Last week, Alex was skiing in Jackson Hole Wyoming, while I was back in NYC, working. There are a couple ways in which Alex being gone changed up my routine, but the most startling was that I was cooking for one. When ALex is eating with a friend or works late, I often find myself uninspired and lazy about making myself food. Cooking for two is easier, cheaper, and just more fun. However, I couldn’t eat grilled cheese or omelets for a week, so I devised a plan to make a healthy and delicious meal each night with relatively little effort. It all started with a family pack of chicken legs that cost me about $3.00 at Morton Williams and ended with this:
When I was a freshman in college, my roommate made stuffed peppers. I had never had them before. For an 18 year old with zero real cooking experience, these seemed pretty advanced- our standard meals consisted of hamburger helper and some variation on pasta. If I weren’t eating that, I went to a “healthy” fast food place like Pita Pit that accepted my meal plan because we didn’t have a cafeteria. It’s not so hard to see how one could gain 15 pounds eating that way. But I digress. I decided this week to make these all-in-one meals since we were low on produce but had two beautiful yellow and orange peppers laying around. I substituted ground beef for hot Italian sausage and white for brown rice. The result was a quick, easy, and relatively balanced meal of protein, carbs, and veggies.
2 red, yellow, or orange bell peppers
1 1/2- 2 cups of cooked rice
2 hot Italian sausages (with removable casings)
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Get the rice started immediately, you’ll want it to be fully cooked before you incorporate it with the other ingredients. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Wash and dry your peppers. Slice off the top so that it makes a hat of sorts. Scoop out seeds and clean out the white stuff and your peppers are ready to be stuffed!
Fry up the sausage removed from its casing and try to keep the pieces small. Once the sausage is fully cooked, add the garlic and onion until soft. Then, add the rice. This is your stuffing. Season the mixture with salt and pepper and stuff it into the peppers. Put the tops on the peppers and carefully put them into the oven. Let them cook for 20 minutes and voila, you’re done.
Rice, 292 Elizabeth Street, New York, NY
I dined at Rice in Nolita Friday night after reading a review from the Young and the Hungry Blog. I first saw Rice in Dumbo, actually, just last weekend after having walked over the Brooklyn Bridge. Funnily, I was curious as to what kind of a restaurant it was; I should have guessed that Rice serves rice. Lots of rice, in fact. The abundance of the gluten-free grain is exactly why I chose it for dinner with my friends from home before seeing The Gypsy West and The Shills at The Bitter End.
We were seated almost immediately, despite the fact that some of our party wasn’t there yet. Since we were waiting, we had quite some time to peruse the menu. Rice only serves wine and beer, and I was not in the mood for wine. Instead, I stared enviously at Caitlyn’s Sapporo, and sipped my water. Once the other half of the party arrived, we discussed which dishes we would choose. I eyed the Indian Chicken Curry, which is a chicken and mushroom curry topped with bananas, yogurt, almonds and raisins- it sounds delicious, no? Too bad. It wasn’t gluten-free. I’d known this earlier had the service been better. We spent a good 20 minutes deciding and no one came by. When they finally did, I told them about my gluten allergy and magically, a gluten-free menu popped up. I love it when restaurants have gluten free menus, it makes eating out ten times easier and enjoyable. It did not contain Indian Chicken Curry. So, I opted for the Thai Coconut Curry (chicken, shrimp, or tofu in red curry sauce) with Thai black rice.
I have never had black rice before, and despite looking like bugs, it was delicious! Fully cooked, it had a harder texture than white or brown rice and a nuttier flavor than brown rice. It was hearty and satisfying. The curry was mediocre. The curry itself was too thick and not spicy enough for my tastes. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised that my curry contained no chicken, since I don’t remember ordering it, but the lack of any protein was a disappointment. In any case, it was probably the worst Thai curry I have had, but edible, considering the rice was so delicious. I would return just to sample more rice and enjoy the cozy atmosphere, but would order something else.
- Gluten-free menu
- Variety of rice
- Fireplace with real fire burning
- Slow service
- No cocktails
- Mediocre curry