Monday, February 6, 2012

Purple to the People: Fig Food Co.'s Carton of Beans

A lot of cool products come to my attention. Sometimes, I’m asked to review them either in my capacity as a blogger or in my role as Purple Asparagus’ head spear. Other times, I just happen upon them during my many trips to the grocery store. To share these quality products, I start this new series: Purple to the People.

These days, most of us know to avoid BPA or bispenol A, the industrial chemical used to make certain plastics and resins since the 1960s. Studies suggest that BPA may have a negative effect on the brain development of infants and children – certainly nothing that we moms want to happen.

To avoid BPA, I switched all my sippy cups to stainless canteens. I disposed of all non-BPA free plastics. The one remaining source of BPA I found difficult to excise was canned goods, particularly beans. While I love beans cooked from scratch, it’s just not always feasible with my busy schedule. Given this, I couldn’t have been more pleased to come across Fig Food Company’s products.

Fig Food Company’s beans are packed in BPA-free cartons, not cans. What’s just as appealing as its commitment to safety is their convenience. With a perforated top, this Tetra Pack can be opened without utensil, a terrific feature for someone who regularly demonstrates recipes. (There’s nothing worse than arriving to a venue and realizing that you’ve forgotten a can opener!)

This simple pasta is a delicious and easy weeknight supper.

Chickpea and Chard Pasta
Serves 4

1 box chickpeas
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
6 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary
1 pinch red pepper flakes
2 large leaves of Swiss chard, trimmed and cut cross-wise into 1-inch pieces
3 tablespoons white wine
1/2 pound spelt pasta
Parmiggiano-Regianno to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the spelt pasta according to the package. Reserve a 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid before draining the pasta.

Drain the chickpeas. Heat the olive oil in a non-stick saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic. rosemary. and 1 pinch red pepper flake and cook for about a minute or until fragrant. Pour in the wine and 2 tablespoons water and stir in the Swiss chard. Cook until the greens are wilted. Stir in the chickpeas and salt and pepper to taste.

Stir in the pasta and a tablespoon or two of the pasta cooking water. Serve topped with freshly grated cheese.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Dirty Little Secrets Inside the Fridge

Refrigerators hold the dirty little secrets of a family's lifestyle. I learned this while catering when I saw more than my fair share of refrigerators. Are they sugar fiends or health nuts? Look to the fridge. Are they avid cooks or do they eat out regularly - all you have to do is open the fridge.

This is one of the reasons I loved Robin's Bite's feature Inside the Fridge. I was tickled when Robin asked me to participate. To read more and to learn my dirty little secrets (that is Coke on the top shelf, and yes, that is premade baba ghanoush), visit Robin's site.
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