Monday, October 4, 2010

What to Eat and Drink While You Listen to Dirty Projectors' Bitte Orca

I don't really know what I expected to eat when I decided to be vegetarian. I didn't like vegetables. I didn't like beans. I had never even tried tofu. Was my self-loathing really so great that in my metabolism's glory days, I decided to take fried chicken out of my life in favor of a diet consisting mostly of foods I would describe, at that point, as "icky"? Wait, we're talking about junior high. Of course it was. Something beautiful happened, though. Repeated exposure is a magical thing and, eventually, I began to love things that grow from the ground.

It took me a few listens to get into Dirty Projectors, as well, but they managed to permeate my indie rock buzz band ennui thanks to their aggressive utilization of Tricia's Three Most Important Elements of Awesome Music on 2009's Bitte Orca: harmonies, a good beat, and unapologetic weirdness.

Inevitably, I will dance and sing around the apartment if I put this album on, so if I'm going to eat anything (and I really should as and man cannot live on boogie alone....yet - get on that, science!) it had better be a meal that will pump me up, or else I'll get bored and leave the table.

These days, my cooking philosophy relies on two questions:
  1. What do I already have in my pantry/fridge?
  2. Can I stuff it in a red pepper?
All this considered, I recommend listening to Dirty Projectors while you eat quinoa stuffed red peppers and drink pomegranate margaritas. It's got all the good stuff (veggies! heaps of protein!) and all the bad stuff (tequila!) that I learned to love and will put you in the mood to rock out until you pass out.

Quinoa Stuffed Red Peppers

  • 3 red peppers
  • 1 cup of vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 cup rinsed quinoa
  • 7 oz Extra Firm Tofu (Get the regular 14 oz package and use the rest for something else!)
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 onion
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • Dash cayenne pepper
I start by chopping the veggies, because that always takes me forever. When that's done, cook the peppers however you like! My oven has a broil setting, so I do that, but you can just stick 'em in boiling water. Then, boil the water and vegetable broth together. Once it's good and bubbly, reduce the heat to medium-low and add the quinoa. Cook that for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the quinoa has absorbed all the moisture.

While that's going down, put some olive oil in a pan and add the tofu. You can either chop it up first or smush it up while it's in the pan, which can be kind of fun. Just get it into small pieces somehow and move it around the pan a bit until it has some color to it. Add the carrot, onion, garlic, and spices and saute it for a few minutes. Add the quinoa and stir everything up. Finally, stuff the peppers and stick everything in the oven for about 20 minutes

Pomegranate Margaritas

I've always just used this recipe without bothering with pomegranate ice cubes or margarita salt.

2 cups pomegranate juice
1/2 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons orange-flavored liqueur (triple sec or Grand Marnier)
1/2 cup tequila

Blend or serve on the rocks.


  1. The first time I listened to Dirty P's, he had just put out "The Getty Address" and it was not harmonious at all. hahaha.

    Also, pomegranate margaritas. Salivating.

  2. I totally meant to specify that I meant Bitte Orca. Serves me right for blogging in the 5AM hour!