Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Beans, Greens and Taters

Country food alert! Country food alert! Well, I've done it again. I've whipped up one of those meals that I used to hate, but now I love. I never did like a lot of vegetables when I was growing up, especially beans and greens, but now I absolutely love them. I'm not sure if it's because of changes in taste from getting older, or changes in taste from going vegan. Probably a mixture of the two, wouldn't you say? Whatever the reason, I'm glad it happened because when cooked properly (i.e. without a lot of added fat) this ends up being food that I really enjoy eating because it satisfies my hunger and isn't too damaging in the calorie department.

First of all, I've got some beans in the red container. It's just a mixture of canned Pinto beans and Great Northern beans dumped together. I know that I really should be cooking my beans from scratch with dried beans, but it just seems like there's never time. I never plan ahead with the whole soaking thing. I did cook them from scratch one time and they were SO much better than the canned stuff. I've been speaking with a coworker about it, and maybe it's not as complicated or drawn out as I thought it was because she said that she usually just soaks beans for 1 hour in hot water and then cooks them in the pressure cooker for 25 minutes or so. I thought it took a lot longer than that to soak and/or cook beans. I guess I need to read up on some recipes online and see what the actual deal is. How sad is that? I have no idea how to cook beans.

Then I've got some more delicious greens. I think she was correct in the book, Green for Life by Victoria Boutenko, when she said that drinking green smoothies would make your body naturally crave more greens as it found itself receiving, in abundance, all of the nutrients that it has been missing. I've only been drinking green smoothies for something like a week and a half now but it just seems like I can't get enough greens. I was so happy when I cooked that kale up from scratch and discovered how delicious it was. And this time I cooked mustard greens. Now I can tell you that I DO NOT like mustard greens from a can. I've had them before and I just do not care for them. These were cooked up from scratch though. The mustard greens were on sale at the local grocer this week and I bought several great big bunches of them. I just grilled up some onions and garlic and then wilted the mustard greens and WOW! This stuff is really good. I know most of you are probably laughing at me since you probably already knew that greens were good, but honestly, I thought I hated this stuff. And now I think I could eat it everyday. Oh well, I guess there are worse things to develop a liking for.

I also brought some rosemary roasted potatoes that I just cooked up in the toaster oven. In an effort to save a few calories, I packed those in a small lunchbox container because I could easily eat a five gallon bucket of these. I just love it when you cook potatoes & onions up like this, with a little garlic salt and some rosemary. It reminds me a lot of the french fries over at the Laughing Seed Cafe in Asheville, NC. Of course those are deep fried, but they cook up onions with the french fries and also throw in some jalapeno peppers. YUM! I might try adding a few jalapeno peppers to my roasted potatoes & onions next time. I think it would probably be very delicious.

And then I broke down and brought some bread, Joanna's Cornbread Muffin to be exact. This is still my current favorite cornbread recipe. It has lots of nice flavors since it contains corn, onions, bell peppers and jalapeno peppers. However, there is a recipe over on the message boards at the ppk which caught my eye the other day which contained cream style corn and roasted red peppers. I might be trying that one soon. It sounded really good.

So there's lunch for Tuesday. Nothing complicated. It was all fairly simple to prepare, and there's not a lot of added fat in anything. Just some canola oil spray to get the onions going for the greens, and a little more on the pan that the potatoes & onions roasted on. That's one of my favorite things about Joanna's Cornbread Muffin recipe, by the way. Unlike a lot of other cornbread recipes I've made, hers doesn't call for any added oil or Earth Balance or anything like that. I guess the corn and soy yogurt make up for that (but I never have soy yogurt so I always use Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream) because they always come out nice and moist even though they're not loaded down with oil.

We're meeting our boss for lunch tomorrow, so I'm gonna' have to go out and eat again. I promise we'll go somewhere different than Cootie Brown's. HA! Frankly, though, I wouldn't mind going there again, but I guess we need a little variety, so I think we're leaning towards one of the local Italian places. They're usually pretty easy to eat vegan at. So, depending on what time we all end up meeting, the blog post might be a little delayed tomorrow.

Thanks for stopping by today and I'll see everybody on Wednesday!


veggiegirl said...

Those mustard greens with onions and garlic look absolutely delicious - have you ever tried swiss chard? It's one of my all-time favorite veggies.

kennyboy said...

Nope. Never have tried swiss chard.

It's on my list. It'll probably be the next one I try.


Anonymous said...

If you cook beans, start with garbanzos. You will see the greatest difference.

Anonymous said...

Also have you had the chance to try turnip greens? They are really wonderful!!!! I like to cook mine with onion and garlic. Yummo........JD

Mary said...

If you have a slow cooker, your beans will always come out perfect! And you don't have to soak them.

julie hasson said...

Another thought on beans for you. I soak my dry beans over night (or you could do it in the morning before leaving for work). Then pressure cooking only takes 10 to 16 minutes, depending on the kind of beans. Garbanzos take the longest at 16. Amazing!