Well, perhaps I should call this an un-cooking challenge, because it absolutely can’t involve any heat. Mother Nature has been supplying all the heat I can stand.
I’ve had a particularly busy — and stressful — summer, but was doing all right with making my usual healthy meals. All right, that is, until we started having week after week of never-ending high heat and humidity. Finally, a few weeks ago, something snapped, and I just couldn’t face cooking with any heat, or even eating any warm, let alone hot, foods.
So, I’ve made gazpacho. I’ve had cheese and fruit plates. I’ve had raw veggies and dips. I’ve made salads of every variety I can think of. And I’ve also relied on one of my old standbys, a can of white or black beans turned into a salad.
I always keep several cans of white (sometimes called navy) and black beans in my pantry. To turn them into a salad, I simply drain the juice from the can, and then rinse them thoroughly in a colander to remove all the excess salt and other canned flavorings. Then, after shaking out as much water as possible, I put them in a bowl, add a few other ingredients, either a homemade or bottled dressing, and there you have it, an easy salad with plenty of protein from the beans. (more…)