Baby’s on a budget! Between all the moving around I’ve done in the last few years, my recent uninsured arm fracture (I am now insured though – as of Saturday, woo!), and the loss of my old station wagon/attainment of a shiny new, gas friendly hatchback, my debts have piled sky high. So I sat down today and used two phone apps to get myself on a budget.
My thoughts immediately turned to food. In the last year I’ve become very reliant on going out and ordering in, instead of cooking. It started when we moved to Fort Lauderdale, with the major kitchen downsize, and had just continued since with all the changes this past year, but it ends now! My new goal is $50 week for groceries. Today we did $58, including beer & cider, at Trader Joe’s. I thought that was a pretty good first effort.
So in order to make this work, I decided to go back to my roots. Being Cuban/Honduran I grew up with lots of legumes and rice for weeknight meals. Trader Joe’s didn’t have dry beans, which I’m determined to start using for the most economical bang for my buck, but they did have plenty of well priced canned beans and other things. Next week we’re going to check out the local co-op to see what they have.
This was just something I whipped up based on a more traditional recipe. I served it over some kale and brown rice (a mix of short grain & basmati) for a hearty grain bowl. We sprinkled nutritional yeast on top, and the kale wilted and cooked perfectly under the hot broth.
Smoky Black Beans
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 green pepper, finely chopped
1/2 c. chopped tomato (I used 1/2 can of fire roasted tomatoes w/chiles)
2 16 oz. cans black beans, undrained (I used Trader Joe’s Cuban Style black beans)
1 tbsp. vegan Worcestershire
1 tbsp. liquid smoke
1/2 tsp. tamari (or red sodium soy sauce)
+ water to equal 1/2 cup
1 tsp. cumin
1 tbsp. vinegar (white or red wine)
Salt & Pepper, as needed
Hot Sauce, to taste, optional (I used a delicious local habanero sauce)
1. Heat olive in a medium pot over low-medium heat. (While it’s heating I roughly chop the garlic, green pepper, and onion and then pulse it in the food processor to a finer texture.
2. Add garlic, onion, and pepper to pot. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft.
3. Add the tomatoes, and let them cook for about 10 minutes.
4. Add remaining ingredients and stir well. Taste for seasoning. Raise the heat until it bubbles, cover, and drop to low to simmer for at least 20 minutes.
Serve over any greens & cooked grain of your choosing. We sprinkled with nooch, and I would have liked to throw some avocado on there, but it wasn’t quite ready yet. Enjoy!