Are you done yet? I’m bored.
So the idea is to create a signature dish that actually defines the chef in a way, either literally or metaphorically. I was so intrigued by the idea that I decided I wanted to give it some thought.
Turns out I didn’t have many thoughts.
But one night last week I threw together a dinner that was so tasty and satisfying to me, personally, that I knew I wanted to remember how I did it so that I could repeat it.
It was only after I’d eaten it that I realized it was a great candidate for the “You Are What You Cook” challenge. Improvised entirely from my kitchen staples, a recipe doesn’t get much more “me” than this.
- 1/4 cup brown rice
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup almond (or other non-dairy) milk
- 1 tsp coconut oil (optional, but AWESOME)
- 1 tbsp tahini
- 1 tsp miso paste
- 1 tsp Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce to taste)
- 1/4 cup dried hiziki seaweed, reconstituted
- chopped veggies to mix in, as desired (I used about 1 cup frozen green beans and chopped spinach)
- Gena’s Carrot Miso Dressing for topping, if desired
- Cook rice in water as directed per package instructions.
- Once rice is finished cooking, stir in almond milk, oil, tahini, miso and Bragg’s. Continue to stir over very low heat until well combined and no longer runny.
- Stir in seaweed and veggies as desired, making sure all is coated in the rice/milk/flavor mixture.
- Serve topped with a generous dollop of Carrot Miso Dressing (or whatever topping best defines you).
Come to think of it, this recipe would work equally well starting with 1/2 cup leftover cooked rice. Just start at step #2 and proceed per remaining directions above. Much quicker!
So how is it that this “defines me,” you ask? Let’s start with the name. Not the recipe’s name, my name: Diana. (Side note: Paul Anka’s “Diana” just came on the internet radio station I’m listening to right now. Creepy.) According to the all-powerful Google, the meaning of the name Diana is “divine.”
Definitions of the word divine include the following:
- Having the nature of or being a deity.
- Superhuman; godlike.
- Supremely good or beautiful; magnificent.
- Heavenly; perfect.
In the interest of full disclosure, one has only to lay eyes on me to see how I embody the above definitions, so let’s just skip to the part where I explain how “divine” applies to the recipe.
See, divine may also mean “extremely pleasant” or “delightful.” A pretty convenient definition to relate to my dinner, eh?
It’s really not more profound than that. I find the combination of the basic ingredients (rice and vegetables) with the chosen flavors (almond, sesame, coconut, miso, Bragg’s) extremely pleasant. That’s why I always keep them around. Always. Next time I do this, the veggies I mix in might be different, depending on the state of my freezer stash, but the formula will remain. That’s the delightful part—it’s super-easy and highly adaptable to what one may have on hand!
Speaking of adaptation, this post comes with bonus material.
The Divine Rice recipe actually has an express version! You know, because us deities sometimes have better things to do than watch rice cook.
I mentioned earlier that this would be much quicker to make starting with leftover cooked rice, but if rice is simply not an option, period, I thought you might like to know that this can be done really nicely with oatmeal instead.
The components are the same (though I didn’t add the seaweed in this instance), but rather than rice, I cooked 1/2 cup oats in 1/2 cup water + 1/2 cup almond milk. The rest of the ingredients were added as per the recipe instructions above. The whole thing only takes about 10 minutes!
I feel pretty confident that this is the kind of dish that is most typically “Diana.” When I don’t have a meal premeditated or a recipe to follow, this is the kind of thing that ends up on my plate. Could be worse!
What kind of meal is typically YOU?