Read Beans and Rice = Stretching The Budget

It’s about stretching the budget.  Make a big batch of stew or beans and freeze it.  Everyone does this, right?  When I’m busy then there is a meal that is ready to go from the freezer to the pan. In no time I have a meal.  This freezing practice started small.  I would steam the fresh vegetables that I bought at the Farmer’s Market and freeze them immediately.  (There’s a right way to do this, probably.)  Recently, I started making meals and freezing them in meal size portions.  How easy!

Okay, my mother told me to eat only fresh foods and fish. My history shows that buying fresh may not lead to eating everything before it dries up in the fridge.  I buy fresh fish and cut it into portions and freeze it.  It saves money and time for cooking and less waste of food.

The Red Beans and Rice will be eaten tonight. Then rest will be frozen for another couple of meals.

I adapted my recipe from Emeril’s recipe at foodnetwork.com. In this recipe, I am being conscious of ways to lower my cholesterol.  It tastes really good!

Follow the recipe’s instructions for the beans or cook the beans until they boil and then leave them to soak overnight in the fridge.  They absorb a lot of the water and soften.

I substituted turkey and apple sausage for Andouille sausage. Combined the leftover bean liquid with water instead of chicken stock. (It’s okay.)  I left out the ham and bacon.  (Cholesterol problem.) Having no celery in the house I used cabbage instead and added the locally grown, in-season zucchini squash instead of green pepper. I sweated the vegetables with a little of that really good margarine. (I know, the French chefs would “so fire me!”  If you are a purist, then stick to the recipe online that is included at the end.)  To the required spices I added 1/8 of a teaspoon of curry powder and ¼ of a teaspoon of turmeric. Snazzy. I cooked this all on very low heat until the beans were almost tender.  It takes some time, but the fragrance of all the spices perfumed the whole place.  (The organic spices are from the food Co-op.)

A word about the Food Co-ops in Minnesota – they are everywhere!  You can become a member or not.  Membership has some benefits. They sell organic foods. Yes, you may pay more, but the flavor of the foods is really different. The support of the local farmers of Minnesota and Wisconsin is a “good thing”.

Emeril Lagasse’s Recipe for Read Beans and Rice:www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/red-beans-and-rice-recipe2/index.html July 23, 2010.

Serve up snazzy beans and save some for later!  Your comments and recipes are welcome!

About kunstkitchen

Visual artist and writer hunting words, languages, visions, and insight in my kitchen - connecting Art (Kunst) and culture and slow food cooking. Credits: Do not own a microwave oven and never have. Do not own a food processor. Chopped veggies in a Zen monastery for a weekend. (Seriously) Classically trained artist. Paint and draw with traditional materials. Live in the Northland where it's six months of winter. Appreciate the little things in life. Sharing food and art experiences and the lessons that my talented and generous friends have given me.
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