Friday, June 30

I've Got Worms...

...and I'm so excited about it!

These beautiful worms are the surprise I mentioned in my last post. Now, I don't have space for a flock of sheep, alpacas, horses or even hens, but I can finally begin to tune my latent shepherding skills with something, it just happens to be worms.

But let me begin at the beginning of this story. I've always been interested in sustainability. The environment was always an issue growing up because my dad is a developer (oh, sorry, agent of land reform), but not to worry, he's one of the good ones. At any rate, I grew up watching him read EIR reports and the like. So when Bryan and I found our home, it was the potential of the garden that drew me as much as the house itself. I knew that I wanted it to be as ecologically friendly as possibly, and given my current fascination with growing things I can eat, that means organic.

So, to take a step even further back, I know all about compost from growing up in a house where my mom was an avid gardener and had a large vegetable garden that I paid exactly zero attention to. What I did know was that she also had a large compost pile. What that meant was that one of her kids would have to take the often slimy bucket of slop from under the kitchen sink and dump it on the pile and then (shudder) rinse out the bucket and dump that water on the pile. So gross, especially when you're a teenager determined to be normal though you know in your heart you really don't fit in (but that's an entirely different story). OK so my experience is that compost = gross. But, after researching on the internet, and buying many bags of compost from the gardening shop, I became...

oh my god. A mouse just ran under the refrigerator. Mel, the terrible watchdog that she is, was fast asleep in her crate. I immediately roused her and tried to get her to scare the mouse away, but she just looked at me as if to say - yes I know, when you go to the refrigerator you give me a treat, so where is it? - I swear, if I weren't allergic, I'd trade her for a cat right now.

Anyway, sorry, back to the I was determined to make my own compost. I then stumbled across a fabulous site - this is an LA County site and service. I have to say, it's really awesome when local government works and is helpful. Listen to this: the county of LA puts on FREE composting workshops and they sell subsidized composters. How rad is that? So last Saturday I headed off to Calabasas where the incredible Curtis was leading a workshop. I got all my questions about composting answered, and I was ready to buy a composter and get started (which I did by the way). Thinking the rest of the workshop wouldn't apply to me because it was about smart lawn care (I have none) and how to plant a fire zone (safe there) I started to tune out, until he started talking about WORM COMPOSTING!!!

It's so fabulous, I can't even begin...Ok so basically you have a worm bin and in this bin you feed the worm vegetable scraps and they in turn eat the veggies and their bedding and give you Worm Tea which is a liquid SUPER FERTILIZER that you collect thru a tap at the bottom of their bin. This fertilizer has to be diluted at 6:1 otherwise it acts as herbicide. I don't have my notes in front of me, but I'm pretty sure Curtis said that the fertilizer is 40% better than anything you can buy. AND if you dilute it 12:1 you can spray it on your plants and it will fertilize them and kill the bad bugs. The best part is, it's totally and completely natural. I know, it's so good. BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE....(I sound like an infomercial, I promise, no one is paying me to write this). After a few months you can harvest the worm castings which when you plant seeds into it have a 98% retention rate. It's like super fertilizer for your plants.

After hearing all this I was determined, I had to have a worm composter post haste. Unfortunately, and this is maybe my favorite part of the story, the bins were all stuck in customs in Long Beach. One gentleman in the workshop asked why they were so complex that they needed to be imported from Canada. The deal is that Canada, the UK and Australia all give major government subsidies to companies that produce environmentally oriented products - like completely recycled worm bins. Sigh. Can't the US focus any positive energy on the important things. This is not a political blog, I'm not going to get into'll just make me crazy.

So back to worms. I got the call today from Curtis that the bins were in and I could come back to Calabasas and pick mine up. As a side note Curtis is one of those people who clearly loves what he does and his positive energy is completely infectious. I honestly didn't think anyone would ever get me so excited about raising worms that I'd wait all week in anticipation for their arrival. And he hunts snakes (to capture, not kill). Anyway, Mel and I headed up to Calabasas while we hung out in a lovely park while we waited his arrival which was delayed by his coworkers and a late FedEx truck.

It's beautiful up there. I love the golden grasses and scattered oak trees. Mel was pretty calm as it was about 102 degrees when we got there. Though she did have a go at some tennis balls and a rabbit.

So finally I got my worm bin and Burger King cup of worms. All came home and I set up the worm bin.

As you can see, Mel was more interested in tearing apart her ball than in her new housemates.

