Wednesday, April 1, 2009

quality fuel

Tonight’s dinner fueled me through a 10 page paper on the 17th amendment. Mighty impressive.


Don’t those look like JEWELS?! They were the star of the dish I made yesterday (well really it all started two days ago) for tonight’s dinner….


Black bean soup!

The recipe:

2 cups dried black beans

1 tbsp vegetable oil

chilis of your choosing (below is my pick, and I couldn’t tell you what type they are, just that they weren’t super spicy- they were in a bag of reduced produce and I said “ooh, fun!”), 1/2 a big onion, 3 cloves of garlic

prepped veggies

splash of red wine vinegar

1 tsp cumin

1 can of fire roasted tomatoes

roast tomatoes

(in my case it was a can minus 1/3 of a cup because I used some the other day but obviously a whole can is the easiest way to list it!)

a lime


Cover the black beans with water. Let soak 24 hours (I started this whole operation Monday night). Drain and rinse.

Heat the oil in a pot on medium heat. Chop onion, add it. Chop garlic, add it. Brown up nicely. At the point we hit that stage, I was still chopping chilis, so I deglazed the pan with some red wine vinegar to buy myself some time, and it was tasty! Add chilis, and REDUCE HEAT AND COVER. I stuck my spoon in so it was cracked a little bit, but make sure the lid is tilted so the air coming out is not facing you. You do not want chili vapor in the air! Agh! Let them cook for a few, then add your cumin. Stir everything around for a few seconds, then add your tomatoes. Stir around a few seconds, and add your beans. Add enough water to cover. At this point, there was probably 8 cups or so of stuff in my pot (mine has a measurey thing on the side, which is so nice!). Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer. For a long time. I probably did for like four hours. You do not want undercooked black beans. Ick.

Whenever you want to serve it (in my case, it was the next day, which I recommend because more time for the flavors to meld is never a  bad thing!), scoop out 1/3 or so of the soup and puree it in a blender or food processor. Stir that back in, and finish with more cumin, salt and pepper, and the juice of half a lime (you could definitely add more, that’s just all I had).


Dried beans are such an inexpensive source of protein, and they also have the advantage over canned beans of not having a frighteningly high sodium content!

This soup is also almost ridiculously healthy. It’s 110 calories for 1 cup.  My batch made 7 cups, so I had a cup and a half tonight, and packaged the rest in three more 1 and a half cup servings and one 1 cup serving.

I LOVE making a big batch of something and then having it to thaw whenever I need a quick dinner. It’s so much more economical and healthier than takeout, and it’s so much more tasty! Frozen premade soups seriously saved my butt this November. I got in a horrible car crash (not my fault!) coming back from school after Thanksgiving break, and I got to go from a hospital to finals week. NOT FUN. If I didn’t have those soups in my freezer, I probably just would have not eaten, but instead I had comforting, nutritious home cooked food.


Tonight I topped my soup with my leftover guacamole and pico de gallo from Chipotle the other day. Does anyone else find their guacamole to be weirdly sweet? They probably use sweetness to cover up poor quality avacadoes.


On the side, I made seriously ghetto nachos by sticking my tortilla halfs in the toaster, then topping with some shredded cheese and microwaving them.


Ugly, but tasty!

Now I’ll give you a preview of tomorrow’s lunch!

Take a Trader Joe’s whole wheat tortilla. Top with tapenade.


Then add half a can of smoked salmon


And some spinach


Wrap adorably in plastic wrap! (To be clear, it was resting atop the plastic wrap the whole time. I do not put food on my bare counter. Ew.)


I’m excited about this flavor combination, although I will definitely have to have a MINT or GUM afterwards.

It will be accompanied by these guys, giving me some lovely fiber, protein, calcium, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and many other good things, I am sure.



p.s. giiiiiiiiiiveaway!

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