I have been going vegetarian a lot more often.  In fact, I just finished the leftovers of rice and two Indian vegetarian curries.  With the combination of paneer cheese and fresh vegetables, I didn’t even notice the meat missing.  I have mainly two people to thank for the higher frequency of vegetarian meals appearing at my table ~ my friends Priya and Dana.

I love these girls and eating out with them.  I have been cooking with Priya quiet often, especially for my installment of You Buy, I Cook.  Dana and I haven’t spent that much time in the kitchen together until this last-minute meal.  Soon after I moved across the bridge, Dana came over for dinner.  Neither one of us had a solid plan in mind for what to make.

When she arrived, Dana unloaded a bag of broccoli rabe and a container of my favorite Italian olives – Castelvetrano.  

We looked through my yet-to-be-organized pantry and pulled out buckwheat and a can of garbanzo beans.

On the menu:
Buckwheat pilaf
Hummus
Roasted broccoli rabe
Olives
Red wine

This couldn’t be easier.  The idea of putting these items together might appear strange, but strangely enough, everything went together quite harmoniously.

How to prepare:
Buckwheat pilaf  Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add 1 cup of buckwheat, season with salt and stir to coat in oil.  Toast buckwheat, stirring, for 2-3 minutes.  Add 2 cups of water, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the buckwheat is tender.

Hummus  Puree 1 can of drained and rinsed garbanzo beans with 2 tablespoons of tahini, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 1 clove of minced garlic, ground cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper to taste.  If the hummus is too thick, thin it out by adding a little bit of water.

Roasted broccoli rabe Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Drizzle the broccoli rabe with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.  Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet and roast in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes.

I would encourage you to give vegetarian meals a try.  Cook them together with your friends and enjoy!

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