So yesterday, day 3 of the Daniel Fast, was a bust in terms of any exciting, blog-worthy posts. Not because we were eating bland, boring food – no, no, no – but rather because we love leftovers. I mean seriously, when the food you make is yummy and delicious, why just have it once? Of course that plays right into the hands of the busy working woman (or man) who does not want to sacrifice nutrition, taste or time when it comes to eating. In today’s busy work-a-day world “quick” is too often translated into processed meals picked up at the grocery store in anticipation of the frantic week ahead or the drive thru on the way home from another hectic day. I am happy that as I experiment with new recipes and learn more about foods and cooking, I am finding more ways to balance the time I spend preparing and cooking, so that there are days when I can come home and just reheat and eat. For example, who knew that beans could be frozen? Or rice? Or diced green peppers? Or ginger? Or spinach? Awesome! Don’t have a pressure cooker (it’s on my wish-list)? Cook up those dried beans in the slow cooker and forget about ‘em! Then package them up into freezer bags or containers and throw it in the freezer for later. Love brown rice but hate how long it takes to cook? Bake (yep, you can bake it – perfect rice and no boiling over!) up a double batch and throw some in the freezer. Green pepper about to go off in the back of the crisper? Dice it up and throw it in the freezer – it’s perfect for a chili or spaghetti sauce later. Fresh ginger root at the supermarket too large to use up in time? Guess what? Chop it in to chunks and chuck it into the freezer; it peels & dices easily when frozen. Did you buy one of those large containers of spinach and it is about to turn to slime? You got it: throw it in a baggie & freeze it. Let the freezer be your fast food stop and left overs be your convenience food.
While yesterday was about my love affair with leftovers (Italian Pasta & Bean soup and Baked Lentils with Rice), today was Throwback Tuesday (yah, yah, I know it is supposed to be Thursdays but work with me here ok, ’cause we’re blazing new trails!). The Mexican One-Pot Wonder got a makeover, thanks to – you guessed it – a green pepper lying in the back of my crisper, leftover cous-cous, and frozen spinach and pinto beans. I really need to make this dish more often because it is so quick and the salsa makes such a great base; assuming you use a good salsa that is. We like the Pace brand (medium) and it is sugar-free. You really can make this recipe your own by adding whatever you have on hand, just a few basic ingredients or a hodge-podge of whatever you can scrounge up. I also have a couple of ripe avocados right now and I think that any Mexican dish is improved by the addition of this deliciously creamy fruit (I grudgingly allow my husband to have a few slices; thankfully he does not share my avocado passion). So here it is again, re-done and ready to be the star of your kitchen!
Mexican One-Pot Wonder
- 10 or 12 baby potatoes, quartered
- 2-1/2 cups salsa, any heat level – mild, medium or hot
- 1/2 cup each canned or cooked black beans, pinto beans & chickpeas, drained & rinsed
- 1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
- 1 green pepper, seeded & diced
- 1 frozen spinach cube or 1/2 to 1 cup fresh torn spinach
- 1/2 cup cooked cous-cous
- 1 avocado, sliced (optional)
- Shredded Daiya cheese and/or vegan sour cream (optional – not for the Daniel Fast)
Place the potatoes in a soup bowl and microwave until soft when pierced with a fork, approximately 3 to 5 minutes give or take depending on your microwave and size of potatoes. Meantime, in a medium size saucepan, heat the salsa, beans, corn, green pepper, spinach and cous-cous. Serve over the cooked potatoes and garnish with the avocado if using.