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The traditional Four Bean salad consists of a few things that I do not put into my own salad. First of all, a lot of the recipes used canned beans, which is great if you are in a hurry, but I prefer beans that I need to soak overnight. I feel as though they taste better. So, here is MY recipe for a Four Bean Salad:
Serves 8- 10 people.
Hints: Now, sometimes I like to add some edemame to the salad too. I like to use soy beans instead of wax beans because I really like soy beans and am not a real big fan of the texture of waxed beans. If you are a fan of any kind of other bean, go ahead and use it. If you like pinto beans or black beans…add ’em! I usually do not use as much sugar as 2/3 cup (I use about 1/3 cup). If there is too much liquid in the bowl, drain it.
Tastes great alone or a side to a protein dog and spinach salad. Even great with marinated tofu and some red potatoes. Or… if you are a carnivore (I am a vegan, as of the January 1, 2011-and LOVIN’ it!) BBQ a shrimp skewer or a strip steak and some potatoes!
Add cubed squash and simmer on low for 5 minutes. Add 6 cups chicken stock or low sodium bouillon.
Simmer for 25 minutes.
Remove from heat and allow to cool. Puree in blender. (Do not do this while squash is hot. Steam may crack the glass or cover of blender.)
Return pureed squash to a pot. Stir in 1 cup half and half or milk (more for a thinner soup).
Add 2 tsp. dried dill, 1 tsp. nutmeg, and salt and pepper, to taste.
Simmer for 10 minutes. Garnish each bowl with a sprig of fresh dill.
Serve with a French baguette.
I have been addicted to this show on the Travel Channel called Man vs. Food. This past weekend the host was at a burger joint and was trying all these different hamburgers…there were these two that came to mind. These burgers looked so good and made my mouth water (minus the beef and add the veggie patty, of course). One burger had a fried egg on it (BRILLIANT!). The other had a slice of cheese stuffed between the patties and melted. Ugh, so good. I made the stuffed cheese one yesterday (one beef for my boyfriend and the other veggie for myself). We placed them on grilled onion buns, with jalopenos, red onion, dill pickles, tomatoes, avocado, and toped it all off with my special sauce (not 1,000 island dressing). I just wish that I had some pepperchinis. I served it with some macaroni salad and ginger ale to chase it all down with. That was such a great burger. Now, the next time….I want to charcoal grill it (we used the gas grill this time), and I want to make the fried egg! So mouth watering and filling.
A relative of mine had recently asked what kind of vegetarian/vegan meals do I make and what are some good recipes. Now, I just want to make sure that all of you know that I am a vegetarian (used to be a vegan about 2 years ago), however my boyfriend is a carnivore (sometimes make two meals a night for dinner). While my many ‘experiments’ have gone array, there are only a few that my boyfriend will eat (let alone myself). In fact, here is one that is frequently REQUESTED (and my favorite, I also made it last night):
Cuban Black Beans and Rice
Not much around the frig, or for that matter, even the pantry. Looking and looking…hmm a can of vegetarian chili and look a huge bag of rice. What can be as simple as that.
The best vegetarian chili that I have had so far as been the 365 brand from Whole Foods. It has great kidney and white beans, as well as red bell pepper, jalopenos, corn and a few other ingredients. Great.
The only problem I have is that my boyfriend complained that there was no meat….uh, “VEG-E-TAR-IAN”….hello!
This morning, as I made my coffee and ate my banana, I took a quick look in the fridge to see what I could make for tonights dinner. Well, let me explain to you what I had in my fridge…. 1/3 a loaf of 100% whole wheat bread, tapatio, soy sauce, an open can of vegetable broth, and 6 eggs.In the freezer, frost bitten scallops, and in the pantry…100% whole wheat noodles. Uh..what? Yeah…what in the living h*ll could I make with that. I know that I could be creative with some stir fry..but now veggies, plus we had that two nights ago. So… Costco here I come. I was craving feta cheese, so I thought GREEK food. I am a vegetarian, so no meat for me, and my boyfriend is not that picky when it comes to veggies (if he wants meat, he will make a request and I will have a salad). Gyros. Yumm.
Feta cheese, cucumbers, tzatziki dip, tomato, onion, olives, dill, and some romaine or other looseleaf lettuce- all stuffed in a pita. Costco also has this really great artichoke and spinach dip with parmesan cheese…great with wheat thins for a pre-dinner snack.
Well, it was a hit… my boyfriend even wants it again.
Every day I ask my boyfriend what he would like for dinner. The answer’s: ‘I don’t know’, ‘Food’, ‘Oh, you know…what ever’,’Steak’, it goes on and on. Being someone who likes to cook (and only wishes that my kitchen could be a little bigger for the meals that I only dream of preparing), these answers are not what I am looking for. What happens is that I listen to what he says and make ‘I don’t know’ with a side of ‘Food’. I have to end up guessing what he feels like and compromise with what I can eat (note: I am a vegetarian- formerly a vegan). So, living with a total carnivore is tough. I have to end up making two meals. If I have had a hard day, I will just make a salad for myself with tofu (much needed protein) and chicken for my boyfriend. Just thinking about what to make tonight is exhausting. Seafood. Hmm.
The place I use for my everyday cooking ideas and recipes...cooks.com (I have even submitted some of my own recipes). Magazines are always helpful (Everyday Food, Better Homes and Gardens, Gourmet, and Cooking light– some of my favorites). If it will call for some sort of meat…I will cook the meat separate and my version of protein separate as well, from the rest of the meal and add the appropriate protein into our dishes after all is ready and cooked. Just use a little imagination, and your multi-vitamins.
I have become obsessed with the ‘Cook this, Not that’ series of books. I cannot put them down. I will take what I have learned from these books and bring it with me to the grocery store. Even if I am only buying a few items, it will still take me an hour in the store because I am reading every label and every ingredient. But, we both feel better and look better because of my obsession. Pick up these books at your local book store.
And, Check your internet for great resources for home cooking.