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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Random Food Fridays - White Bean Guacamole

I can't believe I haven't given you a RFF post since September 7th! Life has been pretty hectic. Family stuff, work stuff, harvest stuff, canning stuff, Fall garden installation stuff. Whew! Zip! Bang! Pow! Mother Nature requires attention to timing. Late Summer/early Fall are high intensity times in the garden. This is true, even for a tiny garden like mine. So far, tomatoes, green beans and chard have come out. Kale, peas, spinach, carrots, daikon and radishes have gone in. I still have more to plant, including some lovely fava beans to fix nitrogen in the soil. I don't know if I like fava beans, but they are very pretty bushes and do the soil a lot of good.

So, here I am on a Thursday night, creating my post for Friday. Tomorrow we have the pleasure of attending the opening of a sci-fi and fantasy inspired art show at Art Ark Gallery in San Jose. Our girl is showing her work! We did have plans to bring her back home with us for a visit with her grandmas, but she's had a bad cold. We just can't take germs around the oldsters. So, instead of a round of grandma visits, we will be viewing her show and coming back home to our empty nest.

When life gets crazy, I often end up eating on the fly. Even if I don't eat fast food, I often eat too fast! I really like to eat my own food. That's why I do all this stuff. I mean, it's GOOD! If  I plan ahead, I can avoid spending my lunch time obtaining food and just start eating. If I know things are ratcheting up, I have to plan work-day lunches on Sunday. That's the only way to do it. Beans are a favorite. They end up in salads, soups, spreads, and dips. To make cooking from dry beans easier, I measure, sort, wash and then place the beans in a jar in the fridge until I'm ready to cook them. They can wait for several days. You have to pick a jar that is a lot bigger than your beans because they grow so much. I usually put 1 cup of dried beans into a quart jar of filtered water. The next step is cooking. If you are home for a few hours, cooking on the stove stop only takes an hour or two, depending on the type of bean. One of my favorite ways to cook beans is in the crock pot. I drain and rinse the soaked beans and add them to the crock pot with fresh water. I've cooked them overnight or during the work day. Voila! Cooked beans with no effort.

This dip is super yummy. It's kind of a hybrid of bean dip, hummus and guacamole - all flavors I love! I've enjoyed this with soft corn tortillas, corn chips and fresh veggies. Gotta change it up somehow, right?

White Bean Guacamole
1 cup dry, small white beans
1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced small
2 tbsp. shallot, diced small
1 large clove garlic, crushed
big hand full of loosely chopped cilantro
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 salt
1 tsp. Tapatio sauce
2 ripe avocados

Sort and rinse the beans. Place them in a quart jar and fill the jar with cold water. Place in the fridge until ready to cook. Soak at least 8 hours.

When ready to cook. Drain and rinse the beans. Place them in a crock pot and cover with cold water. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. (You will get to know your crock pot just like you get to know your oven.) When the beans are very soft, drain. Allow the beans to cool off a bit. They can be warm when you add the other ingredients, but don't add them when they are so hot that you risk wilting the cilantro. Mash the beans and stir in the remaining ingredients except for the avocados. If you are serving this at a party, you can mash the avocados in all at once. Because I took this for several lunches, I mashed in half an avocado for each lunch.

Makes about 3 cups

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