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!
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!
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