A Sentimental Saturday Thought


Last week, I went back to the town where I went to graduate school to meet up with my graduate school friends. All our reunions are fun and restorative, but this one was truly special – one of our friends is expecting her first baby and we helped her family shower her with good wishes and gifts.

As I was flipping through my photos on my camera, I came across this slightly out-of-focus picture and it made me think all about my graduate school journey and the amazing women who joined me on it.

When I see the amazingly sweet peanut butter rice crispy treat, I remember the desserts we would snack on during potluck dinners, during Super Bowl parties, and during birthday celebrations. When I see the bright orange napkin, I remember the bright fall days at by the lake, the highlighted pages of multiple thesis revisions, and the big, day-long party we had on Match Day.

When I look at this picture, I remember that this all started (the blog, these friendships) when we all came together three years ago and took a leap into a new world/career path together.

When I look at this picture, I remember the amazing times we had together as Grad School Foodies and look forward to the times ahead (especially with our newest addition!).


Your sentimental friend,




I can’t believe that it is the day after graduation… I am feeling absolute disbelief, happiness, and sadness.

The past two years have been so amazing in many different ways.


I was able to immerse myself into a new (but beloved) area of study.


I started a blog (!), gotten (slightly) better at food photography, and had the pleasure of connecting with people all over the world!


I have been able to see, experience, and participate in opportunities that I could only dream about.

But most importantly, I met amazing people that have helped me grow, thrive, and become the person I am at this moment.



I am truly a lucky Grad School Foodie… who isn’t a Grad School Foodie anymore!

Best wishes to everyone who is graduating this year – I know that you will all go out into the world and do great things!


Your former Grad School Foodie friend,


Garbage Plates and Laser Tag

Tomorrow is the BIG day. Graduation. Or Commencement. Or Convocation. Or something… I never seem to call it the right name. Anyway, tomorrow is the day that I leave graduate school behind and head towards my post-grad life as a dietetic intern. It’s a mixed bag of emotions – happy, sad, excited, scared, and most of all, anxious. Anxious to meet new people and see new things, but also anxious that I am going to be losing my connection with 14 amazing people.

Since I wasn’t the only one feeling the pressures of saying goodbye, the past two days have been chock full of activities that have been keeping us busy (and together).

Our first activity was a trip to Rochester, the hometown of two of my friends and the college town of another two. I love visiting other people’s “places” – seeing their environment through their eyes, listening to funny stories, visiting their favorite places.

And I didn’t even have to drive!


It’s the small things.

Our first stop was to a local homemade frozen custard shop right on the canal. It was lovely sitting on the dock, feet dangling precariously close to the water, and eating a perfect chocolate custard cone with rainbow sprinkles.


We lucked out with the weather so we were able to walk around after and found a lovely bar overlooking the canal. Sitting in a large open window, we sipped ciders and beers and watched the local rowing club practice on the canal.

Our serene happy hour was interrupted when a fisherman pulled a HUGE carp out of the canal. I shrieked in excitement (and surprise), panicking not only my friends, but the bartender, the other bar patrons, and the fisherman himself.

I had to take a photo.


I named him Bob.

But the highlight of our visit to Rochester was the local food phenomenon called a Garbage Plate. I don’t know how such a delicious treat received such an unappetizing name, but I don’t care. It was good!


It is basically a bed of starch (French fries, home fries, baked beans, macaroni salad) topped with a BBQ favorite (hamburger, cheeseburger, hot dogs, etc.) and smothered in “hot sauce” (a thin meat sauce that is SUPER spicy).


I got French fries and home fries, topped it with a hamburger, and smothered it in the “hot sauce”, buffalo sauce, and ketchup. Not the best for you, but it was a real treat to eat on a beautiful night on the canal with friends.


Yesterday, to get a little exercise, we celebrated H’s birthday at the local arcade and played laser tag.

Yes, laser tag. And we had a blast.

After snapping photos of the us outside the arcade, we were ushered into the briefing room (where they told us to not run into walls… do people actually do that?) and it was cool because it was all lit by black lights.


I was wearing all black, so I thought I had the advantage… NOT.

Because I wore sandals.

