Monday, December 29, 2008

Dinner for a Buck

The New York Times' Well blog ran a column today featuring 20 healthy foods that can be had for under $1 a serving - not a bad price in this day and age (especially for someone like me who could spend hundreds of dollars on groceries each week). The list originated on the Divine Caroline site and features foods like eggs, tofu, broccoli, and chickpeas (garbanzo beans). Click here for the entire list.

I loved this list (although I could quibble with a few of the choices), and it was both a good reminder to eat some foods I don't use very often and a good affirmation of some of the foods we eat regularly. I try to always keep a can of beans in the pantry, usually chickpeas, cannellini beans, or black beans. They save me whenever I'm looking for a side dish or a super quick lunch to take to work. And they're endlessly customizable. Making something Latin flavored? Spice up black beans with red onion, cilantro, and lime juice. Italian? Stir in olive oil, fresh sage or parsley, scallion, and lemon juice. If you have it on hand, add in tuna canned in olive oil for a great tuna salad on its own or between bread.

You can pretty much taste your way to deliciousness with beans and their seasonings, but here's the recipe for the black bean salad to get you started:


Serve with tacos, quesadillas, chicken or pork tenderloin.

Ingredients: 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 TB canola or vegetable oil
1 TB lime juice, freshly squeezed
2 TB red onion, finely chopped
2 TB cilantro, finely chopped
1/4 tsp. salt

1. Mix all ingredients in medium bowl.
2. Adjust seasoning if necessary.


• For French chickpea salad, stir together chickpeas, olive oil, white wine vinegar, shallot, fresh thyme and salt.

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