The thing about the worms is that it's important to feed them as you put them in, otherwise they'll abandon ship, as Curtis informed us thru several funny anecdotes. So feed them I did.

As you can see they get a full supply of vitamins with carrots, cauliflower, and kale. And finally I placed them in their new home.

I was shocked to see how many there were. I thought I was starting with maybe 30, but as you can see there are A LOT more than that. I then covered them with their bedding and placed them on the back patio. Worm Tea Super Fertilizer here I come!

Thursday, June 29

Girls ONLY Weekend

That's right. This weekend it's just me and Mel, because Bryan's off to Mexico to fish with his dad and friends.

To kick off our weekend of freedom we went on our daily hike this morning. Mel and I have gotten into the habit of hiking one of two trails/roads in Elysian Park every morning. Well, hike isn't really the right word, jog maybe? But no, it's more of a Sprint As Fast as You Can and then Stop Suddenly to sniff and then Walk to catch your breath. This is how we rock it.

So today I thought I'd take my camera around to better explain why I love that Elysian Park is right next door.

This is the start of our trail. As you turn a bend, suddenly you're beside this church, which pops up out of nowhere.

I noticed today that along the trail all the flowers are white right now.

This is my absolute favorite trail flower and I have no idea what it is. Does anyone know? It looks like a big trumpet flower that grows in weedy greens next to the trail.

Along the way we also pass this view of Los Angeles.

So much of LA seems so covered in asphalt and cement that it's nice to have such a green view of the city. True, the skyline is a bit brown from the smog, but it's summer. That's what happens here. Fortunately there are trees too.

At the top of the trail, someone has created a garden with a watering station for dog.

Mel, of course, does not drink from the bowls, but from the puddles between rocks.

At the end of our sprint/sniff/hike even Mel needs a break in the wet grass.

So that's one of our hikes. It's about 4 miles round trip and is better than coffee for waking you up at 7am.

On a sidenote, this guy landed on my desk yesterday...

Do you think he knows that flower is just a stamp? He was pretty determined to hang around it. Even after I took him outside to release him (which is at least 5 good karma points by the way).

And so begins a long girl's weekend. What else does the weekend have in store for us you ask? Well there's always practicing for obedience class and working on the video business. And I have a really fun surprise coming in the next couple of days. I'll elaborate when it gets here, but for now it's back to work (or at least other distractions provided by the internet).

Wednesday, June 28

How to Save a Peach Tree

The first and perhaps key step in saving a peach tree is to know almost nothing about trees. Aside from the trees in your backyard growing up, you really have no experience with growing trees, and even that experience was limited to the fact that you have parents who cared for those trees, and also you paid no attention.

Next, move into a converted art studio that has a big overrun garden and a half dozen fruit trees. Nod, knowingly when the owner identifies the trees for you: Avocado, Plum, Fig, pomegranate, Lemon, Lime, Tangerine, oh and that volunteer Peach that never produces good fruit. Agree that the peach tree should be removed to give more space to the Avocado and that weird yellow flower kind-of succulent tree thing that looks tropical.

Become convinced that with a little TLC and some fruit tree fertilizer that you buy at the garden store, that your peach tree will produce great fruit.

Get too busy to administer TLC or fertilizer.

Decide that you should, in fact, take out the tree. Tell this to husband who reacts as if you've asked him to help you murder someone. Finally agree with him that if the tree volunteered itself and managed to grow into a big tree, it deserves the right to live. This is also a good excuse for not going to all the work (and it would be a lot of work) to remove it.

Continue to ignore it, even as it starts to look ill.

When your mom comes to visit and tells you it has peach tree curl, nod knowingly. Agree that you will go to the garden store and get some of the spray that will heal it. Do not purchase said spray.

Magically the peach tree curl will go away on it's own and baby peaches will form. Continue to ignore the tree while you look lovingly at the now-producing plum tree...

..and fig tree

Finally, know in your heart that you have saved this tree through your sheer laziness from a death sentence imposed by the landlord. Also become convinced that next year, it will get that TLC it so desperately needs. For now, you'll be satisfied with peaches that just aren't very good.

Pasta Caprese

This is another recipe that falls in the so-easy category. It's practically a no-cook dish. I made this recipe up last night when we wanted something quick and tasty that would require a minimum of heat from the stove (it was still in the 90s at 7pm). So for this I combined a recipe from epicurious and Williams Sonoma.



