Monday, July 7, 2014

Four-Bean Salad



At summer potlucks when I was a kid, my mom usually brought her three-bean salad. In college, I always had a batch stashed in the apartment fridge to eat with boxed mac-n-cheese. Mama’s three-bean salad recipe is sweeter than most versions you’d buy in a jar, and I’m a sucker for sweet (bean salad) with salty (mac-n-cheese)!
In recent years, I’ve added a fourth bean to the mix...
Ingredients:

My ingredients

14.5 oz. can cut green beans
14.5 oz. can cut wax beans             
15.5 oz. can kidney beans
15.5 oz. can chick peas
                      (garbanzo beans)
1 c. sugar
1 c. apple cider vinegar
½ c. vegetable oil
¼ t. salt
¼ t. black pepper
Note: Wax beans can be hard to find; if your store doesn’t carry them, double the green beans.
 
Directions:

1. Drain beans.
2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Stir.

3. Marinate for awhile in the fridge to help sugar dissolve (or eat salad immediately, if you want!)

Note: You can add a little minced onion if you want

 
In case you were wondering…
Mama’s 3-bean salad recipe: (From a cookbook??)
14.5 oz. can green beans
14.5 oz. can wax beans
15.5 oz. can kidney beans
½ c. sugar
1/3 c. apple cider vinegar
2/3 c. vegetable oil
¼ t. salt
¼ t. black pepper

 
Nutrition Facts* for Four-Bean Salad
Ingredient
Calories
Sodium
(%RDA)
Fiber (g)
Protein (g)
Calcium
 (%RDA)
14.5 oz green beans
70
42
3.5
3.5
7
14.5 oz. wax beans
70
35
3.5
3.5
7
15. 5 oz. kidney beans
385
67
21
28
21
15.5 oz. garbanzo beans
385
49
21
21
14
1 c. sugar
720
0
0
0
0
1 c. apple cider vinegar
32
0
0
0
0
½ c. canola oil
1040
0
0
0
0
¼ t. salt
0
25
0
0
0
Total (6 c.)
2702 kcal
218 %
49 g
56 g
49 %
½ c. serving
225 kcal
18 %
4 g
4.5 g
4 %
¼ c. serving
113 kcal
9 %
2 g
2 g
2 %

*Calculated from food packaging:
 I used “Great Value” (Walmart) brand cut green beans and chick peas, “DelMonte” brand cut golden wax beans, “Hanover” brand light red kidney beans, “Domino” brand sugar, “Food Lion” brand apple cider vinegar, “Wesson” brand canola oil, and “Morton” brand salt.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Red, White and Blue Salad




So…our air conditioning was out for a month. Late May-Late June. Very hot & humid in Maryland!!! Naturally, our family lingered in cool public places. At Costco one day, we tried a free sample of cubed watermelon served with cubed Feta cheese.
To my surprise, most of my 5 children liked the salty-sweet combo! So did my husband and I.
The kids suggested it would be great 4th-of-July fare if we added blueberries…

Note: This snack is tastier with chunk Feta, cut up (moist) than pre-crumbled Feta (dry).

At Costco, they served "President" brand Chunk Feta.
(I am NOT a paid advertiser, just reporting J)
 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Butternut Squash Lasagna


 
We first tasted this savory meal at our friends Jason & Debbie’s house! My husband Ben and I kept going back for seconds…and thirds…etc. We asked for the recipe, and Jason said he’d found it on allrecipes.com!
 
When I read the recipe, I was surprised that the creamy pureed sauce contained so much squash!
 
Since then, I’ve made butternut squash lasagna several times for my own family. Tonight as I cleaned up dinner and packed away the extra Ben said, “I can’t wait for the leftovers!”
 
Health bonus: 1 cup of lasagna = almost half your daily calcium!
 
Ingredients:

3 lb. butternut squash
    (pre-packaged cubes from produce dept.)
3 T olive oil
1 t. salt

Ingredients!
¼ t. black pepper
¼ c. butter
6-8 cloves garlic, minced (~2 T.)
¼ c. flour
4 c. milk

8 oz. "oven ready" (no-cook) lasagna noodles
1  1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese
 

Roast Squash:
1. Preheat oven to 450° F.

2. In large mixing bowl, combine cubed squash with olive oil and ½ teaspoon salt.

3. Spread oily squash on greased baking sheet. Bake about 20 minutes, until golden and easily pierced with a knife.
 

Roasted squash
 
4. Puree squash in food processor or blender, leaving a few chunks if desired.


Make Sauce:
1. Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Sauté garlic in butter.

2. When butter is melted, add flour. Whisk 2 minutes.

3. Add 1 cup milk, whisking. Add 2nd cup milk, whisking. Add rest of milk. Bring to a simmer, whisking occasionally. Cook until thickened, 6-12 minutes.

4. Add squash puree, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Turn off heat.


Assemble & Bake Lasagna:
1. Heat oven to 375° F.

2. Spray 9 x 13” pan with cooking spray.

3. Make layers in pan, starting with bottom layer:


Top:       1/3 c. Parmesan
               2 c. sauce
               1/3 of noodles


Middle:  ½ c. Parmesan
        2 ½ c. sauce
        1/3 of noodles
 

Middle:  ½ c. Parmesan
        2 ½ c. sauce
        1/3 of noodles

Bottom: 1 cup sauce


4. Loosely cover with foil.

5. Bake 30 minutes; remove foil and bake 10 more minutes.
 
 

Recipe Modifications from original on allrecipes.com: Jason left out the cream and we didn’t miss it—tasted very creamy! I don’t use cream either, and I further adjusted the recipe by adding more salt and using salted butter instead of unsalted.

Nutrition Facts:

Ingredient
Calories
Sodium
(% RDA)
Protein (g)
Fiber (g)
Calcium (% RDA)
3 lb. (4 x 12 oz. pkg.) butternut squash
640
3
16
32
34
3 T. olive oil
360
0
0
0
0
1 t. salt
0
100
0
0
0
¼ c. salted butter
400
16
0
0
0
¼ c. flour
110
0
3
0
0
Qt. skim milk
360
20
32
0
120
8 oz. lasagna noodles
800
0
24
8
0
1  1/3 c. Parmesan cheese
624
94
62
0
187
Total:
3294 kcal
230 %
137 g
40 g
371%
1/8 pan (~ 1 c.)
412 kcal
29%
17 g
5 g
46%

 

Nutrition facts calculated from packaging:

I used “Marketside” (Walmart) packages butternut squash“Kirkland” (Costco) brand olive oil, “Morton” brand salt, “Daily Chef” (Sams Club) brand butter, “Bakers and Chefs” (Sams Club) flour, “ACME” brand fat-free milk, “Ronzoni” brand oven-ready lasagna, and “Kraft” brand grated Parmesan cheese.