IMG_3113 - Version 2

E and I wanted to get manicures and pedicures for graduation (my planning skills are excellent, don’t you agree?) and I didn’t want to mess up my toes. So my all black ensemble was pointless because my sandals kept slapping on the ground and I couldn’t run very fast.

But we had a fabulous time, H had a wonderful birthday, and we made memories that we’ll remember forever.


Happy Friday, kiddos!


A Week in Review

It has been a crazy, emotional week! After coming down from my insane sugar high from Easter (so long 1lb solid chocolate bunny), it has been a combination of happy events and bittersweet reminders that my time as a graduate student is coming to a close.

First happy moment of my week happened on Monday night!


My mama’s turkey meatballs can make even the most cold-hearted person feel warm and fuzzy inside. Paired with our family friend’s amazing homemade vodka sauce, it was the absolutely perfect reintroduction back into my omnivorous lifestyle.


The happiness (and excessive meatball consumption) continued into Thursday when my amazing friend L successfully defended her thesis (yay!) and M, S, and D all handed in their theses to their committees! It was a joyous day which we celebrated with a round of drinks…


… and a heartfelt toast by S. It was the perfect end to a slightly stressful morning.

But then I saw this.



I can’t believe that we have 2 weeks until graduation! How could these two years pass so quickly?!


The sad moment passed quickly for we needed to get to the bus that would take us down to my hometown (ish) for the state’s dietetic conference… YAY for a road trip.

And when you trap a bunch of us on a bus for a huge amount of time…


… the important things (like those thesis edits) are replaced by shenanigans!


Hi, D!

The conference was so much fun and very informative. Despite being sad that graduate school is almost done, it was a pleasure to meet the many dietitians, DTRs, and other students that will be my professional colleagues one day.

And I had roast beef on homemade NYC rye bread for lunch.


It was amazing.


This bittersweet week was capped off by a big dinner thrown by the dean of our graduate department. Best friends, amazing faculty, one adorable toddler, and the best Indian food I have ever eaten showed that despite this amazing time of my life is coming to an end, the relationships and memories I have made will stay with me always.


Hope you are having a wonderful Sunday!

Your extremely sentimental, almost graduated Grad School Foodie,


C vs. The Quinoa


Happy 5 days until Valentine’s Day! Can you believe it? I can’t… I haven’t even started baking yet. With the semester in full swing, I needed a weekend that I could stay home and organize my life.

Thesis papers and data: backed up and ready for this week’s meetings

Class notes: all organized and ready to be looked over for my exams

Apartment: clean, laundry done, home life in relative balance

But the most important thing I did this weekend was dinner prep. With crazy weeks ahead, I wanted to make sure I did not have to worry about meals. So I roasted mushrooms…


And broccoli…


All ready to be tossed into lunches and dinners this week.

I have also been recipe testing vegetarian dinners. Like this amazing bowl of awesomeness.


Vegetable Thai Quinoa Salad… probably the best (and most outgoing) thing I’ve made in a while.

The reason I am jumping out of my comfort zone is that in less than one month, I will be embarking on a meat-free Lenten experience… I did the same thing last year, with both success and failure. Since I decided to go vegetarian a week into Lent, I did not plan very well. Which meant that I ate quiche for 8 days straight and probably doubled my cholesterol level… not awesome. So I am being organized and testing recipes ahead of time so I can have a game plan – I promise I’ll share this fabulous recipe soon!

This whole vegetarian recipe testing experience has been interesting. I have been purchasing items that I have never really purchased before – like quinoa. Quinoa is a fabulous grain because it is a complete protein (it has all nine essential amino acids) and is gluten-free. It a perfect vegetarian dinner option. I have never had much success cooking it, so it is one of those foods I never really purchased or even thought about using.

But this weekend, I decided that I was going to get up my courage and buy quinoa and make this salad. With my sister in tow for our weekly Wegman’s shopping trip, I gathered up all my ingredients for my quinoa salad.

Since I did not want to waste money on buying something I might not eat, I decided to purchase one cup of quinoa from the bulk grains section of Wegman’s. It was a wonderfully interesting experience, which left me wondering why I skipped past the bulk grain section every shopping trip. After measuring, weighing, and tying up the bag holding my quinoa, I placed it in my shopping cart and The Sister and I continued on grocery shopping.