I bag pasta (I used fusilli, but penne or really anything would work as well)
3 Tbsp fresh lemon basil, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
1 tsp chives, chopped
1/2 zucchini, quartered and sliced
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 chopped tomatoes (or in my case 1/2 tomato chopped and a handful of garden cherry tomatoes)
1 clove garlic, diced
1 container fresh mozzarella, chopped
2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

Put the water on to boil and add pasta and salt when boiling.

In the meantime, chop up the ingredients and mix together the herbs, tomatoes, zucchini, garlic, and onions.

Chop up the mozzarella and set aside.

Cook the pasta until just al dente and drain. Rinse with just a little warm water. Add the mozzarella and Parmesan first. All the real Italians say that you should always add the cheese to the pasta first so that it can melt a little to the pasta. Last night I didn't rinse my pasta with cool water, and it stayed so hot that the Moz all clumped together. I think next time the key is to get the pasta to the point where it's warm but not too hot.

Toss with the oil and vinegar and add mixed ingredients. Stir to coat and combine. Serve.

This pasta is just as good the next day cold (maybe even better) as it is warm. It would work well as a cold pasta salad dish for a potluck.

Oh, and the thing about the lemon basil is that I accidentally bought and planted the wrong herb a last week. I meant to buy regular old boring basil but apparently I bought lemon basil. So much for pesto. Anyway, the lemon basil is quite fun and livens up this dish quite a bit. I highly recommend planting some in your garden if you haven't already! I imagine it would be good with chicken if you were into that sort of thing.

Tuesday, June 27

The Perfect Fruit Smoothie

I am a woman who likes to blend. I also like to slice and dice. I own 2, count them 2 food processors and a blender. And I use them all regularly. Now I love my blender, however, every once in a while tragedy ensues. In our case, tragedy usually comes as a result of our concrete floor. Tile is more forgiving than concrete, so when the blender jar left my grasp and crashed to the ground, it shattered into a million little pieces. Tragedy.

Fortunately, it's not very hard to order a replacement jar, which I did. And it just arrived yesterday! So I'm back to blending on top of my processing, and in honor of the new jar I thought I'd share my recipe for the perfect fruit smoothie. This is a recipe that I've been perfecting for years, ever since Mom used to make us fruit smoothies every summer growing up. I've added a bit since those days, but kept the basic concept the same.

My first step is 1 scoop of Trader Joe's Protein Powder.

Don't go by the instruction on the container and put in 2 scoops, it will make your smoothie way too chalky. Do buy all your non-produce from Trader Joe's because they are awesome (I'll elaborate in future post). 1/2 to 1 scoop is perfect to give your smoothie that bit of protein to make it filling.

Next....1/2 cup Vanilla Soy Milk.

The problem with smoothies that you buy at Jamba Juice etc. is that they use a lot of sherbert or sugary yogurt in their smoothies, which tastes good but jacks up the calories like nobody's business. So to get that smoothness and a little sweet I use 1/2 cup vanilla soy milk at 70 calories instead of 200.

From here I usually throw in whatever berries are in the fridge that I'm afraid aren't going to make it to my cereal tomorrow morning. In this case it meant a handful of strawberries and blueberries along with the juice of 1/2 orange.

Now this next part is really key. I don't believe in adding ice to my smoothies unless it's really hot out because I think the ice makes it too watery. What can I say? I take my margaritas on the rocks too. So how to make it a smoothie and not a juice? I use at least a cup of frozen fruit. Be it mixed berries, strawberries, blueberries or, as in this case, 1/2 pineapple and 1/2 mango. The frozen fruit gives it the chill without watering it down.

Really, the more frozen fruit the better in my view. And finally, last but not least, 1/4 to 1/2 a banana, depending on how banana-y you want it to be.

Blend that baby up and you have an awesome meal in a glass.

Perfect for when you want a light lunch or hearty snack. Chock full of all those things that are good for you.

Oh and before I forget. Last night I made Quinoa Salad with Mango & Herb Marinated Shrimp from Well Fed. Forget what I posted earlier about the beet quinoa. Make this recipe as soon as you possibly can. It is fabulous, especially if you happen to love mangoes, which I happen to know at least one of my readers does. AND it's Bryan-approved, unlike my earlier concoction.

And finally, what's with the weather. I know it's global warming and all but LA is a desert. When did it become humid like Hawaii? Yuck! Give me back my dry heat and sunny skies!

