Ever eat a can of beans just because… or maybe just because a can of beans is an easy, filling, and tasty meal? As a somewhat new vegetarian, I’ve had to adjust to new ways of consuming ample amounts of protein. Beans have quickly moved up my plant-based high protein list of staple foods. If you’re from the east coast you’ve most likely never heard of Ranch beans. Growing up in California we frequently ate “Ranch Style” Beans, specifically those made by Congra Foods. Before 4 days ago, it had been years since I’d tasted the heavenly Texas inspired flavors of Ranch beans. Luckily with my new found passion for pressure canning, I’m able to experiment with bean varieties such as these. These ranch style beans are even tastier and more versatile than my first canned bean batch: Taco Spiced Chickpeas. Adding cinnamon to the savory mixture of onions, tomatoes, and jalapeños really pushes these beans to the next level. So far I’ve tried them in bean and cheese burritos, as well as an ingredient in acorn squash stuffed with wild rice. I’m looking forward to trying canned black eyed peas, chile beans, baked beans, etc. Enjoy!
HAPPY SNOW DAY!! Though a tomato based recipe may be a bit of a stretch in the middle of December, I made an exception for this Gazpacho Salsa. Running low on the tomatillo salsa that I made earlier this year, I couldn’t help myself when I came across Put a Lid On It‘s sun dried tomato gazpacho salsa. I used organic veggies from TJ’s and ingredients I bought at our local food co-op. I doubled the original recipe, and supplemented part of the lemon juice with citric acid. As previously suggested, this salsa would go great atop a nice white fish, or could be turned into gazpacho soup by adding some heat and tomato juice. Before processing, this salsa’s flavor was spicy, tart, and a bit sugary. I can’t wait to pop a post-processed jar as I’ve found the flavor can change and be amplified after sitting for a month.
I’ve recently came across the food swapping scene! What a brilliant idea and motivation for me to keep canning. Have any of you participated in any food swapping meet-ups or events in your area?