Posts Tagged ‘Cooking with beans’

Food Stamps Cooking Club: Delaine’s Food Bank Chili

June 9th, 2014
With very few ingredients you can make a tasty, low cost meal!

With very few ingredients you can make a tasty, low cost meal! *Mother Connie is out of tomato products at the moment…

Mother Connie flumps through life, wondering at times if THIS is the path to be taken.  This morning’s mail brought tears to her eyes with a recipe and message from one of our dear Members, Delaine.  She is following HER passion, too.  Delaine took the time to share this pragmatic recipe and dear comments with us:

Food Bank Chili

1-2 cans of beans, drained and rinsed
1 pkg of taco seasoning
1 can of tomatoes or tomato paste
Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan.  Add the taco seasoning and heat though.  Upgrade to luxury status by adding browned ground meat, or use the canned surplus beef from the pantry, but brown it and use some onions if you have them.
SIDEBAR: Delaine and I have discussed the procurement of spices.  If you have access to food stores selling spices in bulk, you can purchase as little or as much as possible.  That may help some.  END SIDEBAR.
Delaine is a busy girl.  She is teaching people in need to cook nutritious foods.  Here is her comment regarding that effort:
“Easy enough for even the non-cooks to do, and delicious enough to encourage appetite.  It’s awful, but too often, I see folks dependent upon the food banks literally starving because of food boredom.  I encourage them to use their bread supplies as dippers for this, as it makes the bread more interesting.  Getting fresh fruits and vegetables to the food pantry dependent is also a severe challenge.

I was reading your information about how difficult it is for many people to cook and eat.  Much arises from the culture of poverty and homelessness, and much of it is spot on as you said: that learning to cook is fundamentally a family value.  I have taught people who have literally done nothing but microwave prepared packaged semi-food to prepare from fundamental ingredients, and the overwhelming response is ‘I never knew anything this good could be this easy!’ “
She goes on to say this:  ” I depend on your site and others for the work I do in the community.  Tragic also, are those who do not understand the fundamentals of nutrition or who do not know the basic foods: protein, carbohydrates, fats and minerals.  So thanks for your good work, Connie.  You benefit many homeless, and desperate people in Sacramento, CA. “
There you have it, people.  The whole point of having this blog is to help those who depend on public assistance for their food source.  It is not helpful to scold or shame or ignore or complicate the lives of those who have needs: how wonderful that Delaine has dedicated her life to offering others real education, assistance and care!
If you are a user of EBT  cards for SNAP or WIC; if you are living on a dime; if you love being frugal; if you get goods from a food bank, food pantry or generous gardener, we have a passion for helping you.  We trust you will benefit from the little series of cooking tips you will receive by becoming a Member and we look forward to your comments on the comment panel below this post and at our email addy:  foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com

The FTC wants you to know there are links on this page. Should they be clicked, resulting in sales, your humble blogger would be fairly compensated. Please do your due diligence when conducting affairs online or offline. Always do business with those you trust implicitly.

Food Stamps Cooking Club: Member’s Cooking Lesson

January 17th, 2014
Mother Connie has a hodge podge of cookbooks and recipes; some of her food notions live in her head...

Mother Connie has a hodge podge of cookbooks and recipes; some of her food notions live in her head…

You all know by now that the mail you send makes Mother Connie’s heart go pitty-pat!  Today  a message from a Club Member came in that really piqued my curiosity!  Here is what Delaine wanted to share with all of us:

