notes from maggie's farm
Internet issues, car issues, plant issues, living-in-the-sticks issues. Some days sap the strength out of you.
Some days you just. don't. have it.
You know how you walk into the kitchen full of hope and.......... nothing. Nothing comes. No creative juices flow. You've misplaced your culinary mojo.
I have days like that. In fact, today is like that. I've got nothing. Jack. Nada.
Which is quite unfortunate, because it's a holiday weekend and I should be brimming with fabulous holiday eats, no?
Well, no. I'm not.
Hopefully the muse will return tomorrow. Or maybe the next day. But for today, I need something easy. Something with little effort, big return--something that will belie the fact that I am floundering.
I need bright, delicious, healthy, easy.
Bingo! I have those leftover beans from this meal. Half of three cans each of fiber and protein-rich legumes. And I've got a plan.
I've got a plan because I always have a plan for days like these. I keep a plan for those days when being fabulously creative hurts my head.
You need a plan, too.
My plan is this: Legumes+Crunchy Veggies+Fresh Herb+Vinaigrette+Seasonings
Now, play with that. Take out what you already have in the pantry, garden, or fridge, and make a masterpiece. This is what we did with those leftover beans from earlier this week:
Canned Beans: We used red beans, black beans, and garbanzo beans.
Fresh Vegetables: We used celery, chopped up the leaves and all, sweet onion, and a mild anaheim pepper--we didn't seed it, just chopped the whole thing.
Fresh Herb: We used the flowering tops of basil, and some leaves, chopped fine. Leaves, alone, will be just fine. We just wanted to utilize what we'd pruned from them, earlier. Waste not, want not.
Vinaigrette: Really? We just used a great aged balsamic and a buttery italian olive oil. Nothing Fancy.
We seasoned our dish with roasted lemon (more on that later), salt, pepper, and one crushed garlic clove.
Our bean choices (choices made by what was leftover, but any one, or combo of beans will do) were drained and rinsed well. We chopped up the veggies we had in somewhat uniform shapes and sizes. Carrots are great in here, if you have them. We've also used chopped kohlrabi, baby turnips, radishes--really anything crunchy. We crushed and minced one clove of garlic--tossed that in and mixed well. We chopped up some fresh basil. Dill, sage, cilantro, oregano, marjoram--they'd all be welcome, too. We tossed it with a balsamic vinaigrette (really? We just eyed about 1 part balsamic vinegar to 2 parts olive oil and poured it over the assembly. No fancy footwork today.). And we corrected the seasonings by adding salt and freshly-ground pepper and this roasted lemon condiment we have bottled up. We'll be sharing that in an upcoming post, (in fact tomorrow if I can get my act together today, but it's looking iffy) because we LOVE it, but right now, you can just grate a little lemon zest atop, or leave it out entirely. Toss it all together, refrigerate for about 30 minutes..and serve.
p.s. We had a little barley leftover from that dinner, too, and we tossed that in later, along with some ricotta cheese. Its was great. This leftover thing can really extend the life of one meal's preparations. Who doesn't need a little help like that occasionally? Like today.
"Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm."
~ Sir Winston Churchill