Thursday, February 17, 2011

NON Refried Beans

I am so failing in the picture posting. SORRY! But I get in such a cooking fury and forget to pause for a good shot! Today, for some reason, I was CRAVING refried beans. Heated up nice they are DEELISH. And I know that you can buy cans of no fat refried beans and I recalled seeing a recipe a while back so I thought what the heck! I'll give it a shot! And with our new challenge to eat as "nutritarians" (look that one up!), I have been buying BEANS. And you know if you buy dried beans...HO DA CHEAP! Yup. Beats the price of the canned stuff HANDS DOWN.
Well you all know that you need to soak dry beans overnight. Unless you own a pressure cooker. Yup. You got it. Here's all you need:
3 cups pinto beans
1 round onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper or chipotle powder
1 tsp liquid smoke (optional)

Here's what you do:
1. Measure out 3 cups of dry beans into a pressure cooker (if you don't have one then soak the beans overnight and cook the next day, in a stock pot, for 2 hours until soft). Add enough water to cover beans and 2 inches above beans.
2. Cook in pressure cooker for 50 minutes. Let cool so you can open.
3. Open pressure cooker and add onions and garlic.
4. Cook for 15 more minutes. Release steam so you can open it.
5. Either mash it all up with a potato masher or put it into a bowl and use a mixer (I used my kitchenaid with the whipper on it and just ran it on number 2).
6. All done!

I asked my husband to taste it for me. He did. Then he grabbed himself a bowl and asked for some. At 8:30 pm. And ranted and raved. How do you like that? Fast and healthy. Yum.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day, Day 1

As a gift to my body, on Valentine's I am doing a 6 week challenge, focusing on eating the way Dr. Joel Fuhrman outlines in his book, Eat to Live. This book is going to change my life. I hope. I'm always hopeful. Side note: My daughter (nameless) always berates me for the barrage of diet books I purchase. And I have purchased them all. I read them, I take some of the info to heart, I try different things. And, like most of you, nothing seems to work. But I am hopeful like I've not been hopeful before. Mainly because Dr. Fuhrman hit close to home. This is what I remember most: It is not how much you eat but WHAT YOU EAT. Also, almost ALL diseases we suffer from today (heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, poor cholesterol, etc.) can be cured through our DIETS.
So I'll try to share the meals i am preparing (mostly vegetarian).
First meal of the day (sorry no pictures) was a spinach and white bean stew, a spin off from Smitten Kitchen. The original recipe called for kale but went on to say that any green, basically, could be used (kale and chard). Click on the link to see the original recipe and know that instead of kale OR chard I used fresh because, well I had fresh spinach in my refrigerator. I soaked 3/4 of a bag of small white beans overnight and then rinsed them and put them in the bottom of a 6 qt. crockpot. I just threw everything else in:
chopped carrots (3)
chopped celery (3 stalks)
1/2 of an onion, chopped
1 cup dry wine (omg, I only had white Menage a Trois...I don't even know if it's dry. And I didn't even measure! Haha. That's how I roll with wine!)
1 cup pureed tomatoes (I actually used crushed tomatoes, two cans)
2 cans vegetable broth
salt and black pepper
3 fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf

That's all. Just threw it all in the crockpot. The lid hardly fit because I had so much spinach in there. I left it on low for about 8 hours.
Verdict: Personally everyone liked it. I would have liked more salt and maybe even spice it up with chili flakes but I'm trying to cut down on salt AND my granddaughter was eating with us. The spinach cooked down so much that it literally melted in my mouth. It was vegetarian. And not bad. If I try it again I might cut down on tomatoes and then use chicken broth instead of vegetable broth. Add more garlic and more onions (because you can't have too much onion or garlic in a stew). I'm not trying to be vegetarian. I am just trying to cut down on my fat intake. So if I use low fat or no fat chicken broth then at least I will have "essence of meat".