You know what I’m talking about. Weeknight food is different from weekend food. Sometimes weeknight food is a bowl of cereal at 9:30 pm. Worse things have happened. Tonight, I was determined to do better than cereal. It’s been a busy few days at work, and with my vacation coming up, of course I am busier than ever. Mustering the energy to cook anything when it’s 90 degrees out and 180% humidity is difficult, and when you factor in what I like to call “summer brain” it’s game over.

On the train home I was wracking (racking? I believe there is some controversy over the correct usage here) my brain to come up with something to make that involved little to no purchasing of ingredients. Things I knew I had: romaine lettuce, brown rice, cilantro, tomatillo salsa, goat cheese, 1/2 a zucchini, 1/2 an onion, 1/2 a lime, and garlic. So…what about one of my cold / hot salad combos? I love love love hot brown rice on cold salad greens. Don’t ask me why, I just do. All I had to buy for this particular dish was black beans. This is a fridge clean-out idea, so improvise based on your own ingredients. Mine happened to feature Latin flavors, but yours may skew more Asian, or Italian, or Greek. Just go with it.

So, here’s what I did:

Combine bunch of cilantro (scientific measurement there), few tablespoons olive oil, few tablespoons tomatillo salsa, juice of 1/2 lime, and salt in a blender. Blend until well mixed and set aside. Cook 1 c. of brown rice. Combine rice with cilantro mixture.

Heat olive oil in a saute pan. Add 1/2 chopped onion, 1/2 chopped zucchini, and 1 minced clove of garlic. Saute for 3 minutes or so. Add can of rinsed black beans. Add dash of cumin, chili powder, and cayenne pepper. Salt to taste. Heat beans through.

Add bed of chopped romaine to a shallow bowl. Top with rice, then bean mixture. Top with goat cheese (or cotija, or queso fresco, or even cheddar or jack cheese). Enjoy!