Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Must Haves

Hello friends, the other night I threw together a rather tasty black bean soup for dinner, and it got me thinking about a few of the essentials that everyone should always have in their fridge/cupboards. Especially for people who are living alone or in pairs. My official list of must haves are:

Garlic (fresh or powder)
Carrots (optional in summertime)

A can of Black Beans
A can of chicken stock

Your Favorite Rice
Your Favorite Pasta

It is my belief that if you keep these basic ingredients on hand at all times you will always be able to feed yourself well. You could throw together a pasta dish, dirty rice or soup in no time. If you keep a decent selection of dried herbs on hand, you can also do anything from Italian to Mexican to a good old fashion stew. The bonus is that you can also grow many of the fresh ingredients easily in your backyard or patio. If you really want to get adventuresome, you could even try your hand at mushroom growing (really wanna try this)!

Weeknight BB Soup
(serves two)

5 small Roma tomatoes
5 cloves of garlic roughly chopped
handful of rough chopped onion
handful of sliced carrot
1 small jalapeno (optional if you are heat sensitive)
1 can of black beans
1 quart of chicken broth
Salt, Pepper and lots of Cumin to taste

The wonderful part of this soup is all you do is chop everything up, throw it in the pot with grace and style and let it simmer until the carrots are soft (about 20-30 minutest). I served it with a thick slice of buttered bread. The tomatoes can cause a slight film/bubbles to develop on top so you can either just scoop that off or wait until the last five minutes to add the tomatoes.


Theresa said...

Something I've found very useful is to have a big jar each of dried minced onion and dried mushrooms (available at Sam's Club)and a few cans of condensed milk on hand. These are three things that can save you a trip to the store if you want to throw something together but find yourself out of fresh onion, mushrooms or milk.

Robin said...

I didn't know they carried bulk dried mushrooms. Are they a mix or one type?

Theresa said...

The ones I buy at Sam's are in the same large container that their bulk spices come in and are dried slices of regular white mushrooms. Not fancy, but if you have a sudden hankerin' for something that calls for mushroom slices they can sure save the day...and they don't spoil if you don't get to them for a while! I can't tell you how many times just having dried mushrooms and onions and canned milk on hand saved me a trip to the store. The canned milk can be used for ANYTHING that calls for milk. I've even used up leftovers in my coffee because it's thicker like cream...I wouldn't necessarily drink it straight but it is wonderful for a milk replacement in soups, mackey cheese, baking, meatloaf...pretty much anything that calls for milk--especially when you find you need 1 cup and only have 1/2 cup left in the milk jug!