Monday, June 26

A Man and his Dog

Bryan and Mel on a hot summer afternoon. Both in their favorite spot: Mel on the front porch on the welcome mat, chewing a bone; and Bryan napping on the couch with the doors open.

Life is good.

Cake on FIRE!!!

As you can probably tell from this video, it's Kinzie's birthday (Bryan's sister), well, technically it was Saturday but we celebrated it on Sunday. After a lovely beach picnic, we returned back to the house for a BAKED ALASKA (or baked Alaskan, I'm not sure, though I like the additional connotations of the latter). Now, before I became a Kramer I was not familiar with this dessert. I'm not sure how I made it into my 20s without knowing about a desert where your pour FLAMING BRANDY on top of a cake, but my life is much more complete now that I've witnessed it.

I don't have a recipe for it per se, (Susan want to hook us up?) but I do understand the basic construction which I will explain here.

Basically you bake some angel food cake and layer 1/2 into the bottom of a glass baking dish. You then mound ice cream on top of the cake (the one above had chocolate chip, mint chocolate chip and chocolate). This is then topped with the remaining angel food cake so that it creates a mountain. You then whip up some meringue and spread it on top of the cake layer. This is to seal in the ice cream for the next step and because it's very tasty. The next step involves placing the mountain under a broiler for like maybe 10 minutes (I wasn't really paying attention) while you heat the brandy in a small pot). Now the final and best step is to light a match and set the brandy on fire. This fire is then poured over the cake so that in the case of a birthday, you don't blow out candles but the whole cake.

There is no more entertaining dessert on the planet. Seriously, I dare you to come up with something more fun than pouring flaming brandy on an ice cream cake.

Sunday, June 25

Drifter Pictures goes to the Theater

For those of you who I haven't talked to about this yet, I'm creating a branch of our company that will focus on filming and editing theater performances. Given the 8 million plays and one-man shows that happen in LA every year, and given how actors always need material for their reels, I think there's a market for this service. I've watched several producers scramble at the last minute to try to find a friend who has a video camera, and I can only assume they end up with a DV tape they never deal with. With our service, they would end up with a nice finished DVD with titles and menus.

To that end I'm working on our initial advertising. I'm thinking the best/cheapest way to go is to distribute postcards to all the rental theaters and spaces, not to mention coffee shops, around town and see if we get any bites. Bryan and I agree that the postcard should be extremely simple, so simple that it will stand out in a crowd of photographs and graphics. Here are the two options I've come up with. I would LOVE any and all input as I'm looking to send these out to be printed at the end of this week.

This is the basic idea which we believe to be eye-catching because of the solid color with small text. The idea being that you would have to pick up the card to read the text. I know the quality isn't so great here so what the card says is "A performance lasts a night. Film lasts forever. Make your performance last." On the back will be information about our service and our website to go to for pricing info. Here's the 2nd version:

This, clearly, has a little more going on. Now leaves don't really have much to do with theater, but I feel like they give the sense of time passing, or the ephemeral nature of theater or some other pretentious ideas. At any rate, they make the card more interesting, in my opinion, but maybe they also make it easier to pass over.

So please, I would love any and all input on these graphics or any other ideas you might have. I'm trying to avoid doing something cheesy like a video camera pointed at the theater happy/sad masks (I know that has a name, I'm just blanking at the moment)

You can post comments here or email me directly if you'd prefer

Saturday, June 24

So-Easy Salad

On Thursday I got my last organic shipment from Love Delivery (if you're in LA and want organic produce delivered to you, I highly recommend them), and in it was a pint of cherry tomatoes and a couple heads of broccoli. Wondering what to do with so many cherry tomatoes when my plants are already starting to produce, I turned to Martha Stewart for advice. The following recipe is adapted from one of hers. My love of garbanzo beans stems from my Freshman College roommate who was a strict vegan and taught me the joy of the chick pea (that name always makes me wonder if there's a butch pea out there, maybe we should change the name of the black-eye pea to the butch pea, but I digress...). She would throw them in her everything salad, make hummus from them, you name it, she used it. Unfortunately I didn't pay that much attention back then and so have forgotten many of the uses besides hummus and in green salads. I was delighted to find this recipe if just because it seems so obvious I never thought of it.

I have, of course, changed it a bit from the original, but I think in doing so have made it tastier. So here goes.



