Beans-and-tortillas are my brick-and-mortar.

Go on and git your mitts in my miso!
Go on and git your mitts in my miso!


Yesterday ushered in tall-order culinary demands–namely, an impromptu dinner party for four. With my cupboard hella-bare and pocketbook flat-out of greenbacks, I had to rely on creative (like, whatever-the-heck I could scrounge up) food combining.

On Tuesday evening, a group of friends, lovers, roommates, and I convened at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts for the inauguration of an apocalyptic-intimate immersive-art installation called The Bowls Project; following which, we reconvened at my second-story Mission District apartment.

The unexpected, welcome arrival of friends called for the immediate preparation of a savage-beast supper. Fortunately, unlike Monday evening (see Late Night Done Right), I was better armed for the dinner-party fray.

With little time on my side, I began with a Richland-house staple: beans and corn tortillas.

Beans-and-tortillas are my brick-and-mortar.

Dehydrated beans: not scary, just thirsty.
Dehydrated beans: not scary, just thirsty.

The beans are Rainbow Grocery Cooperative-sourced from the bulk bins. Mad pinto. And dehydrated. Strange? Yes, but these bad boys are good for the following reasons:

1) Soaking whole beans overnight and cooking them for hours the next day is a blasted task.

2) Canned beans unfortunately come in–well–cans. To prevent poison-by-rust, food cans are lined with BPA (bisphenol-a), a polycarbonate plastic widely proven to jeopardize youngsters’ brain development and severely disrupt endocrine systems (We’re talking hormones, people! Hormones, like gnashing of teeth and clawing-out of one’s eyeballs!).

3) Nothin’ says lovin’ like a tea kettle whistling with boiling water, just begging to rehydrate dried beans. Down-‘n’-dirty, fast-‘n’-cheap.

4) They’re great for camping.

The tortillas are fresh-made right here in my neighborhood, by Casa Sanchez, providing its signature “Sabor Auténtico” since 1924: Hella cool.

Cheerful diners with happy bellies.
Cheerful diners with happy bellies.

Into my trusty, cast-iron pan, I tossed paper-thin slices of an organic, locally harvested, Canyon Market-sourced small jewel yam for quick steaming, followed by chopped celery, a round glug of Stonehouse Hot Chile Olive Oil and tamari (a wheat-free soy sauce that takes taste to the next level and puts to shame original soy sauce).

I nestled the oily, crunchy celery and creamy, sweet yams on the pinto beans and tortilla, sprinkled with raw pumpkin seeds, and was good to go! Really, it’s that exciting. Exclamation point exciting.

I rounded everything out with a quick miso soup, to which I added braised purple onion. Hot, hot liquid.

Veg to the max, sated tummies, tickled-pink host.


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