“With food-stamp allotments being so small, and being cut all the time, I know fully how every calorie counts and how to count every calorie.  For me, I am in a very uncomfortable situation that most people do not understand, and that is for some of us, hanging onto every pound we have is as difficult or more difficult than losing weight.  Please do not envy us.  It sounds wonderful, but it is more painful to try to gain weight than lose it, as I have done both.  I was obese until I got sick, and now I am on the other side of the scale of having to try to hang onto every pound, so trust me when I tell you I understand the dilemma.
In the meantime, getting as much nutrition from every food stamp penny is my goal, and even when I am off the social network, as I apparently will be over the next few months, I will still only have the same amount of money for food as I currently have in food allotments.  I have many helps and hints both for stretching food stamp money and using ‘food for cleaning.’ “
Delaine goes on to share how she ACCIDENTALLY learned to make syrup on the cheap:  ” It’s just like the pancake syrup that is 1 cup brown sugar to 6 oz of Dr. Pepper, and boiled down to syrup consistency.  Cheap and accidental, because I was not intending to make pancake syrup when I discovered that!”
SIDEBAR:  Mother Connie is no fan of soda pop but a cook’s gotta do what a cook’s gotta do!  Go with what you have on hand!   END SIDEBAR
Delaine goes on to share her preference for comfort food that won’t break the bank:
“1/2 package elbow macaroni

1  can black beans
1  can corn
2  small cans tomato sauce
Taco season mix – equal parts chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin and sugar.
2 – 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
The trick to this recipe is to brown the macaroni thoroughly.  It should look like “whole wheat” macaroni.  Drain and rinse the beans and corn and add to the macaroni along with 2 cans of tomato sauce and the spices.  Add 2 tomato cans of water, reduce to a simmer and wait for all the water to be absorbed.  You may need to add water if the macaroni is too stiff.
This goes well with a pan of corn bread.”
SIDEBAR:  Mother Connie strongly suggests you add a green salad or plate of raw veggies OR fruit  to this menu, if that’s  available.  END SIDEBAR
We greatly appreciate Delaine’s contribution to our Cooking Class! 
Those who are living on a dime, people who use public assistance for their food budgets and anyone who holds an EBT card for SNAP or WIC needs all the help they can garner.  If you use a food pantry, food commodities or any other form of public assistance you know that it’s a tough row to hoe.  We hope to help in that regard.
If you have not signed up for our little series of tips, we invite you to do so.  And keep those emails coming!  foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com
We remind you, also, that you are dearly loved.
The FTC wants you to know there are links on this page. Should they be clicked, resulting in sales, your humble blogger would be fairly compensated. Please do your due diligence when conducting affairs online or offline. Always do business with those you trust implicitly.

To Can or Not to Can…at Food Stamps Cooking Club

September 10th, 2013
To soak or not to soak?  This age old question has been debated before.  Here we'll take another look to see what we ought to put into that bowl!

To soak or not to soak? This age old question has been debated before. Here we’ll take another look to see what we ought to put into that bowl!

It may not be soup weather as you read this.  IT IS 94* here today!  But soup weather will soon be upon us.  If you have beans on your shelf, you are going to be in the soup…but in a GOOD way!  Enjoy this one, kids!

Those of you who have food commodities sometimes get cans of beans…those of you who think of canned beans as ‘convenience foods’ watch for sales like hawks hunt for  prey!  Those of you who have practiced frugality like an art form may prefer canned beans but they may also like the challenge of soaking dry beans.

To be honest, soaking beans CAN be challenging.  Sure, all you do is throw them into a pot and let them sit and soak.  BUT you also have a house to keep, a job to be on time for-if you are fortunate to HAVE a job, maybe two!-and then there is the small matter of keeping your gang fed on whatever schedule everyone in the house has going! And we have not even mentioned getting everyone to school/work/wherever OR the laundry… It’s enough to drive a person out of their ever lovin’ mind!  I’m sure you can relate.

