Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Kale-White Bean Stew {aka: 4-hour-workman-window-and-I-haven't-gone-to-the-market-but-need-to-make-dinner-during-those-4-hours-with-what-I-have-on-hand-oh-and-can-you-also-make-it-vegetarian-please soup}

It's a well-known fact that I am not in my school groove yet. If I see you around town, or on the sidelines {of three sports x two kids}, and you ask, "how's your year going so far?", I may very well look at you like a deer in the headlights. 

We have turned a corner. Apparently gone are the days when my kids tumbled off the schoolbus, played in the yard til dinner, and we all sat down together at a reasonable time. Now, they arrive home minutes before my chauffeuring begins. Afternoon and evening activities overlap. Homework has become more plentiful. And there's still only one of me. 

Oh, and, I am not willing to forego healthy meals, or family dinners. 

Wednesdays are unique in that my children only have half-days of school. It's funny because I remember when they started preschool I used to think that 4 hours off was an amazingly long time. Now, with four other normal length school days/week, I sort of treat Wednesday as a wash.

However, today found me halfway though a {truth be told: disorganized} week of meals, marooned at home during a 4-hour workman window {the same 4 hours the kids are in school}, needing dinner prepared before 12:30. And I hadn't done much grocery marketing. Did I throw up my hands in despair and say we'll just go to Station Eats in between tennis lessons, a baseball game, and the first big middle school project that involves poster board? No. Because mama is trying to get back to svelte… my older child came home from camp a vegetarian…. and if you make me sit around the house for four hours waiting for you, you better believe I'm going to put that time to good use by cooking something. The result of rifling through the pantry and freezer or ingredients?

Kale-White Bean Stew 
{aka: 4-hour-workman-window-and-I-haven't-gone-to-the-market-but-need-to-make-dinner-during-those-4-hours-with-what-I-have-on-hand-oh-and-can-you-also-make-it-vegetarian-please Soup}

olive oil
frozen pearl onions {or a chopped onion}
canned white beans {drained and rinsed}
kale {chopped, fresh or frozen}
a jar of TJ's bruschetta {or a can of diced tomatoes and some garlic}
veggie broth
orzo {or couscous, quinoa, farro, wild rice, brown rice}

Heat olive oil in a large soup pot, over medium heat. Saute the onions until golden, and then add the rest of the ingredients. Stir. Lower heat to a simmer and cook until the grain you added is cooked. 

Reheats beautifully {if you need to dine in shifts}. Freezes perfectly {if you want to make a big batch and freeze some for a busy night ahead}.

I know some of you like me to be more precise with my measurements… Here is what I added today, which made 8 servings {4 for tonight; 4 to freeze}:

two 32 oz cartons veggie broth
one 12 oz jar TJ's bruschetta
two 15 oz cans white beans
16 oz frozen pearl onions
16 oz frozen kale
1 Cup TJ's Harvest Grains blend

Then, while one child was creating a math presentation and the other was systematically destroying the kitchen that had just been cleaned-- I mean, sewing a Medieval costume out of felt-- I slathered some good butter on French bread and wrapped it in foil ready to go into the oven for a few minutes, in anticipation of a quick family dinner in between practices tonight.

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