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Snap Boogie Bean Stew
In these days of economic instability, you have to learn to take advantage of the available resources. Sometimes this means doing things like visiting food banks and the like, which I have done. I have 3 different food banks I go to, each providing different types of items.
Nevertheless, these visits leave me with an odd assortment of food items to deal with. Oftentimes, some of my preferred basics are not available, and this where one must get not only bold, but adventurous in testing the waters, and trying out new things. I originally was thinking about making a soup, but changed my mind once I got started.
Old Stuff, New tricks
Now, because I am getting items from the food banks, I tend to have an overabundance of certain items. It seems the food banks are being overstocked by the government in mostly corn. Other donations bring in beans and so forth, so my cupboard is predominantly full of a variety of cans of corn, a few varieties on beans, and a lot of tomato sauce/paste.
The boxes of soups are a from one particular company as well, but don't ask me to recall what company. It's not any of the more popular ones. Seems to be a more natural product, which is fine. My original intention was to make a bean soup, since I have an abundance of black-eyed peas. However, I'm not a huge fan of black-eyed peas, so I thought I would blend them up and use them as a base.
I have one of those Vitamix machines that is used in restaurants. Now, that machine has a different level of power than the standard blender, so if you only have the standard one, I'm not sure if the blending will be exactly the same.
Nevertheless, I rinsed and strained the can of black-eyed peas and the can of corn. Now mind you, I used a can of cream corn, but it wouldn't matter if it was just regular corn. I was just trying to find a way to use up that creamed corn. I rinsed all the "cream" off of it, and just had the corn bits.
I poured the box of tomato soup into the mixture and let it blend into liquid. Meanwhile, while that was blending, I put some oil (olive) in the bottom of my medium sized pressure cooker, and threw in the diced onions, garlic and diced turkey bacon. I stir-fried that while dicing the eggplant and chopping up the escarole lettuce.
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- 1 can of black-eyed peas
- 1 can of creamed corn
- 1 can of field peas and snap beans
- 4 sm. eggplants, (mini)
- 1 head of escarole lettuce
- 1/2 - 1 cup onions, (per taste) diced
- 4 slices slices of turkey bacon
- 3 large large garlic pegs, diced
- 1/2 cup cup of Oyster sauce
- Badia complete, (to taste)
- 3-4 capers
- 1 box tomato soup, homemade
- any sauce stock that you have in your freezer, (something tasty)
Putting It Together
Next, I rinsed and strained the field peas and snap beans, which were alleged to be in a seasoned liquid, but when I smelled it, I didn't like what it smelled like. Plus, I just always am in the habit of rinsing and straining the liquid from any canned foods, because I want to wash away as much of the preservatives and excess salt as possible.
I threw those peas/beans into my stir-fry, and added the Oyster sauce and threw in a few capers for salt. I just poured a bit in, since I'm accustomed to working with that. However, if you want a measured amount, I'd say about 1/2 a cup, give or take a bit. At that point I added the blended mixture, which my son first claimed smelled funny. He's 15...a typical teenage picky eater, who focuses mainly on carbs and sweets.
After sauteing that for a few minutes, I stirred the sauce in with the frozen base stock I had from some previous dish. I always save my sauces if I fix a dish with a lot of it. So I have to say that the flavor of your version of this may vary depending on what type of stock you put into it, or if you even use one at all.
Lastly, I threw in the chopped Escarole lettuce. I know. "Lettuce?" You say. Yes. Lettuce. I was surprised too. However, this is where that idea came from. Since I have been going to one particular food bank, I've been inundated with heads of lettuce. The blessing is that, for the most part, it hasn't been the value-less, nutritionally deficient iceberg lettuce.
No, I've been getting Romaine, and Escarole, both green and red. In fact, the very first time I visited this particular food bank, I received 6 heads of lettuce on the first day! I was invited to return twice more that week, and received at least another 2-3 heads of lettuce. My frig was stuffed...mainly with lettuce, and I was saying, "How am I going to use all this lettuce?" I don't eat salads every day! Plus, my son is salad resistant, although I do make him eat them.
I mentioned this dilemma to a girlfriend of mine, and she told me that her boyfriend puts lettuce in soups when he cooks, and that it tastes great like that. I was surprised, because the one guy who every attempted to cook lettuce for me, did so in eggs, and he had little to no seasoning, so I was totally unimpressed with the idea of cooking lettuce. But, when she said this to me, I thought about it. I cook Bok Choy, Chinese cabbage, Mustard Greens, Kale, and like greens.
Upon reflection, I realized that lettuce is just another one of these, despite the fact that it is typically eaten raw. I figured, why not? So I threw the lettuce into the stew. I sprinkled a bit more Badia into the stew, and put the lid on the pressure cooker. I let it cook for about 10 minutes while the rice cooked, and it was done.
The Final Appraisal
As a matter of info, I used Jasmine rice, but that goes to preference. I spooned the rice into bowls, and poured the stew on top with a ladle. I sometimes season my rice, but this time I left it plain, without adding even salt to it. I figured that the stew had enough for the entire dish, despite my not using much of the Badia.
I took it to my son, along with my bowl, and we sat and watched the TV and munched. While enjoying the stew, I looked up to see my son licking the back of his fork for the sauce from the stew. Naturally, I had to comment.
"Oh...so someone likes my little stewed concoction, eh?" He flashed me his typical annoyed look, and turned his head to ignore me. So naturally, I pushed the envelope. "Wasn't it a certain "Individual" who told me that something smelled funny in the kitchen while I was making this? Yet it seems that same "Individual" can't seem to stop licking all sides of his fork because of the "tastiness!"
I always tease him like this...using a variety of different voices for emphasis and adjusting words for the sake of silliness. He flashed me the Look again. I continued in the professor voice. "Admit it, sir...it's good. Just admit it...cause I'm not going to stop harassing you about your lick-i-ness-ness until you tell me."
"Alright already! It's good!" And there you have it.
|Serving size: 1 cup|
|Calories from Fat||27|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 3 g||5%|
|Carbohydrates 40 g||13%|
|Protein 12 g||24%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|