So I found a soup recipe that calls for 8 cans of beans.  There was a huge debate in Mother Connie’s head about whether to mention it, since the price of canned beans is obscene.  I’m quite sure you could make this with only one type of bean to make it easy on the bean soakers of the world; if you have the where-with-all to get 8 cans, that’s good.  If not, you might make only half a recipe IF that will feed your gang.  Use your own good judgement.  I offer it here for your perusal:

Eight Can Soup with a South of the Border Flair

I do not recall the source…emails abound in the Club House…

1 (15 oz.) can each: drained and rinsed, black beans, pinto beans, diced tomatoes, sweet corn. *Personally, Mother Connie would not RINSE corn…

1  15.25 oz can chicken, drained *The Kitchen Police will not write you up if you use leftover cooked chicken…

1 (10.75 oz.) can cream of chicken soup

1 (10 oz.) can green enchilada sauce

1 (14 oz.) can chicken broth  *Nobody will die if you use home made broth or even water with a bouillon cube or two.  We are all about saving $$ in the Club

1 packet taco seasoning 

**Mother Connie is DEATH on seasoning packets!  They are full to the top with rubbish the human body does not need to maintain good health!  Surely you have chili powder on hand!  You are most likely to have cumin.  You’ll save a bundle by NOT using packets and your budget with thank you for keeping a few spices on your shelf.  Seriously, kids.  You CAN be healthy on a tight budget.

Toss everything into your favorite soup pot.  Heat through gently but thoroughly, stirring every so once in awhile.

This soup is hearty, tasty, and would pair up quite well with a green salad and corn or tortilla chips.  Mother Connie does not normally recommend chips but there are times when chips are just the thing.  *I already ranted and raved about the seasoning packets; I’ll let up now.  ;)

If you are holding an EBT card from SNAP or WIC, if you are using food commodities or things from a food pantry, food bank, food drop, or any other form of public assistance, we are delighted to be of service to you.  Most everybody finds themselves living on a dime at times… We dearly hope our ideas and recipes help to keep your food costs at bay.  We hold no judgement and we are not about selling you stuff.  We are tickled pink whenever we see new names on our roster (which has been every day, thanks to all our Members’ spreading the good word!) and we love hearing from each of you.

It may not be soup weather as you read this.  *IT IS 94* here today!  But soup weather will soon be upon us.  If you have beans on your shelf, you are going to be in the soup…but in a GOOD way!  Enjoy this, kids!

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there are links on this page. Should they be clicked, resulting in sales, your humble blogger would be fairly compensated. Please do your due diligence when conducting affairs online or offline. Always do business with those you trust implicitly.

 

 

 

Bean Soakers, Arise & Join Food Stamps Cooking Club

August 5th, 2013
When the type of bean to prepare has been chosen and the ingredients to gather in the bean pot are on hand, shall we SOAK the beans or NOT SOAK the beans?  That seems to be the question.

When the type of bean to prepare has been chosen and the ingredients to gather in the bean pot are on hand, shall we SOAK the beans or NOT SOAK the beans? That seems to be the question.

Our weekend was enhanced because of a wonderful gathering with friends at their cabin.  It was a simple, relaxed affair  where every guest brought carry in dishes and their sense of humor!

We sat around the fire pit, toasting marshmallows and talking when the subject of beans came up…

SIDEBAR:  Think of it Mother Connie being present and the topic of food coming up.  Unimaginable, eh?  END SIDEBAR.

Some of these folks are bean soakers; others consider soaking beans unnecessary.  The idea even came up that we should form an organization and call ourselves “The Bean Soakers”…there were ideas about club meetings and parade floats and all manner of silliness all centered around whether to soak or not to soak beans before cooking.  Purchasing canned beans was also a hot topic!

Truly, by that time of the evening ,with darkness coming over us, we were ALL full of beans!

But it got Mother Connie thinking about the people who depend on public assistance for their food dollars.  How is the single mother – or single dad, for that matter – going to know how to cook beans or anything at all UNLESS and UNTIL they KNOW HOW?

I dunno how it is in your world but I’m keenly aware of families who work 2 or 3 poorly paying jobs, juggle family and work and sleep and have few cooking skills because THEIR parents did the same routine…who had time to teach/learn cooking?  Then again, you have the people who are living on a dime whose relatives taught them to cook but they were not particularly interested at the time and now they are struggling to make ends meet.