Everything was going well until, at the checkout line, E grabbed the bag of quinoa and found that a HUGE hole was in the side. Quinoa flooded out like a geyser and I was freaking while E just laughed and told me to grab another bag. As I wrapped up the quinoa again, I saw that there was quinoa all over the floor of the checkout lane. I was embarrassed and told the cashier that I had spilt my quinoa everywhere (the floor, in the crate of clementines, absolutely everywhere) and that I needed to clean it up. Thank goodness she was not upset and said that it was fine. I was not fine. The quinoa was driving me crazy… first I lacked confidence cooking it and now I couldn’t even purchase it without a mishap. E, being a more calm and relaxed person, continued to chuckle at my distress throughout the check out, as we loaded the car, and as we drove home. C: 0, Quinoa: 1

Despite the slightly mortifying experience procuring the quinoa, cooking it and making the salad was a breeze. So in the end, I cured my fear of quinoa and was able to make a delicious, healthy vegetarian dinner option. And that’s all that matters.


Happy Monday, kiddos.


Ode to Hummus

Hi, kiddos. How’s it going? Happy MLK Day!! Hope you are enjoying your day off (if you have one)!

I decided to take a break from internship application personal statement writing to organize my life, clean my apartment, and clean out the 50 trillion photos in my camera to get ready for the semester. Along with the $20 I found in a pant pocket (who wants to grab a beer?), I found a series of photos that I meant to post last semester but totally forgot about. So I will post them now. Today’s post is all about one of my favorite snack foods, hummus.

As far as snacks go, hummus is pretty awesome. It has protein, healthy fats, and can be used in a variety of applications. I love hummus as a stand-alone dip with carrots or pita chips, as a sandwich spread, or even as a super thick salad dressing. Or just eating it out of the container with a spoon… which isn’t weird, right? 

BUT, as much as I like hummus, I can be slightly particular. For example, I believe that tahini has no place in hummus… sorry, but I don’t like this creamy sesame paste. This aversion to tahini made the world of prepared (and most homemade) hummus a no-go. So when very good family friends brought homemade hummus to a dinner party, I scoffed. Then I tried it and was hooked. I found out that it was a non-tahini version and it is the best hummus I ever had. My life’s purpose, along with passing graduate school, getting an internship, and becoming a RD, is to try to replicate this recipe. 

The fabulous creators of this recipe are Mr. and Mrs. S. They are wonderful people who are very good friends with The Grandma and over the years have become very dear family friends. They are awesome cooks and food lovers, so they don’t mind when I prattle about what I make for dinner. And they always bring this awesome hummus! I believe that I have gotten pretty close to their recipe, but like all things, the original is always the best!

The Ultimate (Non-Tahini) Hummus Recipe

By Mr. and Mrs. S

Grab your handy dandy minichop or food processor. This is my mother’s which I stole last semester. MY minichop is guacamole green (a mix between avocado and lime green…) and is super awesome and matches my other cooking utensils. IMG_2141Rinse a can of chickpeas. Or garbanzo beans. Same thing, but two different names… is this a regional thing? I should look this up.

IMG_2142 Shake the colander vigorously to get rid of as much water as possible.

Dump the chickpeas into the minichop (and proceed to get some on the counters, the floor, and into the fruit bowl) and top with 2 cloves of minced garlic. You can add more garlic if you want a super garlicky hummus.

IMG_2143 What makes this hummus awesome is the addition of a couple shakes of your favorite hot sauce. It gives a slightly spicy edge to the hummus, which really helps round out the flavors. 


Last two ingredients – good extra virgin olive oil and white vinegar. 


White vinegar adds a sharp bite, which counteracts the thick, rich texture and flavor of most hummus. In my first attempts recreating this hummus, I forgot to add it and the batches did not come out well. Trust me on this, the vinegar is important and you will not believe how it really improves the flavor. I add 2-3 teaspoons of vinegar initially and add more if I think I need some extra oomph. 

Finally olive oil. I start with a ½ cup and then puree. If I need more oil, then I add a tablespoon at a time until I reach the consistency I want. 


This is the perfect texture (for me). If you want a finer texture, add a little more oil and keep pureeing away! 


Finish everything with a sprinkle of salt and pepper (buzz for a couple more seconds) and taste for seasonings. This batch actually needed more hot sauce and vinegar.

