This would be the 6th Valentine’s Day I’ve shared with Josh. It’s hard to believe we’ve been dealing with each other for that long! Something must be going right though as this was the first year we each did a little something special for each other. And by this I mean we bought each other food : ). No chocolate or teddy bears, but rather jerky, nuts, dried berries/fruit, and hummus. I love this about us. We avoid the crazy ‘holiday’ crowds and 5 course-set-price meals. I have worked as a waitress in some nice establishments and when it comes to days like Valentine’s Day (and Mother’s Day) you really are just a number. It’s too busy to give quality service when you’re table is booked for numerous couples both before and after you eat. The main concern is making sure you, the guest, are out of your table before the next reservation walks in the door. I cannot see the point in paying for this. But anyway, I’ll save this rant for another day.
Josh and I decided to cook a meal at home like any other night. The way I see it is the food we cook daily is worth being served with any holiday/celebration. It’s not that I think it’s that good, but rather it satisfies both of us in the best of ways, i.e. nutritionally. This is one of the numerous reasons I love Josh. I have never met a man more concerned with his sugar intake and how the food he eats affects his body. Think about this. Do you ponder the effects of each piece of food you eat? Or do you know anyone who does? And I don’t mean from a diet/weight approach. Josh isn’t worried about calories, just the ill effects food brings upon Americans every single day! Yes at times I wish he would just indulge a bit more, but in the grand scheme of things it truly is a beautiful quality.
This night was one of the very few where I arrived home before Josh. His work is super busy right now and I could hear the stress in his voice when he had a little phone chat. So I thought I’d have a nice treat for him to come home to. Fresh home-made authentic hummus and Arabic bread (pita) purchased from a small restaurant Arabesque. Honestly this is the best hummus and pita I have ever had! If you live in Boulder you need to try this food!!
As for dinner I made a quinoa pasta dish with broccoli rabe and chicken/turkey sausage. I am sad to admit I had never cooked broccoli rabe before this. For no good reason either. But I will say I fell in love. It very closely resembles Chinese broccoli. Slightly bitter with a stalk that cooks perfectly. I’m not a fan of broccoli florets, I prefer stalks and leaves. I can say you will be seeing plenty of broccoli rabe in my future! This was a simple 3 pan/pot dish: pasta cooked in a pot, broccoli rabe in a large saucepan, sausage in a skillet…
- Broccoli Rabe, 1 bunch
- Olive Oil
- Garlic, 5 cloves
- White Wine, splash
- Fire Roasted Red Pepper Sausage, Applegate Organics
- Fennel Seeds, ~1 t
- Oregano, ~1/2 t
- Bragg Liquid Amino, ~1/2 t
- Quinoa Elbows
- Pecorino Romano
1. Prep. Broccoli rabe: wash, dry, remove bottom of stem, and coarsley chop. Garlic: peel and slice super thin, I very very carefully used my mandolin. Sausage: chop into rounds. (The only reason I bought cooked sausage is we grocery shop on the weekends and I don’t have to worry about the meat going bad sitting in the fridge).
2. Heat pot of water for pasta.
3. In a skillet add some olive oil, fennel seed, oregano, and Bragg liquid aminos. Heat over medium heat.
4. When hot add the sausage. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. The goal is to brown each piece.
5. In a large saucepan, I used nonstick, add the olive oil and garlic. Heat over medium heat.
6. Cook until garlic starts to sizzle and then add the broccoli rabe. Toss well to coat with olive oil. Season with salt and mix well.
7. Pour in a splash of white wine, cover, and steam for 6-10 minutes. When done, broccoli rabe with be bright green, wilted, and the stems still tender crisp.
8. Meanwhile pasta should be about done cooking and sausage nicely browned.
9. Add sausage and pasta to broccoli rabe and season with s&p. Toss with a bit more olive oil if necessary. Top with pecorino romano. This dish was wonderful: few ingredients, simple cooking, and delicious tasting!
I am happy to report there were leftovers from dinner. For me leftovers = lunch = minimal kitchen time in the morning. And there were enough for Josh to have some too. So I reheated them in my nonstick skillet and added some tomato and carrot. I roughly chopped a roma tomato and grated a small carrot. Figured I’d add a little more life to my food..