We are told to bloom where you are planted, so Mother Connie has committed herself to offering a Cooking Class.  The date has not been chosen YET but we do promise it will be something with video so everyone in the Club can access the information.

It won’t be slick and high end.  We’ll do it in the Club House and we will stick to basics.

This will not be a gimmick to get you to do something; this will be information you can use or lose, depending on what you need to make your life better.  We feel called to do this for you out of our concern for your financial and physical health.

Do you squeeze a nickel til the buffalo bellows?  Are you holding an EBT card for SNAP or WIC?  Do you love to cook?  Do you hate to cook?  No matter if you get your food from a food pantry, food bank, use food commodities or what-we are here to support you.  Our mail has indicated of late that you are finding this little corner of the internet helpful and that keeps us getting up each day and delivering what we hope is a valuable service to you all.

Please remember you are loved and appreciated!  And if you wouldn’t mind, we would love to know if YOU are a bean soaker!

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there are links on this page. Should they be clicked, resulting in sales, your humble blogger would be fairly compensated. Please do your due diligence when conducting affairs online or offline. Always do business with those you trust implicitly.

Beans n Rice; Rice n Beans: Food Stamps Cooking Club

July 31st, 2013

Beans n rice are standard fare for folks on slim food budgets. Here is an interesting take on beans and rice. It’s a summery version…

People who depend on public assistance for their food dollars are all too familiar with the ‘beans n rice/rice n beans’ menu.  As Congressman DeFazio recently learned -the hard way- beans and rice ARE affordable when all you have is an EBT card for SNAP or WIC or you are living on a dime and the end of the month means you are painfully low on grocery money!

Today we have an idea that freshens that concept.  Even though the end of July is upon us, the possibility exists that you have red beans in the house.

SIDEBAR: *Guess what?  It doesn’t MATTER what color they are!  We used garbanzo beans in our taco salad the other day and nobody died.  END SIDEBAR.

So here’s the thing:  I found a yummy sounding summery salad recipe that looks to me as if it’s a gourmet, high end, chi-chi/poo poo dish.  I studied the list of ingredients and thought how I would fit it into the budget and kitchen of the Club House.  I came up with this and I hope you’ll try it.  My mouth is watering and I just finished a hearty breakfast!

Green Beans*Red Rice*Almond Salad

May be served warm or chilled

1  cup cooked rice

1  1/4  cups water

2 pounds fresh green beans, aka ‘haricot verts’ – washed and trimmed  *OK to use 2 cans if that’s what you have from food commodities; the Kitchen Kops will never know.

3  tablespoons vegetable oil

3  tablespoons lemon juice  *No fresh?  Use bottled.  You have Mother Connie’s blessing.

1  tablespoon cider vinegar  *Or whatever is on your shelf.

1  teaspoon sea salt  *Whatever you use at the stove will be fine.

2/3  cup finely chopped almonds, toasted.  *Walnuts, pecans, peanuts- the Food Police truly won’t mind if you use any of these if you are out of almonds!

METHOD:

Combine the rice and water in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil,  then lower the heat until the liquid is barely bubbly.  Cover and allow it to cook  on low for 20 minutes.  Remove from the heat to allow the rice to rest for 5 minutes.  *SHEESH!  Even rice needs a nap in the summertime!!  Fluff the rice, using a fork. You can serve this dish warm or cold so if you plan to serve it warm, cover the rice so as to keep in warm while it waits in the wings.  If you plan to have a cold salad you can allow the rice to  cool to room temp and pop it into the refrigerator til serving time.

Steam the beans, covered tightly, over medium heat for about 8 minutes or until tender and bright green – before they overcook and become brown.

Whisk the oil, lemon juice, vinegar and salt in a large salad bowl.  Add the cooked beans and carefully stir in the dressing to coat. Taste to see what seasonings need to be adjusted and then add the toasted nuts.

