Monday, 8 July 2013

Bok Choy Black Bean Bowl

I never guessed being kid-free would be so hard.  Two weeks without running to soccer, making snacks, arguing about bedtimes or cleaning up messes sounded like a good idea.  Two weeks to eat out, go for long walks and meet up with old friends was going to be so much fun.  The theory of it all makes perfect sense, but my heart is aching for something different.  Maybe it was being around kids all weekend that started this angst in the pit of my stomach.  Seeing Josilin and Luke's closest friends was a bittersweet reminder that they are not here with us.  I'm certain they are off having the time of their lives, but until I see the whites of their eyes, I worry.

Driving home from a friends' house yesterday I was trying to identify the emotion stuck in my chest.  Longing.  It reminded me of breaking up with a boyfriend and then visiting your happily married friend.  That feeling in the pit of your stomach of wanting something more and knowing it is not soon within your reach.  I want my kids back.  I want to hear their whining, their excuses and laughter.  I want to snuggle in close and not let go. Once they return, I will feel like the smartest mom on Earth.  I'll go on and on about how travelling was such a great decision for both of them.  I predict I'll even type those words here.  But the in between, the waiting for their return- it's hard.  Harder than I ever dreamt possible.  We fill our days with distracting activities and yummy food that nourishes the soul.  We try not to talk about the kids and instead discuss the finer points of silly TV- House of Cards anyone??  Perhaps it will get easier as time goes on and we will have a little more fun in the days that remain.  Or maybe, we will just keep counting down the days.
As for this recipe, it's a quick and easy one with a nice punch of flavour.  You can pull it together in under 30 minutes with minimal effort.  The lime marinated onions are the secret ingredient, so don't skip them. The recipe made enough for four servings~ a painful reminder that only two of us were eating.  Oh who am I kidding!  Luke never would have ate it anyway.  So, it made a nice supper and leftovers for lunch the next day.

Bok Choy Black Bean Bowl

adapted from Whole Living

1/2 cup millet
1 red onion, diced
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 1 lime)
1 tsp kosher salt
2 Tbsp coconut oil, divided
2 cups black beans, (drained and rinsed if from can)
2 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp sriracha sauce (more if you want a lot of heat)
Kosher salt
1/4 cup water
3 baby bok choy, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped

Bring 1 cup of water to a boil.  Add millet, reduce heat and cover.  Cook until water absorbed and millet tender, about 20min.  Reserve.
Combine red onion, salt and lime juice.  Allow to marinate, minimum of 20min and up to one day. Reserve.
In a medium pot, heat 1 Tbsp coconut oil on medium high heat and add garlic, ginger and sriracha.  Saute about 1 min and then add black beans and water.  Simmer until heated through and water simmered off, about 10min.  Reserve.
In a cast iron pan, heat remaining 1 Tbsp coconut oil on high heat.  Add bok choy and stir fry until softened, about 8 min.  Add red pepper for 2 min more.
To serve: fill bowl with warm millet.  Top with black bean mixture, bok choy, red pepper and marinated red onions.  Season with salt/pepper to taste.  Enjoy!

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