So last week, I managed to celebrate with food every single day and there are still leftovers in my fridge. This week I wanted some kind of dish that might use up some of those leftovers, would be nice and light but still warm and filling on cold (for NorCal) fall nights. I came up with this all from my kitchen staples, which happens tastes great and is good for you. However, just to ease myself back into this health food thing, I added a blob of sour cream, but nonfat Greek yogurt would also be tasty. And for the record, this would be really easy to throw in the crockpot for later.
- 4 cups cooked pinto beans or 2 cans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups salsa
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cups corn
- 1 box frozen spinach or 1 bag baby spinach
Combine beans, broth, salsa and onions in a soup pot. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until onions are tender, about 30 to 45 minutes. Stir in corn and spinach and cook until hot, about 5 minutes. Serves 6.
As I mentioned yesterday, a coworker gave me 20 pounds of tomatillos and I kept 10 pounds for myself before passing the rest on. I decided to try a new recipe for canning tomatillo salsa that I found from National Center for Home Food Preservation. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but canning requires a certain balance of acids, sugar, and salt to prevent spoiling, so when using a new recipe, I try to find a reputable source. This stuff is ah-maz-ing. The second batch didn’t even make it into jars because I want to eat it now. Fortunately my coworker is bringing me more tomatillos next week. Yay! If you can’t find tomatillos, you can use green tomatoes, which you can ask your friendly local farmer about. As always, if you don’t feel like finely chopping by hand, pulse the veggies in your food processor.
- 5 cups tomatillos, hulled, rinsed and chopped (don’t worry about peeling or seeding)
- 1 1/2 cups seeded and finely chopped long chiles (like Ancho or Pasilla)
- 1/2 cup seeded and finely chopped jalapeno
- 4 cups finely chopped onions
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup commercial lemon or lime juice
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 4 to 5 pint glass canning jars, with seals and rings
Prepare your jars and lids. Combine all ingredients in a large non-reactive pot (stainless steal or enameled cast iron), bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. Hot pack in prepared jars, leaving 1/2 in head space and water bath process for 15 minutes.
One of the fantastic things about living in a small ag town in central California is the sheer abundance of Mexican restaurants: I can walk to 5 in under 5 minutes. One of my favorites, not surprisingly, has a variety of vegetarian options that focuses around fresh, seasonal produce. Last summer I tasted some of her squash tacos and have had a lot of fun reinventing them in my own kitchen, since they taste great and are a good use of giant zucchini. While I make this with beans, my meat eating mom does this with ground turkey or beef and loves that it cuts calories and adds nutrition to her tacos.
Bean and Squash Tacos
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 large squash or zucchini, grated
- 2 cups cooked black beans, or 1 can, drained and rinsed
- your favorite taco seasoning (I like a pinch of cumin and garlic)
- 8 taco shells or small tortillas
Heat oil in a large skillet in medium high heat. Add seasonings and allow to heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add squash and cook until most of the liquid produced evaporates, about 5 minutes. Add beans, toss to combine, and allow to heat through for another minute or two. Makes 8 tacos.
I recently found a new item in my CSA box that I thought looked more like a weed. It turns out that purslane is a succulent that grows wild and while its generally viewed as a weed here in the U.S., it’s actually quite tasty and nutritious. It’s got more Omega-3’s than any other plant, as well as loads of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It’s used in Europe, the Middle East, and Mexico and honestly tastes pretty delicious on its own: salty and lemony. But, mysteriously I wanted to turn my stove on and try something different. I combined some recipes I found from Afghanistan and Mexico and came up with a really simple and delicious recipe.
Sauteed Purslane and Eggs
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large tomato, diced
- 1 bunch purslane, large stems removed
- 4 eggs, cracked and scrambled
- salt to taste
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add tomato and purslane and simmer until the purslane is tender, the tomatoes are broken down, and the liquid begins to thicken. Stir in eggs and cook until firm. Serve with flat bread or soft tortillas. Serves 2 to 4.