This will feed 6 hungry mouths and make for happy tummies!

***If you have not toasted nuts, this will be a wonderful discovery for you.  Simply use a small, dry skillet.  Put the nuts in over medium-low heat, shaking the skillet to keep the nuts moving.  When they are slightly browned and fragrant you will know they are ready to use.  It’s important to avoid scorching.  Cool the nuts before you put them into your dish.  Toasting the nuts really brings out the flavor and improves the texture of your dish.

You are welcome.  I hope this will find its way to your family’s table.

It occurred to me that this salad would pair well with tuna sandwiches and maybe a piece of fresh summer fruit for dessert.  The peaches are in now and utterly glorious.

We are very excited to welcome new Members to the Food Stamps Cooking Club again today!  It is gratifying to think we may be helping you with the never ending quest for keeping body and soul together, despite the use of public assistance to make it happen!  We truly care about your issues around getting and preparing good nutrition for you and yours.  But that’s only because we love you!

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there are links on this page. Should they be clicked, resulting in sales, your humble blogger would be fairly compensated. Please do your due diligence when conducting affairs online or offline. Always do business with those you trust implicitly.

Help For the Hungry: Food Stamps Cooking Club

July 16th, 2013

Mother Connie, like many of our Members, has been devastated by the news that both political parties threw America’s poor and hungry under the bus.  No doubt you have been feeling the pinch in your own life.  Many times I have asked myself and others, “What are people to DO?”

Yesterday my good friend, Renita, sent me the story she had seen in the Lincoln Journal Star about  “The Odd Couple”.  It’s the piece that tells all about how 2 very different people had the same idea about feeding the hungry in Lincoln, NE by growing food for them.  You can read about these heroes by clicking here:  Lincoln Journal Star

So if you have been feeling forgotten or alone in your plight to feed those in your household, this might give you some hope.  In case you do not live in Lincoln, NE you might be the one who could start a garden wherever you are.

If you are using SNAP or WIC funds to buy food, this little corner of the internet is dedicated to helping YOU.   There is no doubt in my mind that YOU are the experts, not Mother Connie.  You are the ones in the trenches day after day.  You have learned all the tricks and tips that keep your loved ones fed and you most likely have much to teach me and share with others.  Your ideas are always well received.

Some of you are users of food commodities and food banks, food pantries.  We hope we are providing help for YOU, too.

Comments are always welcome-unless you are a shameless spammer!-at the end of these posts.  You are welcome to send your thoughts to foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com as well.

Have you bought a can of beans lately?  Canned beans are something I consider to be a luxury these days; a convenience food.  When I had to pay $1.65 for a can of red kidney beans I nearly fainted. That kind of pricing is really a blow to anyone’s food budget!  After all, who is not living on a dime?

Well, I am happy to tell you that the Food Fairy came by with her magic wand and we are the delighted recipients of a LOT of red beans!  Beans are one of my most favorite foods ever and I love cooking with them.  Immediately I filled a pot with beans and water and soaked them for 24 hours.  I drained the water, added fresh water and cooked them on a low-medium heat til they were tender.  My next move was to add a pinch or two of baking soda so they would not produce gas after being digested.  I added a bit of broth and seasoned them with salt and pepper.  Since I had no ham or bacon, I just served them as is–beans in broth.  OMYGOODNESS!  They were sooo good.

Dessert was simply canned apricots.  Just a touch of nourishing sweetness to finish the meal.

To the beans that were left I added a can of tomatoes, a little ground beef left from a previous meal, and some onions.  It made a hearty soup.

It’s most convenient to have cooked beans in the fridge to toss into salads or soups or mash and add to ground meat to s t r e t c h it as far as possible.  Cooking your own is simple and extremely cost effective!  It surely beats paying $1.65!

