There was this plan. A Food for Five plan, I seem to remember dubbing it. There were rules about not spending too much money on food. Being budget conscious, pinching pennies and using all my left-overs. Good stuff to teach me thrift and save me Euros.
Yeah, so that didn’t happen.
I’ve been cranky lately. Wanting to bite people’s heads off for doing perfectly normal things like pulling on their coat before getting off the train (missing my face by an inch, but still) or clearing their throat (though, really, if you have to cough, do it and don’t sit there sounding like a mad porcupine before – surprise surprise – spreading the germ love anyway).
I blame the lack of light. Leaving the house in the dark, working all day in an artificially lit office and then making your way home in the dark again cannot be healthy for a person.
Also, these below-zero temperatures are seriously pissing me off. Every morning before I get on my bike, I pull on arm warmers, a thick, heavy coat, wrap my throat in a scarf and hide my hands in a pair of gloves. Then I scrape the ice off my saddle, cover it with a seat cover to prevent icy left-overs from soaking my trousers, install lights and fight three frost-bitten locks. It takes for-ever. I miss miss miss the days when I slipped on a jacket, bounced downstairs in flip-flops, had no troubles opening my locks and was good to go in seconds. Okay, so maybe “bouncing” is not an accurate description of my early-morning movements any time of the year, but still.
Being cheap about my food in these dark, cold times is not going to happen. It is ticking me off. Plus, it is causing blog-block, which I loathe. So here’s my towel- I am throwing it in.
Luckily, it is not just the desire to be thrifty that keeps me from handing over my entire income to food vendors. I also have a money-saving lazy streak. Yesterday, for instance, I couldn’t be bothered cycling to the supermarket when time for dinner came. Instead, I pulled a few cans from the pantry and combined them with bits and pieces floating around my kitchen. Was I glad I did. Not only did I save on groceries, I stumbled upon the first legume preparation I want to make again and again because it is so good (and not just because it is good for me). Served over a spicy tomato sauce with a fried egg on top, it was a great Sunday supper. I imagine it would be even better served as a dip, with some finely chopped cilantro as a garnish and crunchy vegetables to dunk in it. In fact, it is so good that I am putting it on the Legume Love List. That’s right: one down, nine to go.
Butter bean dip
Makes about 1,5 cups
1 can of butter beans, drained and rinsed
4 tbsp of a mild yogurt
2 small cloves of garlic, pressed
large pinch of crushed chili flakes
Place the beans in a food processor and add the yogurt. Pulse until it is a coarse puree, then add the garlic and the crushed chili flakes. Process until it has the consistency you like in a dip. I like mine smooth, but chunks may be good too. Taste, and add more yogurt, garlic, chili flakes or salt as needed.
Serve with vegetables or a nice bread to dip.