So, determined and on a mission, I opened the pantry door and looking at the odd selection of cans, boxes and mainly empty space, I started trying to piece together a meal. Well, I had enough slow-cook long grain brown rice to feed half the family, but I moved some stuff and discovered a box of quick-cook brown rice that would feed the rest of the family. So what if one takes 5 minutes and the other takes 45-minutes to cook. That was the base of the meal. What next? Hmm, a can of black beans (expiration date? shew...still good.) Oooo, a can of navy beans. Is that what I think it is? Holy-moly, it is! A can of kidney beans. Everything is brown. I'm not a fan of mono-chromatic meals. Needs some color. Ahhhh a can of corn. Tada!
Now to check the fridge....need something to add some flavor and a little more color. Well, there you go, that onion-half left over from dinner 2 days ago. Cool! a bag with 10 carrot chips in it! And a half of a green pepper that's not mushy!
So, the chopped onions, green pepper, and carrots got sauteed with some olive oil before dumping in the drained kidney, black, navy beans, and corn. The house even smelled like home-cookin'! I think it's the onions that do that. A dash of chili powder, a pinch of red pepper, some seasoning salt to taste. Yum! All I needed now was some good crusty whole-grain bread. So while the one batch of rice was still cooking, my 18-year old son zipped to the store for some bread. Okay, so we did pick up one thing, but it was healthy.
The only thing that would have made the meal even better would have been if each member of the family had taken a Beano pill before eating. Other than that, I'm thinking maybe I'll do this every Thursday night. I'll call it "Pot Luck Thursday" cause we'll be lucky (and grateful) for whatever goes in that pot.
Sitting, here now, feeling full (and a little gassy), I've realized that this meal is actually pretty good for runners. The meal is full of protein, fiber, complex carbs as well as being full of vitamins and minerals. And believe it or not, it looked and tasted good! If you wanted a little more protein, you could chop up some leftover grilled chicken or saute some hamburger burger. Or, instead of rice, use Quinoa. Chickpeas would also work well in this mixture.
So, the next time you're faced with pick-up or an interesting hodgepodge meal, try the hodgepodge. You might be pleasantly surprised. (Side note: don't feed the dog the leftovers (or these leftovers anyways). You'll regret that decision. Just take my word for it.)