Tomato, Spinach, Black Bean Mash-up

This is the weekend I wanted to make the Mushroom and Bean Chile that I used to make “back in the day,” from a recipe in a vegetarian cookbook I used a lot when I was in grad school. I didn’t feel like going to the grocery store to buy the ingredients,  so I decided to see what I could whip up using food I already have.

I’ll just mention that I am too heavy. I need to lose weight, and get healthier. Cooking my own meals is the best way I know of to accomplish these goals. I also enjoy cooking, and have had the urge to blog about cooking for years. So here’s a start.

I call this dish Tomato, Spinach, Black Bean Mash-up, for lack of a better name.

I wanted a vegetable, of course, and I had frozen spinach in the freezer. I needed some kind of sauce to go with it, and found canned diced tomatoes in the pantry.

Chopped spinach and diced  tomatoes

To prepare the tomatoes, I first sautéed some minced garlic (from a jar) in a few tablespoons of olive oil.  I poured in the tomatoes, and added a little basil, crushed bay leaves, a smidgen of ground ginger, a teaspoon or so of  sugar, and a dash of salt.

Ginger, basil, salt, garlic

Then I added the chopped spinach that I had thawed in the microwave for about minute.

Tomatoes and spinach in skillet

I mixed it all up and let it simmer for a few minutes. Then I thought to myself, this needs something else to bulk it up.  I looked in the pantry and found a can of black beans.

Black beans in colander

After rinsing the beans in a colander to get rid of excess sodium, I added them to the skillet, stirred it all up, let it simmer a couple more minutes, and that was that. Because cheese makes everything better, I added shredded cheese as a topping after I put the concoction in my Pyrex lunch containers.

Finished dish

That’s lunch for two days! I might cook up the last two pieces of  fish we have in the freezer to add some meat to the meal.

That’s what I cooked using stuff I already had in the kitchen. Healthier me, here I come!

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