I’m not really what one would call Proficient in the Kitchen. I can read and (mostly) execute a recipe like a mofo, as long as it mostly consists of cutting vegetables/meat/cheese and frying/baking/grilling. Beyond that, I have few Big Kitchen Skills: I make a mean guacamole, the kind that will whisper sweet nothings to you till you eat it all, and then punish your stomach until you poop after you’ve eaten it all. Baking is more my style; my muffins have won world state awards, people.

I don’t have the technical know-how to construct a dish from start to finish, and I don’t have the palate to carefully balance flavors and taste sensations. Up till I was, well, okay, not that long ago, I referred to table salt as “zest.” The most epic reference to “zest” is when my family and I took a took to Toronto, when I was about 10. We went to a Chinese restaurant, and all I ordered was plain white rice. I then politely asked for the zest. And everyone made fun of me, and continues to make fun of me to this very day. So, salt used to be a very exotic, very flavorful food additive to me.

Now I use fun things like garlic, and dill, and other not-very exciting spices.

BUT NEVER FENNEL. NEVER FENNEL!!!!!

Okay. Moving on. So, I’m not a good/great cook/chef, whatever. I made something today that was yummy (to me) and simple (to me – especially since half of it I already have in leftovers – but next time I can make that part of it separately).

One of my favorite “dishes” when I was younger was (again) plain white steamed rice with bean sprouts. Mom made this for me a lot. I don’t know where she got the idea to make it, and I’m usually not good on dishes that have a big crunch buried in a smooshy texture, but I looooove rice & bean sprouts (with zest).

Anyway, I made some the other day and had some leftovers. I accidentally bought medium-grain rice, which turned out to be stickier/gluier, which turned out to be better to cook, because I don’t think I’ve ever made a pot of long-grain rice without a layer sticking to the sides of the pot. Always fun to clean.

I wanted some veggies to eat today, so I cut up some of my staples for sauteeing: asparagus and mushrooms. I’d gone on a veggie-shopping spree the other day and got a ton of stuff for $20, so I figured I’d throw some of that in there. I didn’t feel like chopping up or cooking the eggplant, so I just threw some broccoli in, and then cut some corn off a cob and put it all in with garlic, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and a bit o’butter. Mixed it in with the rice and bean sprouts and omg yum! I loved it! It was so simple, not super-crazy as far as ingredients, preparation, or cooking, and I just loved it. Immediately after finishing it, I was already thinking of making some more for leftovers at work the next couple of days. The only change I might make is putting the bean sprouts in with the other veggies so they get a little more of that sauteed flavor. The corn was a last-second “oh, this might be good” – and it was one of my favorite parts. Sweet corn made sweeter by slight caramelization? H to the f yes!

This is definitely going to be one of my quick, go-to meals! A cup of cooked rice is only 242 calories, and I can cut that serving in half with all the veggies I add! With minimal butter/butter substitute/olive oil and salt, not that bad for a pretty filling dinner. Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I’m going to go make good on my promise to make more for leftovers this weekend (and try not to eat it all right now)

What are your favorite Quick Noms?