“Franks” and Beans
Welcome to a BONUS Secret Recipe Club posting! This month I’m featuring an orphan blog from Group C as part of Group D’s link-up, with my normal Group A recipe coming next week. I’m so excited to be starting another year with SRC, I have meet so many amazing bloggers and found so many incredible recipes. Which is why I jumped at the chance to adopt and orphan blog, and what led me to Mary Anne and Mariel’s Feast on the Cheap. This mother-daughter duo focuses on meals that can feed your entire family on a budget that won’t break the bank. They also have one of the more extensive recipe pages out there, focusing not only on the type of meal but also what budget category it fits in. I was immediately drawn to the picture for the $10 meals, but made sure to check all of her categories to insure I found the perfect recipe. In the end I “narrowed” it down to five recipes before finally deciding that the Franks and Beans were too good to pass up – after a slight twist. I’ve never been a fan of cold beans while Joe is not a fan of raw red onions, so I decided to serve this salad hot.
This dish was perfection! Per the original suggestion I served with some leafy greens, massaged kale in this case, and added some fresh sourdough bread to round things out. Originally this dish had corn in it, but from the grocery store to my house the corn went MIA so I added a bit more sweet potato which worked very well – tho I do want to try this dish again with the corn. I’m also hoping to make her s’more brownies because they sound beyond insanely good.
Fall is officially here, Halloween has past and the clocks have gone back – there is no way to deny that cold weather is here and colder weather is fast approaching. Yes, winter is coming but this year I’m ready with tons of quick and easy soups. I’ve always been a big soup person, but I’ve realized I need to branch out beyond the classic butternut squash soup and the easy potato soups and attempt other varieties. After being surrounded by pumpkins at the grocery stores the past month or so I decided to grab one of the smaller pie pumpkins and see what all I could do with him – that didn’t involve baking a pie. After debating a pumpkin bisque, I decided to go for broke and attempt a pumpkin chili. I know from previous experience that sweet potatoes and butternut squash go well with chilies (and beans) so figured that the similarly tasting (to me) pumpkin would also fit well in this equation. One of those if x=y and b=y than x=b moments – and there we also have proof that on occasion I did occasionally pay attention in math class.
This recipe is one of the few that I made up on the spot and decided to just go ahead and post – typically something gets tested a few times but I was so impressed with how this all came together I couldn’t resist. For those seeking a milder chili swap the serrano for a jalapeno – and for extra mild seed the jalapeno first. As for toppings – chives, cheese, and sour cream are the staples in my house but there is no right or wrong way to top your chili. Another awesome thing about this recipe is it can easily be modified for a slow cooker. Just pre-cook the onion and peppers (either day or night before) and then toss all ingredients in to the slowcooker. When using the slow cooker I add the full cup of water and cook on low for 7 hours, easier to thicken it up with flour than trying to rescue a scorched dish .
Another week another challenge from /52weeks! This week the challenge was of the secret ingredient variety and we had to work with legumes. Legumes come in all sorts of varieties and are one of the primary components of our diets – excluding peanuts of course. I decided to go with kidney beans and tried to recreate a common dinner I had growing up, with a vegetarian twist. Dirty rice is extremely simple to make, and there are a few kits on store shelves to make it even easier. The first few times I made the dish I used one such kit until I figured out the right combination of spices and ingredients.
I decided to top mine with some sour cream but Greek yogurt would also work, or nothing at all. The best part is this is one of those dishes where the protein doesn’t really matter, making it one of those awesome cabinet emptying dishes. For an extra boost, and crunch, serve over kale or spinach!
Note: So Delicious is not an affiliate link – I just really like their products
Three Bean Chili
Apparently I watch a little too much BravoTV because I started getting a crazy chili craving around this time last week, and I’m thinking Top Chef has something to do with that. While none of the Top Chefs made my favorite kind of chili (White Bean Verde) I was inspired to try making my own vegetarian Three Bean Chili. I had never made chili on my own before, but had assisted parents and friends in past chili making adventures. For awhile I thought about sticking with white beans and going down that familiar path but after further thought I decided to be daring and try a red chili even tho I have never had a vegetarian red bean chili. I avoided using imitation meat in this, I’m trying to cut down on as much processed food as possible, and with that also used dry beans instead of canned. However I’m sure that some browned un-meat would be a great addition to this meal and will probably try adding seitan at some point. As a bonus this recipe utilized the slow cooker which makes it the perfect mid-week or crazy weekend meal.
The chili can be topped with mexican cheese, cream cheese, pico de gallo, or anything else that tickles your fancy. I also served Joe’s over some cheesy cornbread while I decided to indulge in some blue corn chips with mine. For a great next day meal add some cooked elbow noodles and cheddar cheese for some Chili Mac, yummy!