Tonight I will be making a stir fry dish with a bit of pork, some zucchini squash, broccoli and-you guessed it-beans!  I will also add some pre-cooked brown rice.  That will make for a complete protein, a beautiful plateful and 2 full tummies!

We would be remiss if we did not welcome our new Members!  We hope you enjoy receiving our series of cooking tips!  We’re so glad you are here!

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there are links on this page. Should they be clicked, resulting in sales, your humble blogger would be fairly compensated. Please do your due diligence when conducting affairs online or offline. Always do business with those you trust implicitly

Doing the Salsa at Food Stamps Cooking Club

February 21st, 2013

Salsa and black bean cakes are thrifty and tasty!

A few days ago Creative Savv posted a mouth watering piece about “Neat Balls” and it got me drooling and thinking.  I rummaged thru my cookbooks and found a little note about something similar I had made.  You might enjoy making it, too. If you like salsa, you will LOVE this:

SALSA AND BEAN CAKES

Start with your favorite salsa.  You’ll need 1 1/2 cups.

1  jalapeno pepper

2  cans black beans, rinsed n drained  *Cooking your own will save a wad of cash

1  pkg corn muffin mix  *8.5 oz size

1  tablespoon chili powder

2  tablespoons veg  oil

1/2  cup sour cream

1/2  teaspoon chili powder

Drain 1/2 cup of salsa in a colander.  Seed and chop half of the jalapeno.  Slice the other half very finely.  Using a large bowl, mash the beans, using a fork.  Stir in dry muffin mix, drained salsa, 2 1/2 teaspoons of chili powder and chopped jalapeno.

In a 12 inch skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium high heat.  Add four 1/2 cup mounds of bean mixture to skillet.  Flatten each mound with spatula so each is about 3″.  Cook 3 minutes on each side to brown.  Remove from skillet and repeat with remaining oil and bean mixture.

Combine sour cream and remaining chili powder in a bowl.  Top cakes with remaining salsa, sliced jalapeno and seasoned sour cream.

This will make 4 servings but could easily be doubled.  It will also make the faces around your table smile.

Are you a user of an EBT card from WIC or SNAP?  Do you visit a food bank or food pantry?  Do you receive food commodities or some other form of public assistance to fund your food budget?  Are you simply thrifty by nature or living on a dime?

Before we sign off, we want to thank all the NEW Club Members.  It is heartening to see our Club House so full.  We hope we are helping you manage your food budget while feeding your loved ones wisely and well.  Your messages to us are so treasured and we thank you for all the love you share with us.  You are welcome to contact us at foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com    

~Connie Baum.

The FTC wants you to know there are links on this page. Should they be clicked, resulting in sales, your humble blogger would be fairly compensated. Please do your due diligence when conducting affairs online or offline. Always do business with those you trust implicitly.

Comforting Pasta/Bean Soup: Food Stamps Cooking Club

February 13th, 2013
Who wants to spend the lazy days of summer in a hot kitchen?

Can we agree that pasta contributes to comfort food?

It’s entirely possible Mother Connie was Italian in another lifetime.  Oh, what delight there is in a bowl of pasta noodles, a salad featuring macaroni or a soup full of any kind of pasta product ever made!  Pasta is inexpensive and easy to make into whatever strikes your fancy.  Soup is wonderful on the cold days mid-February gives us so here today is an idea we hope will hit you like a brick:

BEAN AND PASTA SOUP

 2  cans cannelini beans, drained and rinsed *If you use white Northern beans, the Kitchen Police will not arrest you but it won’t be as authentically Italian…

1  can whole tomatoes, juice and all

2  ribs celery, roughly chopped

1 or 2 cloves garlic, finely minced

2  cups chicken broth *water will work, if you have no broth but the flavor your soup will not be as rich and the Kitchen Police don’t really care which you use…

2  tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2  cup pasta of choice *macaroni is Mother Connie’s fave but even rice would work if you are in a pinch.  Pasta swells as it cooks…

salt and pepper to taste

basil leaves – fresh if you have them but dry basil will flavor it nicely

4  tablespoons Parmesan cheese

Place beans, tomatoes with their juice, celery, garlic into a good sized soup pot.  Add the broth + one cup of water.  Bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add the oil and the pasta, then boil UNCOVERED for about 8 minutes, or until the pasta is tender.

