Posted by: ThePseudotarian | June 29, 2010

A one-pan lunch for a hot day and a bike

I’m buying a bike today. I sorta already had one … but it was older, kinda heavy and the brakes stopped working pretty often. But I loved it. I recently gave it back to the friend from whom I borrowed it, and decided it was time for a new one. I really wanted something lighter and a bit thinner, but I didn’t want to pay a lot of money.

Well, I just found the perfect one on Craigslist, and I’m off to pick it up in a few hours. Excellent timing for my trip to Ocracoke with the manfriend’s family in 2 weeks. And what does this have to do with my veggie-cooking blog?

Well, once again I haven’t had time to cook. Between going to concerts last weekend and cleaning out my car to accomodate the new bike this afternoon, I haven’t even had time to do my dishes. But that’s ok, because I want to share a quick, one pan lunch with you. I made it after I was done cleaning my car out (ugggh in the 95-degree heat) this afternoon.

And, owning a bike again is one more step toward green living. I want to save gas, cut down on my car’s emissions and I don’t like driving, especially in the heat. I own a black car with leather seats and if I’m just dropping by the store for a bottle of wine or a sandwich, by the time I get there the car isn’t cooled down anyway, and I just wasted gas. So … I bike! And it’s a lot more fun to bike to bars than to walk 30 mins.

So, in honor of a quick trip to the bar and a good lunch for the heat, here’s a reproduction of my own fast, one-pan meal from this afternoon.

Seasoned White Beans with Egg and Cheese

1 can canellini/great norther/other white beans, drained and rinsed well
pepper and paprika to taste
basil
1 tsp butter
2 eggs
old bay seasoning
shredded cheddar cheese

This isn’t the healthiest dish, not by any means, with the butter and the unfortunate sodium content of the beans. But that doesn’t matter here, because it’s supposed to be a high protein lunch for a long work-day.

Start with a nice, large saute pan and turn your burner to medium high. Pour in your rinsed beans and season to taste with the pepper, paprika and basil. You can use any seasonings you like really, but try not to add any salt or any salt-containing seasoning to the beans themselves. Canned foods have such a high sodium content that you don’t really need to salt them. Toss the beans in the pan to coat through with the seasonings and continue to stir to heat through. This shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes or so.

Once the beans are hot, pour them into a bowl, top with the butter and stir briefly. Return the pan to the heat and add a bit of oil or butter for your eggs. Of course, if you’re using a non-stick pan, I guess you don’t have to do this. Up to you.

As the butter is melting over your beans, fry up your eggs. I usually wait until the top is almost set, and then flip them briefly to make sure the whites are really cooked. I hate the texture of eggs whites that haven’t set, so I always cook mine over-easy. I season my eggs with pepper and a bit of old bay. Once they’re cooked to your satisfaction, ease them out of the pan on top of your nice, buttery beans. Sprinkle immediately with some shredded cheddar and enjoy!

I love any dish topped with eggs. Runny yolks make such a wonderful sauce for a lot of foods. Sandwiches, beans, rice, polenta cakes … they’re wonderful. That’s why you only really need a bit of butter for this. The yolks’ texture mimics a butter and coats the beans deliciously. You can leave off the cheddar if you want, but I always like a bit of cheese with bean and egg dishes. Not too much though, or else they get way too rich.

This is such a great protein meal for a long day. It gave me so much energy for the rest of the afternoon. Hopefully I’ll have plenty to bike around tonight and NOT get hit by cars on these narrow Richmond side streets =)

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