Monday, August 13, 2012

How to Eat Beans Every Night



My vegetarian readers can stop laughing at the title now and be prepared to add lots of awesome comments.

For the rest of you, who need to eat on a beans and rice budget, but don't want to eat beans and rice every night, I hope you'll enjoy these ideas for having a variety of meals.

First of all, it helps to have several kinds of beans in your pantry. I stock pinto beans, white beans, black beans, kidney beans, lentils, and mung beans. Don't forget that peas and beans are both sources of protein, so you could have pea soup one night as well.

I buy beans in bulk (25 pound bags) to get them for less. They usually cost me .65 a pound, and since they double in size when cooking (except lentils and peas), you are really getting them for .325 a pound. Need some ideas for bulk sources (including those that deliver)? Check out some bulk sources on my website.

If you do a search for bean recipes, two difficulties usually arise. One is that many bean recipes contain meat as an ingredient, and the other is that they almost always contain cheese. Both of these ingredients tend to defeat the purpose of eating beans from a frugality standpoint. While you could add cheese or meat to the following recipes, none of them call for it.

Every one of these recipes can be made strictly from pantry ingredients, so if you cannot afford to go shopping right now, don't despair! You can serve up this menu for the week with plenty of variety.

Monday: Bean and Rice Burritos, with either pinto beans or black beans. My husband is actually the one who first got me started in eating bean burritos. My children absolutely love them, and my daughter asked if we could have them today, so we did!

Tuesday: Minestrone Soup, using white beans and kidney beans. French Bread at .25 a loaf makes a wonderful accompaniment. This is a great place to throw in some zucchini in summer or potatoes in winter. This is my children's favorite soup, and we usually eat it once a week. It's not a meal that my husband cares for, however, so you're more likely to see it on my lunch menus than my dinner menus. Just because your husband may not like a particular meal doesn't mean it has to be eliminated from the menu. Just move it to lunch.



Wednesday: Black Bean Burgers. I like these with tomatoes from the garden when I have them. Don't only think ketchup; these are fantastic with some barbecue sauce or some homemade steak sauce. A side of homemade pickles and oven-baked fries can round out the meal. Eating from your pantry? Have applesauce instead of fries.

Thursday: Rosemary White Bean Soup, or, if you have a bit more in your budget, have Pasta e Fagioli instead. Rosemary Olive Oil Bread at .30 a loaf is a nice addition to the meal. Fruit Salad makes a refreshing dessert.



Friday: Stir Fry. Make it meatless and use sprouted mung beans and/ or sprouted lentils (start sprouting them on Monday for Friday's dinner). In summer I'll make this with Swiss chard from the garden. If I have bell peppers, those go in too. In fall I'll include celery when it goes on sale. In the spring, I use sugar snap peas from the garden.

Saturday: Lentil Tacos. Lentils cook up quickly, making this a fast meal. I use tomatoes from the garden when I have them, and if I can buy lettuce in summer I'll buy lettuce for this, since it doesn't grow here past May. In fall we'll have lettuce again, and come late November/Early December it cools off for tomatoes again, so we'll have both lettuce and tomatoes from the garden then. Depending on when our first frost comes (anywhere from Mid-November to mid-December), we'll either have tomatoes picked fresh from the garden or ripening indoors from being picked green.


Sunday: Beans and Rice. I'll take cooked pinto beans, add lots of water, with lime juice and onions, and cook them again until they're a slightly soupy mix. Serve over plain white rice (I buy that in bulk as well for .33 a pound) with fresh tomatoes from the garden on top. The dollar store usually has a pack of 12 limes for a $1. (I've also made this using canned lime juice and canned tomatoes when needed). I first had this meal in Geneva, Switzerland. A sister from church invited my missionary companion and I for lunch, and this is what she served to us. It was the first time I had ever eaten rice and beans, and I loved it! When I was back at college making this meal again, my Mexican roommate's mother was visiting. She was standing in the kitchen while I was cooking. She looked at my meal and said would be so much better if I just added some lime juice. I tried it the next time, and I've been making it that way ever since.

Next Monday: Add a little cheese this time (it's Parmesan, so you can keep this in your pantry if you get the shelf-stable variety), and have White Bean Alfredo Sauce over pasta.

Next Tuesday: Taco Soup. No need for meat in this one! I spent a semester doing a cooking swap every night between the 6 girls in my apartment and an apartment of guys down the street.  This was one of the meals the guys made at least twice a month.

