Cook Like A Dad With Canned Ingredients
By RJ Jaramillo, Cooking Blogger
Grilling Sides Made Easy
July is National Grilling Month and National Baked Beans Month – two of my favorite things. As a single dad who enjoys spending time with my increasingly busy kids, I appreciate the simplicity of cooking outdoors. All you need is your favorite protein – any lean meat, chicken or fish (or, if you are vegetarian, a few Portobello mushroom caps) – some olive oil and a few dried or fresh herbs to create a delicious main dish.
When looking for the perfect side dish to accompany your grilled entrée, combining a mix of fresh and canned ingredients makes the most of your time and your budget. Toss a can of drained and rinsed beans with some chopped fresh veggies for a BBQ-friendly salad. Or combine your favorite diced canned fruit, such as peaches or pineapple, with some red pepper and cilantro for a bright and flavorful salsa to top grilled fish.
One of my all-time favorite “go-to” sides is baked beans. There are some fantastic varieties of canned baked beans today that just require re-heating, or you can try my quick and easy baked beans recipe. A surefire crowd-pleaser, I rely on a can of red kidney beans, a can of pinto beans, one cup of brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of honey. Drain and rinse the beans before combining to reduce the sodium content and then mix with the other ingredients in a sauce pan over low heat. They’re ready in about 10-12 minutes.
Keeping it real, but simple, means you can invite family and friends over to enjoy relaxing summer evenings without feeling like you are short-changing the time you get to spend with your children, or your guests. With a little imagination and a few simple canned ingredients, preparing a delicious, nutritious meal is easier than you might think.