Growing up, no one could have convinced me that any legume, in any kind of dish, was good. Now that I am “older and wiser” however, I guess my taste buds have developed. Or the fact that as I seek to make my grocery budget stretch, I have come to appreciate the economical bean.
Last month my grocery budget was especially tight because of Thanksgiving. My goal was to do an entire month’s cooking plus an entire Thanksgiving meal for $200. I didn’t quite make that goal, mostly because I got carried away in a few aisles at the grocery store…Oreo cookies are such a temptation, and so is every other sugary food I’m craving right now…but anyway, I did come close! We didn’t quite eat like kings, but we did get to enjoy some yummy bean recipes.
Beans are cheap and wholesome and can make your $$$ stretch a little further. Below I’ve listed three of our favorite bean recipes from the past month. As I said before, I never enjoyed beans, but these recipes really are winners that I think your whole family will enjoy! I didn’t hear any complaints, not even from Job.
FYI-you can buy canned beans, but canned beans don’t save you nearly as much money as if you buy dried beans and cook them yourselves. Cooking dried beans can take some extra time. I recommend 1) using a pressure cooker if you have one as pressure cookers can cook beans in a fraction of the time, and 2) cook a big batch of beans, then divide into ziplocks and freeze for future meals. Here is a helpful link for information on how to cook dried beans.
If you have a family favorite bean recipe, I’d love if you shared it as I’m looking to expand my yummy bean recipe repertoire! Please post it in the comments section. Thanks!
Here are the recipes:
Black Bean Soup-compliments of Martha Stewart and adapted by me, Laura, into layman’s methods.
2 cups onion and diced bell peppers (check your freezer section to see if they sell frozen diced bell peppers as this also helps save a few extra dollars)
4 cloves crushed garlic
1 can diced tomatoes
4 cups cooked black beans
4 cups water
4 TB chicken broth powder
2 tsp. cumin
1 TB chili powder
1 TB lime juice
Saute onions and bell peppers. Add garlic and cumin. Cook until softened. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend till desired consistency. Warm and adjust seasonings as desired. Can add chopped ham if desired.
Lentil Soup-serve with Naan bread smothered in butter, a nice cozy meal!
1 chopped onion
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp. tumeric
1/3 cup lentils
1 cup water
salt to taste
1 can chopped tomatoes
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. lemon juice
Fry onion in a saucepan until soft. Add garlic, chili, and tumeric and fry briefly. Add lentils with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until all the water is absorbed. Test a lentil to make sure it is soft, if it isn’t quite soft, add a little more water and continue to simmer until the lentils are cooked through. Mash or blend lentils to desired consistency. Add remaining ingredients, mix and adjust seasonings as desired
Green Chili Burrito Bake-from my dear mother and now one of Brandon’s all time favorite dishes!
2 cups green enchilada sauce
1 package tortillas
2 cups refried beans
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
I confess that on this dish I cheated a little and added a meat mixture to it. Here is the recipe, it is a recipe for Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos, by adding this to the beans, it added a lot of flavor. You could also get a lot of extra flavor by adding 1 cup of salsa and a can of diced chilies to the refried beans. I added about one cup to the refried beans.
Mix cheese, sour cream, refried beans, and chicken mixture (if desired). Smother about 1/4 cup of the mixture onto a tortilla, roll it up, and place in a 9×13 inch pan. Makes about 8-10 burritos. Smother with enchilada sauce and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly.