Catching up and Cookery Sunday: Quinoa Spinach Pie

There’s been a lot of jaw-setting, teeth-gritting as a coping mechanism of late. November’s become my least favorite month. October catches short shrift for being a close neighbor. So while I’ve been searching for a way back, I’ve been just holding on. Holding still and keeping quiet.

The tougher things have been, the more we’ve been eating out. The spending sort of bothered me but I always knew it was really symptomatic of larger problems. Not the fact of eating out itself, but the listlessness with which I went along with it. I’ve always had a line in the sand when it came to the cooking:eating out ratio, both because I don’t like restaurant food that much, and it’s costly. It was fitting that it felt like there was a small turning point with trying a new recipe for the sake of experimenting, for the sake of pulling together the pantry. Baby steps.

The Quinoa and Spinach Pie

I modified this formerly gluten-free recipe to a From the Pantry version.

Personal Edits:  With a search-and-advice assist from @zenvar on Twitter, I soured up some 2% milk with a tsp of vinegar to replace the Greek yogurt that wasn’t on hand, and measured out a Cajun spices mix instead of the dried thyme and chili powder our spice cupboard never has. Surprisingly, we did have breadcrumbs so we didn’t go without a crust, though it wasn’t the fancy sesame seeds.

Ingredients:

Fresh baby spinach (~ 1 lb), blanched
1 cup quinoa to cook, makes 2 cups
1 cup milk/vinegar replacing yogurt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. ground pepper, used black but white was called for
1/2 tsp. Cajun spices, replacing thyme and chili powder
1 shallot, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced

Preparation:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Grease a baking pan and line with breadcrumbs.
3. Cook quinoa.
4. Prep an ice bath and boil a pot of water for blanching the spinach. Blanch the spinach to a bright green (no more than 8-10 seconds) and transfer to ice bath, then set aside on a paper towel.
5. Saute garlic, shallots and spices in olive oil until translucent; transfer to a medium sized mixing bowl to be combined with remaining ingredients: spinach, quinoa, milk, eggs, sea salt and pepper.
6.  Pour into baking pan and bake until golden brown, up to an hour.

I served this with roasted Lime Chicken thighs and roasted onions. Optional: burning your hair stovetop. But that did add some spice to the night.

PiC loved the pie, calls it a quiche, but I’m on the fence. It’s good, but with a sort of critical taster’s opinion, maybe it could have used double the spices and it’s possible the yogurt was more important than just as a dairy component. Next time!

Posts for Perusal

This post about the manipulation of creatives (via Cloud) details a familiar journey from the perspective of a workaholic.

In my earlier years, my triggers were as easily flipped (though eventually some money followed) to overwork, to overcommit, and to make trade-offs that went against the grain dictated by the myopic “Accountants.” Though in my case, it was more frequently a would-be Creative preoccupied with playing god instead of Accountant, instead of seeing a bigger picture and so utterly failing to make the right decisions to steer the company in a positive and productive direction so that our work would be meaningful, reducing our efforts to nothing more than one sad punchline after another.

Luckily, my clarity came after just a few years and my trajectory wasn’t . Of course, I was bearing the burden of more than just my own ego so I had to snap to, pretty quick.

Because professors surely want to be even bigger babysitters than they’re already forced to be, a few universities are piloting new eTextbooks that will track student usage of assigned readings. Thinking fondly of FrugalScholar, Funny About Money, Nicole and Maggie, among other professorial bloggers.

eemusings is watching her Indian friends live life under a marriageability microscope. My parents didn’t force the matchmaking issue but they definitely asked me to “play along” when their friends did. There was more than one old village acquaintance who’d sidle up and propose a marriage alliance, and more than one awkward meeting with a proposed groom. I tried to be a good sport about it for the most part so endured no end of cackling from my parents over the traps their friends would lay to lure me in as I was notoriously busy and shy to boot. Since they never took it seriously, though, I didn’t worry about being pushed into anything I didn’t feel right about. Maybe it would have been less awkward if it were still a completely accepted practice or totally out of date but in the even more awkward phase of generational and cultural gaps, we just shook our heads and all sort of humored each other.

Speaking of gaps, Vanessa’s Money, Bridget and a few other bloggers had some things to say about the recent post by Shawanda grossly generalizing whether women should work in male-dominated workplaces.

One of the major issues I took with the article was the spurious logic and sweeping generalizations, as evidenced by the lumping in of STEM with blue collar jobs as “dirty,” “physically-demanding” and “masculine” as the reasons given for women choosing not to be in male-dominated professions. As if women don’t already face enough sexism in the workplace generally, women in the sciences, leaving out E on purpose here because I’ve seen many friends succeed in E, face a huge uphill battle with basic sexism, so much so that a recent study shows that there is an inherent bias against hiring and promotion of women by both men and women, all else being equal. Some areas of science are equally represented by men and women, but most areas are still male dominated and patriarchal.

