Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Quinoa Casserole and Plan B

What up cool kids? This week we got our act more or less together in order to bring you a delicious and easy recipe (I think this is a theme…) and a nice Argentinian movie. 

This casserole is very flexible and flavorful, but it is way better with the sauce, so I suggest taking the time for it too. By flexible I mean today we made it with just quinoa and beets and it was still good. Not as good, but I'm just saying—quinoa is already a complete protein so you don't need the chickpeas. 

Quinoa Chickpea Casserole

1 ¼ cup   uncooked quinoa
1 cup        vegetable stock (or soup, like butternut squash is good)
2 cups      water
1 ½ cup   cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1 ½ cup   fennel bulb, julienned (can be omitted, but then you should add dried fennel)
1 cup        red bell pepper (medium pepper baisically)
4              cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp      olive oil
1 tsp        fennel seeds
1 ½ tsp    dried basil
1 tsp         dried rosemary
½ tsp        dried thyme
½ tsp       sea salt
½ tsp       allspice
1             dry or fresh bay leaf
                freshly ground black pepper to taste
¼ - ½ cup chopped basil or parsley

Preheat oven to 400. In lightly oiled, deep casserole dish combine everything  and stir. Cover and bake for 50-60 minutes, stirring occasionally, until quinoa is cooked and all liquid is absorbed. Remove from oven and add a little lemon juice if desired. Or add balsamic maple sauce.

Balsamic Maple Sauce

¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2 tsp earth balance butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)
3 tbsp tamari (teriaki w/ water, or soy sauce, or breggs works fine too)

In a saucepan on low heat, combine all but the tamari and arrowroot. Let heat while mixing arrowroot and tamari. Add the arrowroot mix to the saucepan and whisk everything and heat to a boil for a minute, continuously stirring. Remove from heat and cool, it should begin to thicken. Or if you're lazy like I often am, you can get away with splashing some maple syrup, soy sauce, and balsamic vinegar together. 

Plan B (2009)
Written and Directed by Marco Berger

So, Bruno breaks up with his girlfriend because he "got bored," but when he sees her several months later with a new guy he decides he wants her back. Despite sleeping with Bruno again, she flatly refuses and he decides to hatch a new plan—seduce her new boyfriend instead! I won't spoil how that unfolds for you, but with a premise like that and a blog like this I think you can guess how things might go (although perhaps not in the way you're expecting.)

Despite it being kind of a jerk move, can I just say that I really enjoy that Bruno thinks this is a reasonable idea at all? It is treated sort of as a joke, it is a "funny" premise because "haha straight-looking man pretending to be gay! It's home-wrecking but it's silly!" but that is also sort of the reality of the world and makes his movement past that all the more of an interesting change/conflict. 

The movie itself is quite long. Not because a lot happens per se, but because every scene feels like it has an extra ten seconds or something, and there are a lot of silent, still city shots (which are nice but…). This is very good for capturing awkward moments and gives the whole movie a very mellow feel, but just maybe don't sit down to watch this after you're had coffee or something. There is also an excellently done high scene. 

So all-in-all, an ok film if you want an off-beat romantic comedyish thing with some Argentinian Spanish thrown in.

Queer Rating:
Lore: 6 out of 10 beets
Syd: 5 4 beets, I remembered I gave Bound a 5, and this is definitely less queer.

Overall Rating:
Lore: 4 beets
Syd: 6.5 beets

See you next week! (in some capacity, I am leaving mid-week for a wedding, but we'll figure something out.) 

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