My favorite snacking accompaniments are carrot and celery sticks and blue corn chips.

IMG_2158I hope you enjoy this wonderful hummus recipe! It is a perfect everyday snack, Super Bowl appetizer, or sandwich spread.



Mr. and Mrs. S's Non-Tahini Hummus

  • Servings: 8-12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


1-15oz can of garbanzo beans (AKA chickpeas), rinsed and drained
3 cloves of garlic – more or less depending on your taste
1½ tablespoons of white vinegar
½ – 1 cup of good olive oil
Hot sauce of your choice
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a mini-chop, place in garlic cloves and pulse until finely chopped.
2. Add rinsed, drained chickpeas, vinegar, ½ cup of olive oil, and as much hot sauce as your heart desires.
3. Puree – add more olive oil until you reach the consistency you want.
4. Taste and adjust seasoning – add salt, pepper, and extra hot sauce.
5. Serve with pita chips, raw veggies, or just dig in with spoon!

Smile, Part 2

My sister is awesome. She is super smart. She is driven. She is outgoing, kind, and a multitude of other amazing qualities. She also is a perfectionist, which means that I was roped into helping her reshoot a video spot about my crazy career flipping (I wrote about it last year! She ended up getting an A on the original… YAY). When she called in a tizzy on Saturday, I knew that I had to help her out (because that’s what family does).

The premise of the video was identical to the original, but instead of whipping up chili and cornbread (because I was out of ingredients and was super lazy that day), I made tomato-mozzarella sandwiches. And they were awesome.

The video making was awesome too – E used my camera to shoot everything, so I was back to taking pictures with my iPhone. So I apologize now for the blurry shots – the camera really does not work the same after you have dropped it into a bowl of frosting.

Here is a shot of E taking a close up of the tomatoes. My kitchen is horrifically dark, so we pulled out my camping lantern and my clip-on light.


Since E needed a lot of shots to piece together a story, I made fancy tomato-mozzarella sandwiches. When I’m in a hurry, the sandwich consists of bread drizzled with olive oil and vinegar, a couple of slices of fresh mozzarella and tomato. Place sandwich in mouth and run out the door.

BUT this sandwich was the product of time and tender loving care. Instead of drizzling oil and vinegar quickly (and getting it on the floor, countertops, and cabinets in the process), I slowly poured it over the bread slices and topped it artistically with the mozzarella slices. I gently spread the other slice with pesto and topped it with tomatoes (see the picture – I’m super proud of my tomato stacking!). I even placed the mozzarella-covered slices under the broiler so that the cheese melted into oozy, cheesy wonderfulness. It wasn’t just a sandwich… it was a masterpiece.


Which we proceeded to inhale in approximately 6.74353 minutes.


Isn’t it pretty?


Hanging out with my sister is always a good time, and helping her out with a project always makes it more fun. Maybe in the future we’ll get a TV show together. And eat tomato-mozzarella sandwiches.

Your soon-to-be discovered food TV host,


PS: You can check the whole video out here! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWkzW0M42dU

Last Week of Vegetarianism

So I have been super sick this past week, restricting me to the triangle path from my bed to the couch to the kitchen table, and back. I shall spare you the gross details and instead provide you with an awesome post about my last week of vegetarianism… which is like 2 months late (whoops)!


Here are my adventures on Planet Panini… Enjoy. (PS: this was actually written during Week 5, but just not posted…)

I am epically procrastinating at the moment, so I have made focaccia and decided to write a blog post about it. I am currently entering Week #5 of vegetarianism and decided that bread will be the star. The easiest meal that comes to mind presently is PANINIS!!!

As many of you know, I spent a semester in Florence, Italy and learned the art of the panino (the singular form of panini). Nothing says love like fresh meats and mozzarella pressed between two slices of homemade bread. Nothing says graduate school eating like a meal that I can hold with one hand and scarf down while typing a 10-page paper. So it is sandwich time!

Here is my family’s basic focaccia dough. It is super simple to make in the stand mixer (with the hook attachment) or a hand mixer (with the double hook beaters).

Grab a huge bowl and dump in four cups of all-purpose flour. You get extra points if your bowl matches your mixer! On top of the flour, dump a pinch of salt, two packages of rapid rise yeast, and a tablespoon of olive oil.


