So, we are on this thing I’m calling the “new budget.” Which is exactly like the old budget, numerically speaking, but with the new twist of actually following it, even when it’s telling you something you don’t want to hear. It says ugly, mean things, things like, “You have $13 for groceries until the weekend and four mouths around that trendy Parsons table of yours, Lady.” And since I’ve yet to (and will likely never) learn to coupon, I have to put on my granny’s apron and get cozy at the stove.
We used to cook like this all the time– as recently as last summer, even– until we got busy with all of these (okay, TWO) kids and had to go out and earn money and blah blah blah we fell off the wagon and into the loving arms of the pizza place around the corner. And into the habit of just putting whatever our little hearts desire, la-de-dah, into our cart and putting our budget out of our hungry little minds.
But tonight! We took our $13 and Loaved and Fished that shit and came up with something so amazing and delicious it felt like it should have cost a lot more and been ordered from a menu somewhere. Which, funny you might ask, it actually does– the vegetarian joint around the corner serves a fab dish that inspired this one, and I dare say we made it even better for a fraction of the price.
Can I Get a Kale Yeah for Pintos?
- 1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 medium-ish onion, sliced thin
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bag chopped kale*
- olive oil
- lemon juice (just a few drops and totally optional)
- 1 block extra firm tofu
- Brown Rice – 4 servings prepared according to package
- Ranch Dressing
- Frank’s Hot Sauce
To make the tofu (skip this if you don’t like it):
Press the water out of your tofu block (use whatever method you love– I sit it on a cutting board next to the sink, prop one end up and set something heavy on top of it for about 15 minutes while the water drains out) and cut into thin slices. Pat with paper towel, brush with olive oil, add salt/ pepper to taste and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
To make the rest:
- Cook the onions in olive oil over medium heat until they’re translucent; add the garlic and stir around for about a minute more.
- Add several handfuls of Kale– more than you think you should, because it’s going to cook down quite a bit.
- When the kale looks wilty, hit it with a few dashes of lemon juice if you have it, then a few pinches of salt… maybe 1/2 tsp or so? I don’t know, who measures salt?
- Add the beans and stir around for a couple of minutes.
- Add your baked tofu to the mix.
- In a little bowl, mix Frank’s and Ranch (=Franch) to your own spicy liking.
Plate the pintos over the rice, pour on the Franch, stir it around and pretend you paid $9 a plate.
*Usually I’m all for buying bunches of veggies / greens over the pre-bagged ones, but our Kroger had no kale bunches (the indisputable sign of our neighborhood’s healthy hipster infestation) so I bought the big bag of Glory Greens. I have SEEN THE LIGHT! Cutting and de-stemming kale is a bitch, and no matter how small you try to cut it, you always end up with a few meal-ruining giant chewy mouthfuls of too-big kale– whereas Glory takes away all of the pain and gives you perfectly bite-sized, curly green bits of green good. Worth it. Really. GLORY BE.