1 pound broccoli, cut into small florets (about 4 cups)
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2 oz feta cheese
1/2 small red onion, diced
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
Salt and Pepper

Steam broccoli until crisp/tender. Now this is important: DO NOT PULL THE BROCCOLI OUT OF THE STEAMER AND PUT IT IN YOUR MOUTH TO TEST ITS CRISP/TENDERNESS!!!! I can say from recent experience that it will burn your tongue, worse than pizza.

In a large bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, mustard and onion. Add the broccoli, chick peas, tomatoes and Feta and stir until mixed together. Add Salt and Pepper to taste. Let cool for 5 minutes. Enjoy!

That's it. And you end up with this delicious, simple summer salad. It's also really good the next day cold.

I'm serious about the tongue thing. Don't put hot broccoli on your tongue to test it. Cool it off first!

Friday, June 23


Yesterday, Bryan and I, along with Bryan's family, attended his cousin Amanda's graduation at Harbor High School in Newport Beach. Since it's that time of year, I thought I'd share a video of the song that was sung as part of the ceremony. Now, though I am a mean shot with a video camera, this is the first time I've ever shot a video with my little digital still camera, so bear with me. And doesn't Bryan look somber at the end (that's his thinking look).

Also, here's a picture of Bryan and his sister Kinzie.

And here are a couple of pictures of who we believe to be Amanda, although with hundreds of kids all in the same robe, it's hard to know for certain.

After the graduation march they released a flock of white doves. Susan's concern, which I shared, was that it was cruel to release doves to the wild if they've only ever known captivity. Fortunately Kinzie reassured us that the doves are trained to return to their cages after about an hour. Which leaves me with the question: What do they do in that hour? and do they ever pick up other wild doves along the way? Do they just find the nearest telephone line and hang out until someone tells them breaks over? Do they eat, drink, make dove love? I watched them fly away and they were out of my sight within about a minute, so they must have gone somewhere. What would I do with an hour or two of pure freedom before returning to the safety of captivity?

I think the doves are really the best metaphor for graduation, not because doves mean peace and love, but because they are released from the comfort of their known world, to fly to what they believe is freedom, only to quickly realize how much they miss that security. Happy graduation day? Happy welcome to the real world, it's time you start paying your own bills day. So good luck class of '05. I hope you don't miss your old cage too much before you create a new one for yourself.

I wonder if every time they are released, maybe one or two doves go awol. I feel that way about most graduating classes.

Wednesday, June 21

Something's Happening...

...In the Garden.

Check it out. My first cherry tomatoes of the season.

I can't say enough good things about that straw I put down as mulch for the garden. Seriously, I didn't need to water for 2 days because it did such a good job of keeping the ground from drying out. Yes, it's messy, but if you're working on your own garden, you might want to consider it. While watering today I noticed my first pepper of the season.

I'm not sure if this is a Jalepeno or Cayenne (I can't remember exactly which one I planted where, but I think it's a Jalepeno. We'll see if it turns red and then I'll know for sure.

Mistake of the day: The plums on my plum tree are in fact ripe. I took one look at them and assumed that they were still immature because of there size and color.

Not so. In fact, when I touched one I realized it was soft and when I tasted it, I realized it was perfect. There's nothing like a ripe plum picked from a tree while it's still sun kissed and warm. Delicious. I have a TON of plums, so if you know any good plum recipes, send them my way and I'll try them out and post the results. Or if you're in LA and would like a taste and a bag to take home, stop by!

And finally for the QUESTION OF THE DAY: What's eating me?

This is one of the tomato plants I transplanted from the shade (it was a sunny spot before the fig tree filled out) into a more sunny spot. Clearly this stressed it out as I pulled off a bunch of yellow leaves over the next few days. By now it seems to have aclimated, so I'm wondering if the above picture shows that it's just still a little stressed or if that looks like a bog is getting to it. Gardeners, I await your thoughts.

Tuesday, June 20

Interviews and Companions

This is Tim

Tim is our friend who played the lead in our short film THE BOX, that we are working to make into a feature film. Here he is at the premiere of another short film he was just in entitled EXIT INTERVIEW. Doesn't he look fab in his green suit?