Next Wednesday: Chili. There are ton of chili recipes out there, and so far my family seems to like them all. Remember that chili doesn't have to have meat in it to be delicious. Chili is one of my husband's favorite bean dishes.

Need more information on cooking beans? I've put that along with my bean recipes all together on one page on my website here.

(Of course, beans aren't the only way to go meatless. Other great meatless meals that we love: Fried zucchini with homemade ranch dressing, tomato cheddar cracker sandwiches, pasta salad, tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches, mock chicken fried steak, soups, tomato basil sandwiches, salads of all varieties, tomato pizza, zucchini potato pancakes, and more!)

There are more great bean meals out there that are easy on the budget, like red beans and rice, baked beans and cornbread, falafel, navy bean soup, lentil soup, black bean soup, hummus and pitas, bean enchiladas, etc. 

So let's have beans for every meal!

What are your favorites? Feel free to add your links in the comments.

64 comments:

  1. Your mung beans sprouts are beautiful! I got short little ones when I've tried to sprout. Would you mind sharing your method with us?

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    1. Soak 1 1/2 tablespoons of mung beans(or wheat berries, alfalfa seeds, or lentils) in enough water to cover them for several hours or overnight. I use a quart-sized mason jar with a lid for sprouting, but you can also use an old piece of panythose cut out, held down with the canning jar ring. Then, dump the water (but not the mung beans!) out. Each day, rinse the beans with water 3 times a day (I keep mine by the sink to remember to do them while I'm cooking meals). Dump the water out after rinsing them. In about 5 days, you'll have sprouts to the top of the jar! If you want them yellow like at the store, you'll need to keep them in the dark. Mine are more green because I keep them by the sink. If I don't, I'll forget to rinse them and they'll go bad.

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  2. I was just asking myself the other day - "How can I get more creative with beans?" Thank for the solution!

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  3. You are amazing! Thanks for sharing these delicious bean recipes. Wow so much more creative than just plain old beans and rice. Which are on my menu this week!

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  4. This is fantastic. We are cutting back on our meat and this will help me to do soooo many more meals. Thank you!!!

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  5. What an overwhelmingly inspiring post!! Thank you so much for being such a source of inspiration!

    I love chickpeas! I like to 'marinade' them: put chickpeas in a glass container, pour over basic vinaigrette, add your favorite herb (mine is thyme), put the lid on and shake. Fast food I like :-)

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  6. Brandy, this article would be extremely helpful to many people who are unaware of your blog. I wonder if there is a way to distribute it to a larger audience.

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    1. Tell your friends, Katie! Facebook, twitter, blogs, etc.

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    2. You could submit it to Money Saving Mom, Brandy :)

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    3. that would be a great place to post it..money saving mom..and on We are that family's, wfmw

      I am THRILLED you started a blog....you are so inspiring...

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  7. At our house, we make black beans and rice and chili. Usually we have some kind of ground meat with the chili, though. Another thing that I do to save money with beans is that my family LOVES tacos, but they like them with ground beef or turkey. So, when I get a pound of meat on sale, I will cook it up with (homemade) taco seasoning, then divide it in half in two servings in the freezer. When it's time to make tacos, I defrost it and mix it with an equal amount of black beans. It's delicious and inexpensive and my family still loves it! I'm sure I could replace the meat completely some nights and my family wouldn't mind!

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  8. Wow! I am impressed that you can come up with so many uses for beans. :) Personally unless it is a green bean there is no way I'm touching it. haha :)

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    1. That's how I grew up! However, I've come to like a variety of beans in different ways. Try my pasta e fagioli recipe--you might just end up liking beans!

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    2. I also never ate beans growing up (no one in my family did), but I'm so glad I tried minestrone and then got more brave after that!

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  9. I recently discovered Braised White Beans and Rosemary. Fabulous with a side salad.

