Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Colorful Lunch that Stays Faithful to the Half-Plate Rule

We recently purchased our first electric pressure cooker. I used to have a stovetop model which I didn't use much for fear it would explode. But, inspired by a good friend's tales of effortless stews, we decided to try the high-tech kind of pressure cooker. Our debut was rice, beans, and greens. We had picked up a package of some kind of gourmet italian dry beans for a dollar at a warehouse liquidation sale for an online artisanal food product store. I got some andouille sausage and a bag of fresh southern greens from Trader Joe's figuring we could make an easy southern supper. Gretchen's recipe for pressure-cooker rice, beans, and greens makes eleven 1-cup servings, which come in at 5 weight watchers points each. Topped with your favorite hot sauce, they are a scrumptious and healthy thing to combine with a salad, another vegetable dish, or a piece of meat or fish for a filling meal. For lunch today, I grabbed a one-cup serving of rice, beans, and greens from the freezer (we divided into servings and froze in foil packets), and then made a vegetable dish consisting of the following items thrown together with a little black pepper: frozen spinach, frozen roasted corn kernels, roasted red peppers, and one ounce of feta cheese. This comes in at 3 weight watchers points (2 for the cheese, one for the corn). The result was a filling and colorful meal for a mere 8 points. For our earlier southern supper, we made a different vegetable side that was also quite yummy: baby zucchini (available from trader joe's, steamed in the bag) with roasted corn kernels and a sauce made from reduced balsamic vinegar with some butter and salt whisked in.

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