**Mother Connie places a wooden spoon over the pot of cooking pasta to prevent boil overs.

Add the basil, salt and pepper.  Be sure to taste so you know if it needs more seasoning.  When you are satisfied with the flavors it is ready to ladle into soup bowls or soup plates.

Put the cheese on the table to be passed so each diner can top his own soup to suit his taste.

Are you living on a dime?  Do you scrimp by every month using an EBT card from WIC or SNAP?  Do you used food commodities?  Food pantry food?  Food from a food bank?  Are you stretching your food budget to the max every month because you love the challenge of doing all you can with your food dollars?  This blog is meant to help YOU, no matter who you are or how you fit into this grocery budget business.  Ya gotta EAT, after all… 

It is such a delight to read your comments and we love getting your mail at foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com    Thanks so much, everybody!

The Club House is BURSTING with new members!  This is because you have been urging your peeps to join and get our little series of cooking tips.  We know you find it refreshing not to be bombarded with sales pitches and you feel as if you can come here and be whoever you are.  That makes Mother Connie’s heart sing.

~Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there are links on this page. Should they be clicked, resulting in sales, your humble blogger would be fairly compensated. Please do your due diligence when conducting affairs online or offline. Always do business with those you trust implicitly.

 

Green Beans at the Food Stamps Cooking Club

February 8th, 2013

There are many ways to prepare green beans but everyone has a favorite!

Fueled by the inspiration of the recently posted sweet and sour cabbage recipe, Mother Connie prepared some green beans in a similar manner…

The lunch table conversation slowed to a halt.  This was the first clue that The Normanator was not thrilled with this dish.  Instinctively, I knew that once again I had “blown it”…HIS MOTHER had always made creamed green beans by thickening some cream -they had cows so cream was not the Big Buy it is these days-with a bit of flour.  Salt and pepper finished off the commonly served vegetable and thus, a family tradition was born.

My grandmother served something similar but I remember as a small child that there was a pat of butter with each serving.  Delicious does not begin to do that justice…

So in each of our families we had a green bean tradition.  The first time I sauteed fresh green beans with onions, I thought The Normanator might have a panic attack.

Sometimes I make creamed green beans; sometimes I prefer to change things up.  I fancy you do this, too.

I was surprised by a recent blog post from The Dinner Diva, Leanne Ely.  She advises against creaming spinach (boo hoo – my all time personal fave) because this interferes with the absorption of the great nutrients .  She did not mention green beans…

Another prep idea for green beans, which came out of the 1950s I believe, is to add a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup to the beans, creating a sort of creamed vegetable.  You might think of the green bean casserole with the onion rings.  But that would not be the healthiest choice…have you READ the labels on soup cans?  Well, if that’s all you have, that’s what you’ll use but I hope you are going for fresh or frozen or home canned…just sayin’…

If you are not married to your usual way of doing things, this might hit your hot button:

GREEN BEANS EXTRAORDINAIRE

2  cans green beans, drained  *Users of food commodities, this is great for YOU!

salt and pepper to taste

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

2 teaspoons chili sauce

splash of vegetable oil  *Mother Connie prefers olive oil but corn oil would do, as well.  If you use what’s in your pantry the Kitchen Police can’t file a complaint….

METHOD:

Mix the garlic, chili sauce, and honey together in a bowl.

Heat the oil in a heavy skillet to medium, add the beans and heat through thoroughly.  As soon as the beans are heated, which will take 2 or 3 minutes, your dish is ready to serve.