    Braised White Beans with Rosemary

    1 pound dried cannellini beans, picked over
    1 sage leaf
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    ½ C olive oil
    A few sprigs of fresh rosemary or 1 Tbs dried rosemary crushed into small pieces
    Salt and pepper to taste
    ¼ Cup roughly chopped fresh parsley (optional)

    1.Soak the beans in water 6 to 8 hours.
    Or put them in cold water; bring them gently to a boil and then with saucepan off the heat, allow them to remain in the water for 1 to 2 hours.
    2. Drain.
    3. Transfer beans to a dutch oven. Add 10 cups water and sage leaf, bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium low: cook until the beans are tender, about 1 hour. Drain, reserving liquid. Discard sage leaf. Return beans to Dutch oven.
    4. Preheat oven to 475.
    5. While oven is heating, saute rosemary and garlic in olive oil until fragrant. Add mixture to beans with 1.5 cups of the reserved liquid. Salt and pepper to taste (I start with ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper) Place in hot oven uncovered, cook until creamy, 15 to 20 minutes. Add the parsley if desired and more cooking liquid if necessary.
    Add salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with additional olive oil if desired. Serves 6

    You could use 4 (15oz) cans of white beans. And substitute broth for reserved liquid and begin a step 4.
    ½ recipe by using 1 Cup dried beans or 2 cans of beans and reducing other ingredients by a half.

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  10. For something a little ethnic, you can make Chana Masala like this:

    One pound soaked, cooked Garbanzo Beans (Chick peas)
    one large Onion
    one quart tomatoes--whole, crushed, sauce or whatever you have
    one dried chili or 1 tsp chili powder--hot or mild, whatever you like
    1 1/2 T ground coriander
    1 1/2 T turmeric
    1 T cumin
    1 T paprika
    1 1/2 tsp garam masala
    juice of 2 lemons
    one inch chunk of ginger--minced
    about 2 tsp salt, but try less first

    saute onion in oil till soft, then add all spices and stir around for about 5 minutes. Then, add all other ingredients and cover and let simmer for about an hour. Salt to your liking and serve over rice.

    From Christie in Arroyo Grande, CA

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  11. In my crock pot, I set to soak overnight
    1 cup dried corn
    1 cup pinto beans
    1 cup white beans
    1 cup black beans
    more than enough water to cover the beans

    The next morning I drain the beans and put them back into the crock pot

    Add 5 1/2 cups water, 4 chicken bullion cubes, 2 chopped up onions, and 2 cans of spicy Mexican tomato chunks.

    Set the crock pot to low and let it cook all day long.

    Serve with sour cream and shredded sharp cheddar cheese (I have to confess that I also like to serve this with guacamole)

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  12. Many years ago I instituted a bean night on my weekly menus. Suddenly hubby had a problem to deal with at work and had to stay late and therefore miss most every bean supper. I gave up! I love beans but since we are now empty nesters it just does not work for us!

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  13. Just another grateful reader writing to say THANK YOU! These recipes look great! I'll be trying some very soon...

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  14. I've read that when you serve an animal protein with legumes, the nutrients are more readily absorbed by our bodies. For me, this sometimes means a bean burrito and for dessert yogurt and fruit. Or white bean/tomato/basil salad with lemon meringue gelatin for dessert.

    For my minestrone I add a cup of homemade chicken stock to the pot along with a 2 inch piece of parmesan rind for amazing flavor. But you certainly don't have to! ;-)

    One of my favorite ways to eat chickpeas is to toss them with fresh rosemary from the garden, salt & pepper, olive oil and roast them. If you like potato chips or french fries, you'll love these - they have that same crunchy, salty, savory flavor.

    Roasted Chickpeas
    3-4 cups of cooked chickpeas (use rinsed, canned beans or homemade, although I like homemade better personally, just make sure you remove the skins)
    2-3 tbsp oil
    1 tbsp salt (to taste)
    1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary (to taste)
    1/2 tsp pepper (to taste)

    Use enough chickpeas to fill your cookie sheet, drizzle with oil using hands to distribute evenly. Roast in oven @ 400* for about 30 mins or so or until toasty golden brown. Remove from oven and toss with spices while still warm. Serve to hungry friends!

    Elizabeth in CA

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    Replies
    1. My kids love, love, love roasted chickpeas. They taste kind of like Corn-nuts. I put curry spices or garam masala on the chickpeas for the flavoring. Sometimes I use coconut oil sometimes olive oil,depending on the mood I'm in. They are so yummy. They are really good on top of salads, too.

