This week’s Beaver bag was created by the Anthropology of Food class offered by the Food in Culture and Social Justice Program and OSU’s School for Language, Culture and Society.
The bag includes the staples of rice and beans, common in many food cultures, crema, as well as an assortment of vegetables and spices. It also includes a half-dozen button mushrooms. It has been a very wet April here in Western Oregon and we hope this meal offers a reminder that great things can come from a lot of rain.
We have planned this Beaver Bag to be nutritious, culturally flexible and adaptive, local, and convenient– you can even make it in a microwave! Did you know that rice and beans together make a complete protein? While rice is low in lysine yet high in methionine, beans are the opposite, containing plenty of methionine while low in lysine. The human body needs these amino acids, but while the knowledge of amino acids is fairly new, the perfect combination of rice and beans is not. Many different cultures have combined rice and beans as a staple in their cuisine. The pairing is called a “casamiento” (or perfect marriage) in Central America. Mediterranean cuisine combines garbanzo beans and basmati rice. In Cajun cuisine, rice and beans is traditionally eaten on Mondays because the dish could cook all day while other chores are being done, and it can be seasoned with leftover meat or bones from the Sunday dinner. And anyone who has eaten at a Mexican restaurant knows that many dishes there are served with rice and beans! We’ve included mushrooms as a nod to Oregon’s rain, but you can add so many things to rice and beans for a tasty dish. It can be eaten hot or cold, fresh or as leftovers.
- 4-6 button mushrooms (mushrooms vary in size) today’s mushrooms are from Yamhill County Oregon
- Cooked Rice
- 1 can pinto bean
- 1 can corn
- 1 yellow onion, or green onion or spring onion
- 1 pepper jalapeño
- 1 avocado
- 1 lime
- sour cream
- Seasoning pack (cumin, chile powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne)
Step 1: Drain and mix cans of beans, corn, and package of rice in a pan. Sauté in a pan over medium heat. Add spices to the mixture and continue to warm.
Step 2: Chop mushrooms, onion. These can be added cold, or if you prefer, saute the onions, then add to the above mixture. Use this same pan to warm the mushrooms for a few minutes and add to the mixture.
Step 3: Chop peppers and slice avocado and 1/2 of cilantro and toss together in a bowl.
Step 4: Crema: mix sour cream or yogurt with juice of 1 lime and 1/2 of cilantro.
To serve: Place rice, beans and corn mixture in a bowl. Top with mushrooms and onions, sliced jalapeno, avocado, cilantro, and a dollop of crema.
Springtime is a great time to eat mushrooms in Oregon! We hope you enjoy.
(Note, if you don’t have a stove, the rice, beans, and corn mixture can be heated in the microwave, with the mushrooms and onions added in raw).