When I make my weekly run to the grocery store, long list in hand, I rarely look at prices – and most days I take that luxury for granted. For this day, for this post, I’m stopping to think about how truly lucky I am.
Signing on to Food Bloggers Against Hunger (along with over 200 bloggers!) has made me pause, to take stock, to whittle down my grocery list to the bare essentials – to compare prices. I went to the grocery store armed with $4 and a very short list. When I thought about how I would stretch that $4, I immediately thought of this dish. It’s one my Sicilian grandmother made for her family of five. I’m sure that there were many nights when my grandmother had to stretch a few ingredients to feed her hungry kids – and this dish would’ve have filled their bellies. She might have added scrambled eggs to this dish – and probably a handful of Parmesano Reggiano if she had it. This recipe has stood the test of time – my father made it for his family and we kids always thought it was a treat. Later, it became one of my go-to recipes as a singleton and it’s never failed to satisfy.
Incidentally, I came in under $4 – with nearly a whole whopping dollar to spare. Here’s how my purchases added up:
Green bell pepper: $0.68
Yellow onion: $0.63
15 oz. can great northern beans: $0.68
Instead of eggs or tofu, I added a can of white beans – a bargain. My grandmother probably would have used olive oil to prepare this dish, but since I run an oil-free kitchen, I’ve cooked mine in some vegetable broth, soy sauce and water.
I hope after reading this post you’ll click here and take 30 seconds and send a letter to Congress asking them to support anti-hunger legislation. Your participation will help protect nutrition programs that help kids get much-needed food into their bellies. For more detailed information, visit Share Our Strength – and check out the documentary, A Place at the Table, via Amazon or iTunes. Thank you, The Giving Table, for organizing this event.
Peppers, Potatoes, Beans & Onions
1 green bell pepper, stemmed, cored and sliced
1 large onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced and divided
1 large potato, scrubbed and peeled
1 15 oz. can great northern beans, rinsed and drained
splash of vegetable broth, water, and or soy sauce
ground black pepper, to taste
Peel and wash the potato, then cut into small cubes. Pour a little water and soy sauce into a baking dish. Add the potato, 1/3 of the minced garlic and plenty of ground black pepper. Now – turn on the oven to 425F and put the pan with the potatoes in the oven. I start with a cold oven for roasting potatoes because I discovered that they stick less to the pan this way. Keep a close eye on these guys and add water/broth/soy sauce as necessary to prevent sticking. They’ll soften and brown a little bit. After about 20 minutes, they should be done.
Meanwhile, in a large, deep skillet, heat a little water/vegetable broth and add the bell pepper, onion and garlic. Sauté for 10 minutes or until veggies are soft. Add water/broth as necessary to prevent sticking. Stir in the beans and the potatoes, and season with pepper. Cook just enough to heat the beans through. Serve immediately.