Saturday, August 6, 2011

Meatless Monday: Cabin Dinner

About a month ago, one of my cousins posted something on Facebook about making, "Cabin Dinner." I've never heard of such a thing before, and it piqued my interest. I went to and found an entry for something called Cabin Dinner. I don't know if it's the same recipe my cousin used, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it's vegetarian. It sounded like a cross between a stew, a chili, and curry. I went out and bought ingredients for it that same week. Let me tell you, this recipe is super cheap! It cost me about $6 to make the entire thing. It served us dinner for one night and lunch the next day. Cheap, cheap.

When I first made it, my husband came home from work and raved about how nice the house smelled. Turmeric will do that! In addition to smelling fantastic, I'd read an article in last month's issue of O Magazine by Dr. Oz. He was discussing some miracle foods and spices from around the world, and turmeric was one of them. He said new evidence is coming out that is linking the spice to better brain health and decreased risk of Alzheimer's. He recommends people eat it at least once a week.

Anyway, the dinner was fantastic. Maybe it's because I'm pregnant, but we only got four servings out of the recipe and not the six as written. I made it almost exactly as written (minus using dried parsley for fresh) and served it with buttered slices of French bread. Oliver wouldn't even try the new food, but he ate a little bread. Andrew kept raving about the dinner, and I made a mental note to make it again. And I did. The next time I made it, I added some chopped tomatoes that I had on hand, and I soaked about 1/4 cup of lentils and added them to the "cabin dinner" with the beans. It was still bloody fantastic. Other members of added corn and loved it. Like many of the other reviewers, I mashed about half of the beans and kept about half whole. It was a personal preference. I had someone mash the beans for me. If you have someone available to do so, I highly recommend it:

It appears you can really play with this recipe and toss in whatever you have on hand. Tomorrow, I'm making the dish again for my fourth wedding anniversary with Andrew. He also requested biscuits with it, so I plan on trying this with cheddar bay biscuits.

Here's the recipe for Cabin Dinner, taken almost directly from

1/4 cup vegetable oil
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 yellow onion, diced
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 teaspoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 1/2 (15 oz) cans kidney beans, drained with liquid reserved
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
hot sauce to taste

1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Saute garlic, onion, bell pepper, parsley, chili powder, ground cumin, paprika and turmeric until onions are tender.
2. Meanwhile, mash approximately half of the beans. Once onions are tender, stir in all of the beans and some of the liquid until you reach your desired consistency. Stir in tomato sauce.

3. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about an hour. Add more reserved liquid as needed to ensure the beans don't dry out. Serve with hot sauce.

Per serving (based on four servings):

Calories: ~285
Protein: ~10.5 grams
Cost: ~$1.50

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