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Easy dinner for two (or more, if you like)

Afternoon, Dear Readers:

Here in Houston, the weather has warmed up, the clouds are gone and it’s a lovely day. I say that not to make anyone jealous, but to remind you that winter always turns to spring. Eventually.

Y’all, it just dawned on me that I didn’t recommend anything for Valentine’s Day dinner. DUH.

Sure, you could go out to dinner. Have you ever tried to get a reservation for Valentine’s Day? No, I don’t mean Golden Corral. . . Jack In The Box is usually open. So is Carl’s Jr., if you have one in your area–they have sweet potato fries!

Or just go out and find a place to eat. You’ll be elbow-to-elbow with all the other star-crossed lovers. Forget that!  Make dinner for your sweetie–but don’t go overboard. You need something easy that won’t take long. So here you go.

One of my newest favorite foods is cannellini beans. You know, the white kidney beans, usually from Italy. They are SOOOO good. I have a number of recipes calling for them, but my absolute favorite is, once again, from Nigella Lawson. It’s a simple white bean mash that can take the place of mashed potatoes and tastes so much better.

Thing is, you have to do it exactly as the recipe states. However, I’ve fiddled with it a bit to make it just for lunch. I’ll explain that in a minute.

Tonight, if you can get some nice little steaks and three cans of cannellini beans, (don’t forget olive oil, lemon and garlic) you’re all set–just make sure dessert is delicious, too. (It does not have to be chocolate, OK?) You make the beans first, then cook up the steaks and squeeze the lemon into the hot pan to deglaze it. The most time it takes is for making the bean mash. You can find the entire recipe here.

A steak dinner on Valentine’s Day? Of course!

Now, I have, on a couple of occasions, accidentally bought those little great white beans, or whatever they are called, because I simply grabbed the wrong can. This is easy when you buy Goya, because the cans all look alike. Darnit. They work, but are not as tasty as the cannellini.

Since my job ended on January 31, I’ve been eating white bean mash nearly every day. Why? I love it! With turkey, meatloaf, or whatever I feel like cooking up, it’s simple. And I also figured out how to make it in the microwave.

Rinse one can of beans and dump it in a microwave safe bowl; preferably one like a Grab-It with rounded sides and wide. Add to it a goodly amount of olive oil (maybe 1/8 cup, just eyeball it), and grate in a clove of garlic and some lemon zest (one small or half a large.) Microwave it until it’s hot. Take it out (put it on something heat-safe) and get a wide, flat spoon (a round wooden one works great) and mash to your heart’s content. Taste, and dd a bit of salt if you think you need it (mine always do) and mash until you get the same nubbly consistency, or it’s good enough for one person to devour.

I took that to work many times. Now that I’m not working, I just need to make sure I keep cannellini beans in the pantry.

That’s all for now.

Happy Valentine’s Day, and Enjoy!

  1. Thank you for this.. I especially love the idea of “mashing the beans” in place of mashed potatoes..

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