April 23, 2008

this wants to be a foodblog. Who knows. At any rate, I’m going to try out posting food when I have it. The worst that can happen is what always happens–I get busy and don’t post. Or maybe it’s worse… maybe everyone finally learns how horrible my photography skills are (or more likely, that grad student life does not allow enough sleep for the required steady hand).

Here’s what I ate for dinner!

polenta, beans, guacamole

This is what one might call (*cringe!!!!*) semi-homemade, in the sense that I used Spicy Southwest Bean Soup mix, available in the bulk section of the store formerly known as Wild Oats (now bought out by Whole Foods, yippee). It contains many kinds of beans and peas, including that very large Christmas lima bean you see in the front, corn, bell peppers, spices, and the occasional bonus crunchy bit (which, if you’re more ambitious than me, you may want to remove before cooking). Just so you know, the only reason I really buy this mix is because it has those Christmas lima beans, which are amazingly tasty. And yes, I confess to possibly maybe just a little taking a bit more than my fair share of Christmas limas when I buy the mix. But no more!!! Thanks to smitten kitchen, which I found via a link from Vegan Dad, I have found Rancho Gordo, which sells neat heirloom beans, and I have ordered Christmas limas of my very own. No more need to pillage the bulk section of Whole Foods (not that they don’t deserve it).


1/3 c polenta (or corn meal for cheaters like me)
1 1/3 c water
1 tbs nutritional yeast
1 tsp soy margarine
salt to taste

Bring water to a boil in the smallest pot you have (or at least, something like the smallest post I have, but I only have two pots–so you figure it out). When it’s boiling, turn it down to low, quickly stir in polenta (if you’re using corn meal, you have to stir REALLY FAST, or use some crazy whisking techniques–which works a lot better if you have a whisk; or you could just deal with lumpy polenta, which really tastes just as good anyway). Add nutritional yeast and salt. Stir frequently to avoid burning or sticking. When the polenta reaches almost the desired consistency (still a bit thinner), turn off the heat, add the margarine, let it sit for five minutes. Then stir again.


1/2 c Spicy Southwestern Bean Soup
1/2 tbs tomato paste
1/2 tsp italian spices (I really just wanted oregano, but I ran out)
salt to taste

Soak beans if you don’t suck at planning like me, and actually know 7 hours ahead of time what you’re going to eat. Then, cook until tender (if you don’t soak, 90 minutes). I use the Alton Brown method of barely covering the beans and adding water during the cooking process, which is not a method for the distracted (which means I often come out with burnt beans, and I manage to go through lots of smoke detector batteries…….), but I think they come out better. Also there’s not a lot of liquid to throw out or try to find something to do with. Anyway, cook beans just in water for half the cooking time, then add the remaining ingredients (again, an Alton Brown technique, to not add salt until the end, supposedly to keep them from losing their skins–it seems to work, but I find the beans taste wrong unless the salt is added at least half an hour before the beans are done).


1/2 med avocado
squeeze lime juice
salt to taste

Yes, I like my guacamole simple. Sometimes. I don’t like to cover up the flavor of a really good avocado.
In case you can’t figure it out….. mash the avocado. Mix in other ingredients. Try not to eat ALL the tasty tasty tasty guacamole before serving.


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