what I can get!

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