Through WIC, I receive every month: milk (5 gallons!), 48 oz. juice, $10 worth of fruits and veggies, oatmeal/cereal, bread/tortillas (the slashes indicating “or”), peanut butter/beans/lentils, eggs and cheese. Each month.
The last two months I had chosen peanut butter over beans or lentils, but this month I went for a package of black beans because frankly, as much as I adore peanut butter, I have a stack of jars in my pantry now. And I’m trying to use them up, but there’s only so many consecutive days of PB&Js one can take!
Night before last, before bed, I dragged out the old Crock Pot, filled it with a package of black beans as well as half a package of pinto beans, and added the following: water to completely cover, about 1/2 cup French’s mustard, 4 tablespoons cumin, 5 tablespoons chile powder, a tablespoon of salt, 2 tablespoons paprika, 2 bay leaves and 4 cloves of whole garlic. I set it on high and went to bed.
When I got up in the morning (3:30 a.m. for me!), I added more water to replace the evaporated water, and set it on low until I went to work. At that time I turned off the Crock Pot and left it on the counter. At 4:30 p.m., Christian turned it back on to low, and added sliced fresh jalapenos as well as sliced cheddarwurst to the mix.
By 7 p.m., we had a nice pot of Ranch Bean stew ready for the table. A cinch!
All we added were fresh flour tortillas (both whole wheat and white), and Christian made a Southwest salad with Napa cabbage, mizuna greens, onion, tomato and roasted and peeled jalapenos. Added a simple dressing of oil, salt, vinegar and pepper.
This was by far the most successful dish I’ve made, in Christian’s eyes. He couldn’t stop eating the spicy, filling stew. He’s a hard one to please, too. Very hard! So I did something right.
I am normally an Olympian eater with an insatiable appetite, but even I couldn’t even contemplate a refill of the stew. It’s an economical, healthy entree but be aware it’s SPICY and super, super filling! And it WILL last you at least three meals, so bring out the Beano.
Question: What’s on YOUR menu tonight? I need some inspiration!!!!