This makes enough for 4 adults.

***How does YOUR family like their green beans prepared?

 

We are thrilled to have so many new Members coming to the Club.  We trust this is one corner of the internet where you are free to express your views, offer your ideas, share your experience and wisdom.  You are welcome to send emails to foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com

As you know, we cater to users of public assistance, those who procure their food from food banks, food pantries, food commodities and generous friends or neighbors.  Those who simply MUST s t r e t c h their food dollars can include users  of SNAP or WIC by use of EBT cards; those on fixed incomes, those who are frugal by nature.  People who are living on a dime seem to find some helpful notions here, as well.

~Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there are links on this blog. Should they be clicked, resulting in sales, your humble blogger would be fairly compensated. Please do your due diligence when conducting affairs online or offline. Always do business with those you trust implicitly.

Sufferin’ Succotash! Food Stamps Cooking Club

July 23rd, 2012

Sufferin’ Succotash is a wonderful side dish for any meal; it’s even pretty enough to serve to guests. It is amazingly low cost and a super easy do!

Kids my age can’t think of succotash without remembering the lispy cartoon character who declared “Sufferin’ Succotash” at every dramatic turn in the story!  When this popped up in my line of sight, any  ingredients  missing from the pantry shelves went immediately on to the shopping list because it sounded so good and so easy.  I hasten to add,  also, that this is easy on the food budget.  I suspect this will become a comfort food in the Club House!

Sufferin’ Succotash

4 tablespoons oil  *Olive oil is my #1 fave but use what YOU like.  It’s YOUR dish, after all!

1  small chopped onion

3  cloves garlic, chopped very fine

1/4  jalapeno chile, stemmed, seeded and very finely chopped  *Gringos are allowed to omit this! giggle

salt and pepper

2  cups corn  *fresh, frozen or canned and drained will all do nicely

1  teaspoon sugar *This is the secret ingredient!

2  cups lima beans, cooked  *canned and drained, frozen, or dry beans you have cooked and drained

1  tablespoon chopped fresh oregano  *The Kitchen Police had no objection to my using dried oregano

1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered  *OK, I used Romas.  So sue me.  grin

METHOD:

Heat the oil on medium.  Add the onion, garlic, jalapeno, salt and pepper.  Cover and cook, stirring occasionally until the onion softens.  Add more salt if needed.  Add the corn, sugar, and salt again.  It will take about 10 minutes for the corn to soften.  Add a teeny bit of water if this seems dry as it cooks.

Turn the heat to medium high.  Add the beans and oregano.  Cook this for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the tomatoes and parsley and a sprinkle of pepper.

Now, for what it’s worth, it should be noted that The Normanator approved this dish, EVEN FOR GUESTS!

Incidentally, I served this with a very inexpensive piece of minute steak and this filled our tummies nicely.  We even turned down dessert because it was such a filling and pleasurable meal.

As you know, this little blog was custom designed for users of SNAP or WIC as a way to strengthen their buying power with that little EBT card.  We also intend that it is helpful for those who have food commodities, food from a food pantry or food bank.  People who are frugal or living on a dime;  people who  have not, for whatever reason, never learned how to cook or shop or plan meals.  We have a little series of cooking tips we send out when people join our merry band of foodies.  We sincerely hope these have value for you and your families.

There is yet ANOTHER cute blog that found us!  It is  Poor to Rich A Day at at Time and it looks as if it will be good for Club Members, too.  I hope you are all taking a moment to visit CT on a Budget and Creative Savv, also.  These bloggers have been such faithful supporters of what we are doing here that it’s only fair we cruise by and leave them some love…

Tomorrow I hope to talk about one of my favorite subjects related to food—DISHES!  We’ll see how that shapes up.  If I find something good to eat, I’ll share that, too.  AND if you come by the Club House, I’ll fill your glass with pure icy water.  This heat is killin’ us all!

Connie Baum

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