18 April 2013

big easy

Normally I try to avoid pre-seasoned or pre-packaged foods because they tend to be too salty and not that great for you. But every once in awhile, especially after a long day of field tripping with the fifth grade, I'm not in the mood to plan a menu and prep all the elements of the meal. Exhausted times like these are when it helps to have a few tricks up your sleeve and a few mains and sides in the freezer or pantry.

Tonight we opened the freezer and pulled out some seasoned waffle-cut fries and saucy cajun salmon. Even though the White House may consider french fries a vegetable, I don't. We needed more color on the plate and since we have seemingly never-ending supplies of beans and kale, that's what I made. I seasoned the kale with some sazon and cumin and steamed it with garlic, onion, and sliced summer sausage. I prepared the beans just like I would a spicy vegetarian chili, but only brought it to a simmer for a few minutes to make sure everything was hot but not totally cooked into chili; almost like a summer chili because it isn't as hearty as winter chili. Thirty minutes later we pulled the fish and chips out of the oven and spooned our two veggie sides from the stovetop for a bright, colorful, slightly inspired by New Orleans meal. Even better than the quick simplicity of the meal was the fact that the ease and swiftness with which we prepared it meant that the weather was still ideal for al fresco dining!

summer chili
1 can red beans
5 campari tomatoes, large diced
1 small onion, large diced
1 tsp avocado oil
1 tsp pepper jelly
cayenne, chipotle, black peppers to taste
1. In a small saucepan, heat oil and sautee onions until slightly softened. Add beans, tomatoes, pepper jelly and peppers. Simmer on a medium heat about 10-15 minutes.

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