It feels like months since I last wrote about something *other* than money. I’ve been REALLY focused on the financial side of financial independence lately — I’ve been posting about dividends, net worth updates, being financially normal, and wondering if I will ever head back to work.
From my recent posts, you’d think this site was just about money!
Nope, it’s not JUST about money! It’s also about living a really damn-good life on a minimal budget.
I think it’s high-time I got back in the kitchen and wetted your taste buds again….
Where’s the Beans?
If you’ve followed this blog in the past, you’ll already know that I’m big on alternative sources of protein. Meat is just too damn expensive, and too unhealthy to really eat frequently. I love to cook with eggs, tofu and beans (ETB) instead.
But you’re probably wondering, “Wait a minute Mr. Tako, if you’re such a big fan…where’s all the Egg, Tofu, and Bean recipes?”
Aha! Solid point dear reader! I haven’t actually shared any of my ETB recipes yet!
Today we’re going to remedy this problem (at least in part), with a surprisingly good recipe: Brown Rice And Garbanzo Bean Salad.
Doesn’t that sound boring as hell? You’d think so just from the name.
Well, don’t judge a recipe by its name! This is a deliciously simple (and healthy) recipe with outstanding flavors … that costs practically nothing.
If you’re not ranting “IT TASTES LIKE I’M EATING ITALY!!!” after trying this recipe … well …your taste buds must be broken.
Alright, let’s do this!
First off, you’re going to need some cooked brown rice. Typically I’ll use a short-grain brown rice.
If you’ve ever cooked brown rice before, you’ll know this takes WAY longer than white rice. Go start some now!
I use a Zojirushi induction rice cooker (similar to this one), which has a brown rice option.
When it’s cooked, you’ll need 2 cups worth. Be sure to make enough!
Beans & Other Ingredients
While the rice is cooking, you’ll need to prep the following:
- 1/2 an onion. Yellow or white is fine.
- 1/4 cup of cilantro.
- 1 can of garbanzo beans (15 oz).
Dice up the onion into very fine, small pieces. It should look like this when you’re finished:
Do the same thing for the cilantro. If you don’t like cilantro stems, discard them. As long as you end up with roughly a 1/4 cup of cilantro (when finished) it’ll work out.
Next, open the can of garbanzo beans and drain off any liquid. I usually rinse off the beans with water as well.
Place all three into a medium sized mixing bowl.
Next up, it’s time to make the important part — The Sauce. I firmly believe that the sauce is what makes a dish. Feel free to alter any of the following amounts to your liking. Getting the sauce “right” is important!
You’ll need the following:
- 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of finely chopped garlic
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon of soy sauce.
- 1/4 teaspoon of dried basil.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
Combine all the sauce ingredients into a cup and mix thoroughly.
I usually do this in a Pyrex measuring cup. (can’t recommend these enough. They’re practically indestructible, and a essential kitchen tool!)
Then, taste it! Does it need more salt? You won’t know until you taste it!
I recommend tasting the food you’re cooking frequently. It’s the only way to know if what your cooking is going to be delicious or a disaster. Taste often!
Combining And Mixing
When the brown rice is cooked, combine two cups of rice in the medium size mixing bowl (along with beans, cilantro, and onions).
I usually measure out the rice using the same Pyrex measuring cup. Less dishes = less work!
You’ll get something like this:
Slowly pour on about 3/4 of the sauce into the mixing bowl. Combine the ingredients thoroughly with a mixing spoon:
At this point you’ll want to taste the salad again. Does it need more sauce? Well, feel free to add more!
You’ll want to continue adding sauce in small amounts as you mix. Taste as you go. It’s possible too add too much!
…and that’s it! Done!
Final Thoughts & Cost
The final product is a frequent side dish at our table. If you have brown rice already on-hand, this recipe only takes 5 minutes of work. It’s ridiculously simple to make!
Not to mention CHEAP!
What’s the monetary damage? In my kitchen, it tallies up pretty close to $1.25.
Canned garbanzo beans are going to be the expensive component here, costing roughly $0.80 – $0.89 per can. The rice and spices all cost pennies in the amounts we’re using here.
The only thing that comes close to this level of cheap, easy, and delicious has to be popcorn…