I Thought I Knew: Concoction Recipes

by Charise Rohm Nulsen

I’ve never really been into cooking. There have been spurts here or there where I’ve gotten on a bit of a roll with it, but I can’t say I’m one of those people who loves to go through the process of actually making a big meal. What I do love is knowing that we’re eating a healthy, home cooked meal a few times a week, and I realize I do need to contribute to make that happen. Luckily, I’ve got an incredible husband who regularly makes favorites of ours such as whole wheat pizza in a variety of styles, the best guacamole ever, and an amazing spicy pasta (I’ll post these recipes at another time).

Still, I have to pull weight and cook a bit too. One problem of mine is that I really hate to follow recipes. Don’t ask me why. It just gives me anxiety for some reason. So, I like to challenge myself by making cooking a game: Make a healthy dinner as quickly as possible using whatever ingredients are in the house and without planning the meal in advance. The result is what I like to call Charise’s Concoctions.

I don’t mind following recipes that I’ve made up myself (this must be some issue with my ego), so these Concoctions do get repeated. See below for last night’s recipe. It makes 4 large servings, or in our case, dinner and leftovers for my lunch for two days. I should also mention that I am a vegetarian, so all of my concoctions are vegetarian in nature, but it’s pretty easy to add in more protein if you would like. I imagine this recipe would be great with some grilled chicken, tilapia, or tofu thrown in (The George Foreman Grill is my friend when these things are necessary).

Total prep and cooking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients
1 can of chicken or vegetable broth
2 cans of Cannellini beans (white beans)
2 cans of Italian style diced tomato (includes garlic, olive oil, and spices)
1/2 bag of frozen chopped spinach
Boil-a-bag brown rice
Garlic powder
Rosemary
Black pepper
Grated Parmesan cheese

What to do
1. Pour the can of broth into a pot with the stove temperature on medium.
2. Add in the frozen spinach.
3. While the spinach thaws and cooks in the pot, put your boil-a-bag brown rice in a bowl of water in the microwave for 10 minutes on high power.
4. Dump the beans into the pot.
5. Dump the tomato mixture into the pot.
6. Sprinkle in a bunch of Parmesan cheese.
7. Sprinkle in a bunch of garlic powder, black pepper, and rosemary (to taste).
8. Bring the concoction to a boil, and then let it simmer.
9. Take the rice out of the microwave when it is done and add it into the concoction.
10. Let the whole thing simmer a while, and then voila! It’s done.

Enjoy! Feel free to comment with your variations and results!

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