Mix the dry mixture together and slowly add in warm water until a slightly sticky ball forms. If you have a stand mixer, you can use this to knead your dough to this stage. My hand mixer works well too, but I usually take it out and finish kneading it by hand on a floured surface. Roll into a ball and place into a greased bowl.


Cover with plastic wrap and a clean tea towel and let it rise for about four hours or so. Then put it on a half sheet pan, brush with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with coarse salt, and rosemary. Then plunk your creation into a 425° oven for 10 minutes or until the focaccia is puffed and the bottom is golden brown and delicious.

Here are the fabulous paninis I made this week:

Epic Panino #1: This panino reminds me of my favorite restaurant from undergraduate. Soft rosemary bread topped with mozzarella cheese, sautéed broccoli rabe (with loads of garlic and hot pepper flake), and balsamic vinegar/olive oil drizzle. Tastes perfect with a glass of red wine, a beer, or a lovely margarita (or six).


Epic Panino #2: My next creation was one of the best things I have ever made. I would not technically call it a sandwich, though, because you have to eat it with a knife and fork. I topped one slice of foccacia with homemade refried beans, salsa, and a fried egg. The top slice of bread was gingerly placed on top of the filling to prevent any premature egg breakage. With a sharp knife, I cut it in half. The beans were warm, the egg yolk was perfectly oozing, and the salsa was spicy. It was amazing.

IMG_0818 IMG_0820

“My Creativity Went Away Panino-Like-Thing” #3: Finally, I made pizza on my foccacia. It was a delightful end to my vegetarian quest. A boring way to end, but fit perfectly into my busy finals schedule.

So my dear readers, what do I break my fast with? Double bacon burgers? Filet with mashed potatoes? Or that BLT I have been dreaming about?


**Side note: See the last post to check out what I broke my fast with!**

Basic Focaccia Dough

  • Servings: 8 pieces
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


4 cups all-purpose flour

2 packages of rapid rise yeast

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon good olive oil

Lukewarm water


1. Dump flour, yeast, salt, and olive oil into the bowl of a stand mixer (or a bowl that your hand mixer can easily move around). Stir for a couple seconds to combine.

2. With the mixer on, slowly drizzle in water, stopping after each quarter cup or so. Continue adding water until a slightly sticky dough forms.

3. Continue to mix for 5 more minutes.

4. Remove dough from work bowl and create a dough ball and place in a greased bowl to rise. Cover with plastic wrap and a tea towel and let rise for about 2-3 hours in a warm place.

5. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Roll out dough on a greased cookie sheet and let stand for 15-20 minutes.

6. After the dough has rested, press your fingers tips into the surface to make dimples. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle on salt, herbs, etc.

7. Bake for 8-12 minutes until golden brown and delicious.

I’m Sticking With My Day Job

Last weekend, some of my friends and graduate classmates descended upon my apartment for a Nutrition PSA film session. It was a fun-filled afternoon centered on the three things I love – food, nutrition, and talking.


This project was an assignment for one of our classes and was worth a sizable chunk of our grades. This added to my already huge doubts because my sister (E) is the future TV personality of the world and I am her exact opposite. To say I was monumentally freaking out would be an understatement. But surround yourself with good people (and a margarita) and all will be well.


The assignment was fairly straightforward – create a 3-4 minute PSA that highlighted a nutrition topic. It was supposed to be a dialogue between the nutrition expert and the interviewer, which gave you a small safety net if you forgot your lines – someone was always there to prompt you. I chose to talk about snacking and my friends decided on a bevy of topics from whole grains to foods that beat stress.


After a cold read of the scripts and a little gab time, we headed off to my kitchen to prep all the food props. Mine were fairly simple – popcorn, hummus and carrots, apples, peanut butter, and oatmeal. My friends’ props were a little more involved, with L’s being the most labor-intensive. Her plates looked amazing so I had to snap a couple of photos.


Here is her amazing pasta with chicken, spinach, and cannellini beans. Yum!


She also brought this amazingly colorful salad of spinach, mandarin oranges, and walnuts. Double yum!


We decided to shoot the videos facing my living room in my apartment instead of the kitchen. It worked really well because we had the whole breakfast bar to work with. I was very excited because it slightly mimicked the long tables morning news anchors would use when interviewing nutritionists on their programs. I am all about being authentic.


