Quinoa with Sweet Potato & Pine Nuts

April 23, 2012


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This has been a long year. Sometimes I feel quite tired. So tired that my body aches–from sitting. I have various perches: swirling classroom chairs, straight, wooden library chairs, crumb-covered bistro chairs, soft sofas, (which are the worst for aching) dining room chairs, bar stools. The floor. I sit everywhere, but somehow, never for rest. Always typing, typing, typing. Learning statutory construction, the social implications of transgenic food, Chevron deference.

Yes, it’s been a lot of running around. Do you ever have the feeling, when you are running, that you are actually impossibly bored? Not running, running, on legs. I mean running from one task to another so that your head aches and your shoulders ache, as though they are all connected as shock-absorbers of your violent typing and the meaning of the words going down?

Millions of words. I have typed millions of words. And I have sprinted from place to place, looking for the best chair in the house.

Hence, you see, why my creative energy has gone into things other than typing. Like walking in the April rain, (which is really welcome respite because we have had so little rain this year, and because I have done so little walking) or kneeling over slabs of blank paper and pushing thick pastels around with my palms. That ceases the swelling in my head somewhat, and the pulsing fervor of my fingers.

Cooking is the best thing, though. Cooking means eating, and whether seated or upright, what better time is there than mealtime? No better: my day peaks at three magnificent points. Even the privacy of a hard boiled egg has come to astound me. Every morsel counts, and each one gets my singular, primed attention. I’ve been trained to concentrate so hard on the law, and it’s nice to turn that rigor of thought ¬†onto my meals. Never have I been more present over my brown bag.

Sometimes at night I cook ahead. In my ranked-list of enjoyments, anticipating my meal is a very close second to actually eating it. So I bring jars of food along that remind me of the moments I spent cooking in the evening. The moments when I’m drinking my wine, imagining the respite. Just before I get going again, hurrying to sit still with the whirr and weight of my brain.

Quinoa with Sweet Potato & Pine Nuts

1/2 c quinoa

1 medium red onion, diced

2 c water or broth

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

1 baked yam, cubed

1/2 c toasted pine nuts

1/2 c parsley, chopped

1oz chopped feta cheese or grated parmesan (optional)

lemon juice, s&p, olive oil


In a sauce pan over medium / high heat…

Saute onion in olive oil until tender–about 10–15 minutes.

Add quinoa and stir.

Add 2 c water or broth and bring to a boil–boil about 15 minutes, adding more water if necessary.

Add a squeeze of lemon juice, salt, pepper and olive oil.

When slightly cool, mix in cheese, vegetables, nuts and parsley.

** At lunch, I eat this from a glass jar 1/2 full of raw spinach. Desert is an orange and 2 squares of Almond Sea Salt chocolate.

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