We went to the premiere because we had heard lots of good things about the film and they were all true. Here we are in the theater (he really was taking a picture of us, not just those two in the front)

The premise of the film is that a man who is in a bad place in his life, goes to a job interview only to slowly discover that it is an exit interview he had set up before this life. In fact, his body is hanging in a car accident below. He's to determine whether he's learned all the lessons he set out to learn and so move on, or return to his life and continue this journey. I won't tell you which he picks. The print was gorgeous and it was fun to see so much support for a short. I even had one of my rare celebrity sightings (I'm always the one who either doesn't see the celebrity standing in front of me that everyone else sees, or I just don't know who they are) when I noticed Tony Shalhoub in the audience.

Also this weekend we went to see A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION,

so the question of the day is...What is this movie? I get that it's probably not directed of me because I am not a rabid fan of the radio program, but the film just left me so confused. It's actually a lot like the radio program in that it's slow, without plot and though Garrison Keillor's voice is sort of pleasant, it makes me want to change the channel after 5 minutes. The attempts at plot fell so flat that I was left wondering if the characters weren't some elaborate inside joke that only fans would understand, and thus leave the rest of us out of the club and confused. I don't get it. I don't like it, and I sure don't understand it. If anyone out there can explain the appeal of this film/radio program/host, I'd be much obliged. But in the meantime, I'd wait until this comes out on video. It's the kind of movie that's good to put on in the background while you're doing something else, like cleaning, or cooking.

Monday, June 19

Christmas Quinoa (in June)

This is a recipe that I created tonight that ended up looking like the above, which is not too bad considering what I started out to make. But before I get into that, I just want to start by saying that beets are creepy. I have always avoided them and never purchased them. Maybe it's because they look like this.

Once I ordered a beet salad at a restaurant thinking it would be a nice bed of lettuce with a few beets thrown in for good measure...but no. It was a giant tower of beet. No lettuce in sight. Frankly, they give me the willies. When you cook them, they smell bad. When you cut them, they stain everything, including your fingers pink.

So I was at a bit of a loss when my soon-to-be-no-longer organic delivery left me with two large terrifying beets last Thursday. Being brave, I immediately turned to my sources for recipes and managed to find this on epicurious. Risotto, I thought, I can handle that. I didn't want to make another salad, after my first experience, so I decided this Beet and Beet Greens Risotto with Horseradish looked like a fun recipe to try on a night that I was home alone. Except I'm not a big fan of horseradish, unless it's died green and mixed with soy sauce, so I knew from the beginning that I was going to put something else on top. Like mushrooms.

OK so then tonight I go to get the ingredients together only to realize that while the beets are still good, the greens are clearly not. Fine, I'll substitute something else, something that smells good with beets, like basil.

I like basil, and it's green. So, as you'll see in the recipe below I chop up the beets...

and the onion and get all ready to start cooking. And then I realize I don't have any rice for the risotto. What to do? Well, since I'm alone and feeling adventurous (I know there may be a frozen pizza in my future) I decide to substitute quinoa. Because, I happened to have some and I know Bryan's not a big fan so I might as well use it now.

The final result is not at all like what I imagine Beet and Beet Green Risotto with Horseradish to taste like. But it is surprisingly tasty. And the final colors are fun, so I'm calling it Christmas Quinoa in honor of the bright red beets and green basil, though I suppose Beet and Basil Quinoa is an equally fun title. You tell me. Here it is.


1 beet, peeled and diced
1/2 onion, diced
handful of basil torn up
1 cup quinoa
handful of mushrooms, quartered
2 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
a bit of feta or equally stinky cheese (gorgonzola would be good)

Prepare veggies. Melt 1 1/2 Tbsp butter in a pot and saute onion and beet until soft, about 5 minutes.

(Ignore the green in that picture, those are green onions that I should have left out)

Then add the quinoa and 2 cups water.

Bring to a boil, cover, turn down heat and let simmer until the water is absorbed and the little quinoa have sprouted.

Meanwhile saute the mushrooms in the remaining butter and set aside.

When the quinoa is ready, stir in the basil. Season with salt and pepper and mix in the Parmesan cheese. Top with feta and mushrooms and serve.

Now I'll be completely honest, this is not for the faint of heart. There is some serious flavor going on and not necessarily in a good way if you don't like beets. If, however, you love beets and are always looking for new ways to die your cutting boards pink, enjoy!

I would probably serve a small quantity of this (a little goes a long way) alongside something bland, like boring chicken, if you're into that sort of thing to begin with. At any rate, it was an experiment, and came out pretty good. I'm not sure if it'll end up in the vault of great recipes, but it's quick and I imagine fairly healthy.