Since we were using my camera to film these PSAs, I took the opportunity to snap photos of everyone. Here is a cute one of L, J, and H setting up a breakfast PSA.


And where did all the kitchen paraphernalia from the island go? On the back counter, of course! The things that happen behind the scenes – real life doesn’t stop!


After the PSAs were filmed and put on everyone’s external USB drives, we relaxed with some baked ziti and some margaritas. As much fun as I had filming with my friends, I have realized that I am better at being a registered dietitian. I’m definitely sticking with my day job.


Have a great week, everyone!



After an obscenely hectic week and another one to come, this weekend stood as an oasis of relaxation, mindless TV watching, and a time to start digging through the mountain of schoolwork and laundry. A monkey wrench was thrown into that plan when my sister informed me that she chose me as the subject of her broadcast assignment… Apparently the assignment was to find a subject and interview them about their life, focusing on something that was interesting to the rest of the world. So she chose me. And what she wanted to focus on was my flip-flopping of career paths during my undergrad career. Since I am now on the path of becoming a registered dietitian, it was decided that I would make lunch and she would film me.


So I decided to make chili. It was simple, easy to make and talk at the same time, and I knew that my sister would help me eat it when it was done. After a morning spent running around Wegman’s gathering spices, cornbread fixings, and cans of beans, I was ready for my close-up.


The hard thing about this project was that I had to stay quiet so my sister could gather “natural sounds” – the sizzling ground chuck, the quiet bubble of simmering chili, and the crunch of my knife as I sliced cornbread. I found this part of the assignment very difficult because I usually listen to music, mumble to myself, or chat on the phone as I cook. Like the full 30 minute conversation I had with my grandmother as I whipped up cornbread batter, chopped onions, grabbed the stock pot, got my sister batteries, and organized the spice section of my pantry. I tend to multitask a bit. A good part of the assignment is that I got back to my cooking roots. In my small kitchen in Florence, I didn’t have all the distractions I do here. I was able to appreciate the process so much more.


As the chili simmered, my sister did a face-to-face interview where I highlighted all the careers I wanted to pursue before settling into this one. It was the first time that I really shared my experiences with my sister, so it was a great bonding activity for both of us. Hopefully she gets a good grade!


As she wrapped up the camera equipment, I served up chili the way our mama does it. A piece of heavy cornbread goes on the bottom, slightly mashed with a spoon, leaving big cracks where the chili can seep in. The two hearty scoops of chili go on top and it is done. No fussy toppings, like cheese or sour cream. Just the meat, beans, tomato, spices, and the savory/sweet cornbread. It was the perfect way to end the afternoon… Just my sister, chili, and cornbread.


Catherine’s Chili Recipe


1 to 1½  lb. ground beef (chuck works well), 80-20 ratio

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 large yellow onion, diced

1 – 15 oz can of tomato sauce

1 – 4.5oz can of diced green chilies

¼ cup tomato ketchup

¼ cup low sodium chicken broth

1 McCormick “Quesadilla Casserole” seasoning pack

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

1 – 15oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained

1 – 15oz can of dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained



1. Pour vegetable oil into a large pot (I use a large, short-sided soup pot) or deep saucepan set over medium high heat. When the oil is heated, add the ground beef and begin to brown.

2. Add the diced onion and continue to cook over medium heat until the meat is cooked through and onion is soft, about five minutes.

3. Dump the meat and onion mixture into a colander and lightly shake until all the fat drains off. Remove the excess grease from the pot and then put the meat/onion mixture back into it. Place the pot over medium heat.

4. Add tomato sauce, green chilies, ketchup, chicken broth, seasoning pack, salt, and pepper. Bring mixture up to a boil, and then reduce to simmer. Simmer the chili for 20 minutes, stirring every five minutes or so.

5. Add the black and dark red kidney beans into the pot and stir to combine. Continue to simmer the chili for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

6. Serve chili over rice, cornbread, or, if you feel daring, french fries.



I make my own corn bread, but any kind works here. Also, any combination of beans works here. To stretch the chili out further (and to reduce the amount of red meat at each sitting), I might even add a third can of beans. If you do so, just check the seasoning and see if you need to add some more liquid. Happy eating!