Friday, October 24, 2008

Pinto Bean Week & A Recipe

Building on the Stretchy Beans concept, I made this week Pinto Bean Week! You are all SO excited to read about beans again aren't you? It is exciting because this week I cooked meat too! *gasp* A friend of mine actually thought I was a vegetarian. I assure you, I do enjoy a good hunk of meat now and then. But, boy, meat is expensive! Thus the stretchy beans...

One of the local grocery stores had bone-in ham portions on sale this week for $0.99 per pound - that's half price! I bought a big ol' 9 pound ham and cooked it up on Tuesday. Wednesday I cooked up 2 pounds of pinto beans with the ham bone. I took out 2 pints and a quart of beans & bean broth from the pot before dinner. Then the rest of the week's meals are planned around the extras.

Here is this week's bean plan:
Meal 1: Bean & Ham Soup (boy was that good with real ham bits!)
Meal 2: Kitchen Sink Stew (recipe to follow)
Meal 3: Bean & Rice Tacos
Meal 4: Autumn Vegetable soup

It's a lot of soup, but the weather is cool and damp, so soup is so good and warming!

Here is the recipe for Kitchen Sink Stew. It was originally called Mexican Pumpkin Chili, but there's nothing Mexican about it and by the time I was done I felt like everything but the kitchen sink went in the soup pot! It had a very unusual flavor, unlike anything I have ever made before. Strangely delicious!

1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
dash nutmeg
4 c. water + bouillon to make broth
1 butternut squash, peeled, gutted, and diced
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
2 c. salsa (hot as you want, I used mild)
7-8 drops stevia or a pinch of sugar
2 c. pinto beans
1-2 c. frozen corn
1 can coconut milk

Saute onion & garlic in a little oil until soft. Add spices and warm until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add broth, squash, and sweet potato. Cover and simmer 15 minutes or until veggies are soft. Mash vegetable chunks with a potato masher, or use a hand blender to puree them. Add salsa, stevia, beans, corn, and coconut milk. Simmer until warmed through. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

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