Do you know what Spring means? It means you can grill outside without getting frostbitten! To celebrate, I had people over and we made tofu and chicken satay so that all our vegan and omnivorous friends could eat happily. In retrospect, this is the kind of meal that would be ideal to put together the night before and then cook the day of so that your brochettes can marinate and so that you can talk with your friends instead of running around like a chicken with its head cut off (that’s so not vegan).
When I was a wee lass, my only requirement for a meal was that it had to consist of mostly white food. In retrospect, I’m sure my monochromatic diet was at least partially responsible for my infamous mood swings that caused my mom to carry around a banana — the EpiPen of people allergic to sanity when they’re hungry — in her purse that she could force-feed me when I got nasty. Carbohydrates have a tendency to suddenly and unexpectedly abandon the bodies of 12-year-olds with overactive metabolisms.
As a wee adult, my palate has somewhat expanded and my idea of what makes something worth eating has certainly changed. Pasta is still my go-to food, but now I like decorating it with more than just butter and salt.
For the sake of my stomach and my relationships, anything I cook for dinner has to:
- Take less than 20 minutes to make
- Use less than two pots or pans that require cleaning afterward
- Have something green in it
- Keep me full for at least an hour
- Primarily come from somewhere other than a box
- Taste good the next day
This pasta bowl satisfies all six of my conditions and is deliciously springy. My recipe is enough for one person, but it’s stupid easy to double or triple or just make for everyone you know.
Rice and beans have the kind of relationship most of us can only hope for. They’re so stable and complimentary to each other. They provide comfort to countless people and inspire love poems. If you wanna get sciency about it, rice and beans are the perfect couple because together, they have the right proportions of the 9 essential amino acids that make up a complete protein. They might not be terribly sexy, but there’s no denying that their relationship is rock solid. In honor of the happy couple, here’s a recipe for hot days when you just can not think about cooking.