Eat your beans, help each other

I haven’t posted anything lately because I am busy organizing my temporary move to S. Florida from Plano. The whole idea of moving away has been pretty overwhelming and I have been going back and forth trying to decide what to bring with me and what to store for my return.

For a foodie, the idea of leaving behind “ my kitchen” is the hardest. I have a lot more than the normal apartment dweller. Should I take the pasta maker which I haven’t used in 18 years?  What about the multiple crock pots? They are super when used at my annual tree trimming party.  Do I take the blender or will the stick blender suffice?

These are difficult decisions and I have realized how much I depend on the “extras” that make my time in the kitchen easier and more enjoyable.

I thought I would try out living with just “the basics” for awhile before deciding. I have done pretty well but only because I haven’t cooked anything of substance but a piece of salmon. I have given up smoothies. The stick blender just didn’t sound right for that.

No more pitting olives or cherries, not that I did that much anyway. How do I French cut green beans without my green bean frencher? You might ask if I really use these devices and the answer is, yes, I do.  I love these little extras.

So cooking with “the basics” is…well…basic. My diet has gone to heck. Toast with peanut butter for breakfast, lunch is leftovers from last night’s dinner out, who knows what for dinner….cereal maybe?

What I have made that is not only healthy but benefits a great cause, is black bean soup. My friend Nancy gave me some soup mixes from the “Women’s Bean Project” in Denver. The non profit organization has been helping women gain self sufficiency and employment since its inception. http://www.womensbeanproject.com/whatwedo.html

I normally make my soups from scratch, so I wondered how this would turn out.  I must admit it was really easy to make and the soup is wonderful. I did find it needed a little umph…so I added some Picante sauce (I used Pace) to each serving, some shredded low fat cheddar and chopped avocado. That is all it needed.

So, I have been eating the soup for dinner and feel I have improved my “basics” diet considerably this way.

I would highly recommend you try the soups from the Women’s Bean Project. They make great hostess or holiday gifts too. 

You can “eat you beans” and help those women who have been chronically unemployed or living at the poverty level, to develop the skills and training to support themselves and their families. That should taste pretty good going down!