flit: (lunch)
[personal profile] flit
I needed to use up some opened cans (black beans, diced tomatoes), so this happened. I didn't really measure ingredients, just added things randomly, so add stuff and taste to see if it's right. It came out strangely delicious which is why I'm recording it. I'll scale it up to full cans here because that's how people who are not living on my planet cook.

Vegetarian and easily adapted to be vegan (just leave out the cheese or use vegan cheese if you like it.)

Serves 2-3.

* 1 can black beans (I use Eden, which is very low sodium)
* 1 can Muir Glen Fire-Roasted No-Salt-Added Tomatoes, Diced (yes, very specific; if you can get these fire-roasted babies, I think they're the secret ingredient, because they have a delightful smoky flavor. Would be doable but not as good if you use others. I prefer to add salt in to recipes so I can control the amounts, but you can use normal canned tomatoes and not add as much extra salt.)
* 1 cup chopped onion
* enough water to almost cover or make this all loose; you'll lose some water in the simmering and it will become denser
* umm a bunch of cumin powder. I just knocked some in from the jar, probably at least a teaspoon and a half for this scaling.
* a teaspoon or so of hot paprika, which is the mild chile powder I have on hand; you can use chile powder but if you use a pre-made blend leave out some garlic powder (often in blends), cumin (often in blends), salt (often in blends). Check blend ingredients or just add to taste. If you can't get your hands on the fire-roasted tomatoes, try hot smoked Spanish paprika to impart the smokiness.
* half a teaspoon to a teaspoon of garlic powder, depending on taste. Or minced fresh garlic but I was lazy.
* something hot to punch it up; I used a little habanero hot sauce, but a chipotle or two, diced, or diced jalapeno would also be good. I was going for a mild buzz because I'm a wimp. Add as much as you like.
* scant 1/8th tsp. allspice because "it needed something from this neighborhood"
* 1/8th tsp. cinnamon, see allspice
* fresh ground black pepper, as much as you like
* salt to taste

Cook this at a fast simmer, stirring pretty often, for about 15 minutes, which should get the onions fully cooked. If they are still white it is not done yet. Since this is meatless it really doesn't need a hugely long cooking time. This is a quick easy meal. You can make it need less stirring by parking it on a low simmer for a longer time, probably total of 30 minutes.

To this I added small-dice fat-free cheddar cheese, which I had bought to see if it was good; it wasn't very. It claims that it melts and it lies. Lies! I simmered for another five minutes and it was still only half-melted. Scary! I think it acts this way because it is mostly whey, and untempered by fat or lactose I guess that means... rubber.

So it should be simmered for 20 minutes now. If you are adding real cheese in, don't put it in until serving unless you want it to be undifferentiated; I think part of the fun is biting into little chunks of cheese. You could top with chopped raw onions, green onions, lemon or lime juice, sour cream, guacamole, or whatever you like. Or just eat it as-is like I did.

Strangely, the fat-free cheese ended up tasting really good in this, for the first time ever. So now I know how to use up the rest of it!

The way I made it, it was almost fat-free. If you are trying *not* to eat lowfat, you can stir in some olive oil or top with sour cream or guacamole or just use cheese (or more cheese.)

I am having a crashy day so this recipe is certified fatigue-okay. Not as easy as popping packaged food into a microwave, but on the easy side for real food.
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August 2011

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