Broke-ass January

11 01 2012

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Remember when everyone was all festive and happy about Christmas and giving and winter?  Seems like only yesterday, but actually it was about 2-weeks ago.  Now, if you’re like me, you’re broke and are making overly ambitious plans to pay off your credit card.

$50 for food, gas, and entertainment for 12-weeks – that’s TOTALLY doable.

I have mixed beans in my cupboard, one of those “multi bean soup” deals.  Instead of making soup I made this: something from the staples I have kicking around in my kitchen.

Bean Stew

2 cups mixed beans, soaked

1 large can diced tomatoes

1 pkg chopped frozen spinach

1 Tbsp curry powder or masala spice mix

1/2 tsp salt

pepper to taste

In a large pot, cover beans with water and cook.  Check on the pot semi-frequently (15 – 20 minutes) to make sure there is still enough water left.  The beans will take 45 – 60 minutes to cook.  Once cooked, drain, rinse and return to pot.

Add diced tomatoes to beans and simmer on low heat until the tomato liquid has reduced by half.  Stir in curry or masala, and salt.

Turn heat to low, add frozen spinach and pepper, then cover.  The spinach should take 10 – 15 minutes to warm through and thaw.  Stir occasionally to help with the thawing process.

Once the spinach is warmed through, dinner is ready!

Feel free to liven this dish up with some garlic, onion, carrots, or frozen peas!

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Curried Red Lentil and Kale Stew with Garbanzo Beans

14 06 2011

I cannot speak highly enough about this dish.

Over the winter, my next door neighbour raved about how our neighbour across the street makes the best lentil stew.  A few weeks ago I had the privilege of trying her famous lentil stew and can qualify that it is everything I was promised it would be and more.

Following the recipe, you can serve this in bowls as is – nothing extra – and easily feed six people.  You could also serve this on top of mashed potatoes, quinoa, or rice and serve 8 – 10 people.  Or you could take a meager portion of leftovers, add some extra water, and enjoy this as a soup.  I’m going to add that the first time I tried this it was stone-cold, I had to force myself to heat it up before I devoured the whole thing cold.

I made this for my parents, serving it with a salad of carrots and asparagus, and they really enjoyed it.  I know they’re my parents and might pretend to like something to save my feelings, but the day after I was disappointed to find that my dad had taken the leftovers – ALL 2+ servings – to work for lunch.  He wouldn’t have done that if he was pretending to like this stew.

Curried Red Lentil and Kale Stew with Garbanzo Beans

1 bunch kale, tough stalks removed, coarsely chopped (about 7 – 8 cups)

2 Tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup onion, diced

5 tsp curry powder

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

5 cups vegetable broth (or a combination of vegetable broth and water)

2 cups red lentils, dry

2 cups garbanzo beans, cooked/canned

Heat oil in a large heavy pan over medium heat.  Add onion and sauté until golden.

Mix in curry and cayenne pepper, then add broth and chopped kale.  Increase heat, bringing to a boil.

Add lentils and garbanzo beans; reduce heat to medium.  Cover and simmer until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally.  The red lentils will take 10 – 15 minutes to cook.