Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Two reasons to keep canned tomatoes in the house

Some days, I just don't feel like shopping and I don't have the fresh ingredients on hand to make the meals I would like to make. So I always keep canned beans and veggies in my pantry for easy, lazy-day meals like these. I know it's not as good as fresh, but it's waaaaay better than fast food, and takes about the same amount of effort.

(The recipes below use the normal, grocery-store sized cans. I think 10 oz for soup, 14-15 oz for the vegetables. I also keep the big 28 oz cans of tomatoes for making chili. And I know onions and garlic aren't technically canned, but they are so cheap and keep so long, I always have them on hand.)

You'll Swear It's Not Canned Tomato Soup

- 1 can condensed tomato soup
- water
- 1 small can of undrained, diced tomatoes
- 1 tsp dried basil

1. Mix equal parts soup and water in a pot, add tomatoes and basil.
2. Heat and stir until warm.
3. Hide the empty cans and serve with pride!

Mexican Cornbread Casserole

- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 small onion (diced)
- 2 cloves garlic (diced)
- 1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
- 1 can corn (drained)
- 1 can diced tomatoes (undrained, but you can let some of the liquid out if it's really watery)
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 box corn bread mix (I get the little Jiffy ones)
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup milk

1. Grill the onions and garlic in the oil in a saucepan. Add beans, corn, tomatoes, and spices. Simmer for about 5 minutes, to heat through and reduce liquid slightly. Pour into the bottom of a square casserole dish.
2. Mix cornbread according to package directions (my package asks for an egg and 1/3 cup milk). Spread on top of tomato mixture. Sprinkle with a pinch more chili powder if you're feeling frisky. It makes it look pretty.
3. Bake in 375 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until center is fully cooked.
4. Serve with cheese, if you have any.

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