We did a lot of cooking in our house this week to keep up with the Whole Foods Market Healthy Pantry Challenge and all I can say is we ate very well. I am still amazed that for $50 you can fill your pantry with so many healthy and affordable staples. For a list of items, see below.
To kick-off a healthy New Year, Whole Foods Market will be giving away healthy pantry staples for a year as well as several of their $50 Pantry Stock Ups. You can enter on the Whole Foods Blog until January 31st.
I am also giving away a $50 gift certificate to the Whole Foods Market in Durham on this blog. Read the original blog entry here for details. Because I didn’t have the time to blog all the recipes this week, I am extending my give-away until February 7th. Please keep following this blog and commenting about your favorite healthy pantry staples for a chance to win.
As pork is a household favorite, especially when served alongside rice and beans, I decided to try some Cuban recipes I came across while perusing recipes on the internet. The black beans came out perfectly, and the added cilantro at the end gave them a wonderful herbaceous quality that married perfectly with the citrus and garlic marinated pork. A side of steamed brown rice rounded out the meal.
A little bit about Cuban food:
Cuban cuisine has been influenced by Spanish, French, African, Arabic, Chinese, and Portuguese cultures. Cuban cooking relies on a few basic spices, such as garlic, cumin, oregano, and bay leaves. A sofrito, onion, green pepper, garlic, oregano, and ground pepper quick-fried in olive oil, is the base used when cooking black beans and stews and is what gives the food its flavor. Meats and poultry are most often marinated in citrus juices, such as lime or sour orange juice, and then roasted over low heat until the meat is very tender. Heavy creams and sauces are rarely used, instead most of the food is sautéed or slow-cooked over low heat for the flavors to develop.
Cuban Black Beans
Time: 2 hours, not including overnight soak time
1 lb bag black beans, rinsed and picked over
1 T vegetable oil
1 yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp salt
1 bunch cilantro, minced
Soak the beans overnight in a large pot. In the morning, drain the water and set beans aside.
In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and sauté for about six minutes, until soft and translucent. Add two cloves of the garlic and continue cooking for another thirty seconds.
Add the beans to the onion and garlic mixture and enough water to cover everything by an inch. Bring beans to a boil then cover (leaving a small crack open), reduce heat and simmer for one hour.
After an hour, stir the beans and add the remaining two garlic cloves and minced cilantro. Return to a simmer and cook another hour until beans are tender and the cooking liquid is thick. Stir occasionally while cooking.
Once cooked, add salt and additional minced cilantro if desired. Serve beans over rice, puree and serve as black bean soup or save for additional uses.
(Sadly I can’t find the website this recipe came from but will pass it along when I do)
1 1/2 lbs. boneless pork loin–cut into 1-inch cubes
6 garlic cloves–crushed
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. dry oregano
1/2 cup sour orange juice–or 1/4 cup orange juice and 1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup olive oil
Place pork cubes in a self-sealing plastic bag; mix together remaining ingredients and pour over pork cubes; seal bag and refrigerate overnight. Remove from marinade, discarding marinade, and place pork cubes in a shallow baking pan. Roast in a pre-heated 350*F oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until pork is tender. Remove to a serving platter and serve hot.
$50 Whole Foods Market Pantry Staple List
- 1 lb black beans
- 1 lb lentils
- 1 lb quinoa
- 2 lbs brown rice
- 3 (32-oz) boxes vegetable broth
- 1 (32-oz) box chicken broth
- 1 lb rolled oats
- 2 cans cannellini beans
- 1 lb orechiette pasta
- 1 lb pasta, your favorite kind
- 1 can black beans
- 1 jar unsweetened applesauce
- 1 (32-oz) box unsweetened soymilk
- 1 (32-oz) box unsweetened almond milk
- 1 (5-oz) can tuna
- 3 (15-oz) cans diced tomatoes
- 1 package no-oil sundried tomatoes
- 1 jar pasta sauce