Friday, February 6, 2009

Quinoa Soup With Avocado and Corn: I Want to Go to There

Yesterday, Leigh threw out some much-deserved props for Tuesdays. Today, I’m giving it up for Thursdays. I LOVE Thursday nights, almost more than Sunday mornings. The work week’s almost over. I can have a glass of wine without feeling too guilty. And of course, 30 Rock and The Office are on.

I don’t watch crazy amounts of TV, but NBC’s Thursday nights are a must. It’s been that way since the ‘80s, when Bill Cosby took Rudy and Bud to see vaudeville genius Bill Irwin, and continued through the ‘90s, when Ross and Rachel sucked face in the rain outside of Central Perk. Now, Jim and Pam and Jack and Liz provide ample distraction from my work day, while Tracy and Dwight add a boatload of welcome absurdity.

And man, if last night don’t beat all. First, “IT IS YOUR BIRTHDAY” and “That’s how I got Squeaky Fromme.” Then, Alec Baldwin’s abuela seduction and a guest appearance by Jon “Cartoon Pilot” Hamm. (Incidentally - WOW, that guy is handsome. I’d like to invite him to a pants party, if you catch my drift.) It was a dang near perfect hour, marred only slightly by 30 Rock’s finance guy interns. They reminded me greatly of an ex-boyfriend, from the excessive drinking to the hockey obsession. If they’d started playing James Bond video games, I might have had an aneurysm.

Anyway, all this Thursday night wonder went down while I was enjoying a lovely bowl of the Seattle Times’ Quinoa Soup with Avocado and Corn, suggested by CHG reader AJP. (Thanks, Alicia!) Quickly prepared and super-filling, it’s a faboo Mexican-tinged after-work soup, and pairs well with a Corona and/or a Liz Lemon one-liner. You might be tempted to leave out the lime, but don’t. It brightens everything up, and can be used in your beer afterward.

P.S. When you guys say the word “quinoa” (keen-wa) out loud, does it remind you of the song “Sadness” by ‘90s group Enigma? (The one with the monks?) To me, it always sounds like the main singer is saying, “Sad. Quinoa.” But I could be taking crazy pills.

Quinoa Soup With Avocado and Corn
Makes 4 servings
Adapted from J.M. Hirsch at The Seattle Times, who got it from Lorna Sass' Whole Grains for Busy People

4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup quinoa
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1/3 cup chunky salsa, to taste
1 ripe but firm Hass avocado, diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Lime wedges, for serving

1) In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat broth over high until it comes to a boil. Add quinoa. Drop heat to medium-high. Cook (still boiling) 15 minutes.

2) Add corn and salsa. Stir. When it comes back up to a simmer, kill the heat. Remove the pot from the burner. Add avocado. Stir gently. Salt and pepper to taste. Add cilantro. Stir again. Serve with lime wedges.

Approximate Calories, Fat, Fiber, and Price Per Serving
298 calories, 10 g fat, 7.2 g fiber, $1.25

4 cups chicken or vegetable broth: 67 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g fiber, $1.33
1 cup quinoa: 636 calories, 9 g fat, 10 g fiber, $1.38
1 cup frozen corn kernels: 133 calories, 1.1 g fat, 3.9 g fiber, $0.40
1/3 cup chunky salsa, to taste: 23 calories, 0.2 g fat, 1.4 g fiber, $0.33
1 ripe but firm Hass avocado, diced: 322 calories, 29.5 g fat, 13.5 g fiber, $0.99
Salt: 0 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g fiber, $0.01
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro: 1 calories, 0 g fat, 0.1 g fiber, $0.49
Lime wedges, for serving: 10 calories, 0.1 g fat, 0 g fiber, $0.08
TOTAL: 1192 calories, 39.9 g fat, 28.9 g fiber, $5.01
PER SERVING (TOTAL/4): 298 calories, 10 g fat, 7.2 g fiber, $1.25


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