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Spinach, Garbanzo, and Kidney Bean Risotto

Spinach, Garbanzo, and Kidney Bean Risotto

Creamy warm spinach is something you probably need to be older than, say, 8, to appreciate. But then I think it exponentially grows in appreciation as you get older. I can see the crossing of the graphs and appreciation over the years. Must be the mathematician in me.

We had some rich spinach and cream sauce left over from the Trader Joe’s salmon and spinach dinner and I wasn’t sure what to do with it. Well, I’m rarely “sure” what to do with anything, let’s see how well it plays together with something else. It was thick and zesty and had spices I forget to use: nutmeg, Dijon mustard, and fresh lime juice.

I also had some rice + barley + I forgot TJ triple medley in the fridge. I always have cans of garbanzo beans and kidney beans within steps of the kitchen. I wondered if the creamy spinach would be too, hmm, creamy. I had some chopped up mango chunks left over from my 5-year old’s lunch. Maybe a little Sambal in there to liven things up. Let’s put it all in the wok and see what happens.

Spinach, Garbanzo, and Kidney Bean Risotto

Whoa. I hadn’t expected the crunch of the garbanzos and kidney beans to bring such texture to the creamy greens. Some of the leftover salmon was in there for a little dash of prickly spice. We had about half cream and half almond milk, but we have gone all non-dairy. I wonder what a few slivers of almonds in there would have done?

In the “write this down so I don’t forget” category, here are the already-blurry ingredients.

  • Trader Joe’s recipe on the label of their wild salmon.
  • Bag of frozen spinach
  • 2 cups of half and half or cream (we used some almond milk–who has cream lying around?)
  • Teaspoon of nutmeg
  • Tablespoon of Dijon mustard
  • Fresh squeezed lime juice (might have been for the salmon, I just put it in there)
  • Hmm, not sure what else.
  • Then the triple play rice + barley + something box from The Trader
  • Can ‘o kidney beans
  • Can ‘o garbanzo beans
  • Wok

This was one of those dishes where you see the last few bites in your bowl and you seriously have this pang of sadness. Like when you’re about to finish a thrilling novel or the movie is about to end. You want it to last, you think about stopping and saving it, you battle with decisions, but usually decision making is too slow and it’s gone, it’s over, that was that and you move on with your life. Which is why I’m writing this down, so I can try to recreate this one day for my mom.

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