For the record, this isn’t my field but I do see the results of that behavior frequently, I follow bloggers who do work in the sciences and have to deal with it, and it’s horrifying that we continue to have to fight for what I’d consider the right to make basic decisions for ourselves. Why are these questions even being debated on a political stage? /digression. My point is: The well worn mental image that women are delicate, women are weak, women would much prefer not to be taxed, let’s protect the poor little women is still out there.

For people, much less women, to be perpetuating any part of this utter gender-based bullshit on behalf of all women is not just insulting, it’s frustrating considering the kind of opposition we already have to fight. Like Alison said, we have people whispering defeatist messages in our ears at a young age, telling young women to worry about looking too smart, worry more about their appearance and not their accomplishments.

Do we need to keep feeding fuel to these same old fights too? It’s exhausting.

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12 thoughts on “Catching up and Cookery Sunday: Quinoa Spinach Pie

  1. So glad this recipe turned out well! As for the taste, it might be worth it to get some chili powder…I’ve learned from experience that even using a cheap chili powder makes a huge difference than trying substitutes (which I’ve done). And if you do get some chili powder, I have an awesome recipe for taco seasoning that is salt free and very tasty!

    I don’t eat out much, but for I treat processed foods the same at home, stuff like frozen pizzas, various breaded chicken bits, anything prepared the same way. I use them, but sparingly, on nights where I just don’t have the energy to cook. But I try to make all that kind of stuff myself. Like you said, it’s cheaper than eating out or store bought versions and is probably better for me. And I know it tastes so much better.

    • We go through big bags of chili powder from Penzey’s. I can’t imagine not having any on hand. Do you not eat much Mexican food? (Our go-to quick meals include chili, soft tacos, quesadillas, nachos, etc.)

      • We don’t make much Mexican, actually. Possibly because we don’t buy much ground beef or turkey, it doesn’t go on sale enough. I do make a lot of quesadillas when we remember to buy tortillas b/c that’s as easy as it gets but that doesn’t need chili powder. We should really get more spices!

        • It’s not just mexican. I’ve got a really good recipe for baked seasoned tortilla chips. They are really good, and sort of taste like chili cheese fritos, with just spices/parm cheese and store bought corn tortillas. If you ever want a great link for a place to buy the most amazing spices for a really good price, let me know.

          I love trying new spice blends/flavor combos. Makes the same old stuff become something new.

          Have you ever used ground chicken? There is a local discount store in the Midwest, called Aldi’s that sells ground chicken from Tyson fairly cheap so it might be worth a look. I love it, it cooks super quick and tastes great with just some salt and pepper.

    • I won’t presume to speak for her as she can offer her thoughts here herself, but I will make sure people know it’s not her writing that crap. :)
      I think that she knows people will stop reading when they know it’s not her anymore, though… I generally only read her new blog.

  2. Male dominated professions pay more than female-dominated professions, even for the women in them, even though women in those professions get paid less than the men in those professions. When male-dominated professions tip female, the wages go down (see: Veterinarians, and soon doctors and lawyers). And no, to my knowledge, I have never broken a nail on my keyboard in my high-paying male-dominated profession. Not that I would care if I did. Nor, I suspect, do female-carpenters, construction workers, etc.

    (Also: plenty of female-dominated jobs require dealing with all sorts of nasty smells and fluids… but they must be ok because they involve care-giving. Poo vs. concrete… I know which I think is worse.)

    • Point 1: yes.
      Point 2: that too. And I meant to mention that (veterinarians, nursing, etc. were on my mind as previously male-dominated professions) but thought my rant had to end eventually.
      Point 3: I suspect you’re quite right. I am pretty sure I’ve broken my nails on everything I’ve done, profession related or not and never once have I wished I’d chosen something less cruel. And yes, my profession was once male-dominated as well. Between some tough (maybe tougher for me than anyone else) negotiating and some good breaks, my wages are closer to where they ought to be than not but they’re not amazing.

  3. Pingback: Link time! - Vanessa's Money

  4. Pingback: A somewhat late link love « Grumpy rumblings of the half-tenured

  5. Thanks for the link!

    I think the big difference with the “E” part of STEM is that it is a practical career, where many in the more pure sciences are doing research and/or working in academia. I think the research/academia environment is much more cut-throat and competitive, and many STEM women in industry will have more positive experiences. I’ve heard a lot of women software people have similarly positive experiences.

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