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  15. This recipe is from Alton Brown on the Food Network--it is called curried split pea soup if you want to google it and read all of the reviews and ideas people shared. There were 124 comments and it had a 5 star rating. It is absolutely delicious. The only thing I have added is some shredded carrot but a bit of ham or bacon would make it heartier. I used a can of chix broth and a can of water. Which reminds me. I saw a pbs cooking show where the gal made lentil and carrot soup and then she took a box of tofu and sliced it like bread--fried it until golden and spread it with almond butter she made herself and had the sandwich with the soup. Very nutritious meal. Peanut butter would work also.

    2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    1 cup chopped onion
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
    12 ounces dried green or yellow split peas, picked over and rinsed
    5 cups chicken broth
    1 tablespoon curry powder
    Directions
    Place the butter into a large (4 to 6-quart) saucepan over medium-low heat. Once melted, add the onion and a generous pinch of salt and sweat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to sweat for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, making certain not to allow onions or garlic to brown.


    Add the peas, chicken broth and curry powder. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook at a simmer until the peas are tender and not holding their shape any longer, approximately 45 to 50 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Using care and a stick blender, puree the soup until the desired consistency. Watch out for hot splatters.

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  16. During particularly challenging years, we pretty much lived off of beans, cornbread and fried potatoes. The beans were normally pinto or great northern. To this day, buttered homemade cornbread topped with pinto beans and ketchup is a favorite meal.

    Other bean dishes we eat - black bean enchiladas, bean soups, red beans and rice, vegetarian tacos with refried beans as the protein, butter beans as a side, hoppin' john (which is actually made with blackeyed peas) - the options are endless!

    Thanks for sharing these great ideas, Brandy. Fantastic as always.

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  17. My husband and I love beans, however, my 2 children can't stand them. That leaves out a lot of meals that we love. However, there are times when I made something with beans and if they want to eat they eat it. Any suggestions on how to change their dislike of beans? One time I made black bean brownies and my children loves them, they couldn't believe there were beans in them.

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    Replies
    1. Try blending them, and not telling them that the blended ingredient is beans. In several of the recipes I listed, the beans are blended. Also, it may depend on the kind of bean and the seasonings--in other words, that particular recipe.

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    2. My children loved the white bean alfredo sauce recipe. It was a huge hit with them.

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    3. I tried the white bean alfredo sauce. I used grated parmesan cheese and I used an immersion blender. The flavor was great but it turned out kind of grainy. What do you think I did wrong?

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    4. You didn't do anything wrong. The beans give it that texture.

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  18. We love beans, I'm trying to incorporate at least 1 or 2 meals a week using beans. One of my kids favorite meals is Bean Pie. I always make 2 pies when I do it, it usually ends up being lunch the next day too. This week we had ham and beans, the ham was left over pieces I thru into a ziplock bag and froze. I'm trying Anasazi beans that were given to me this week, they are similar to a pinto bean but you don't need to soak them before you boil them.

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    Replies
    1. What is your bean pie recipe? It sounds very interesting.

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    2. Bean pie is super simple, I love it because it's whatever you want it to be:
      - 3 cans of beans about 45 oz. any kind you love
      - 1 cup or more depending on how you like it of tomato sauce or pasta sauce
      - 1 can Rotel or equal from fresh
      - 1 cup of shredded cheese divided
      - Seasonings ( whatever you would like to add, i like salt, pepper, cumin, garlic powder, italian herbs)
      - 1 small chopped onion
      - optional Meat, we like rope sausage but you can add anything.
      - 2 pie crusts (uncooked)

      Mix all ingredients in a bowl, save half the cheese, then pour into pie crusts bake for about 20 minutes at 350 F. Put the rest of the cheese on it and bake 5 more minutes. Take it out and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes before you cut into it. I serve it with sour cream or guacamole, it also freezes well and tastes even better the second day.

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  19. I love this post (my husband, son, and I are all lacto-ovo vegetarians), and I love your blog. It's beautifully done in design and clarity. Thank you.

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  20. Loving all the recipes!!!

    You asked :)
    Here's some of mine:

    Split Pea Soup
    1 bag of green split peas, rinsed and sorted
    1 cup chopped onions
    1 cup chopped celery
    1/2 cup chopped green peppers
    1 cup sliced carrots
    1 cup diced potatoes
    1 cup leftover brown rice or barley (optional)
    1 cup diced turkey ham (like Jennie-O)
    Seasonings-according to taste- thyme, rosemary, red pepper, sage, etc

    Bring split peas to a boil in about 3 1/2 quarts of water (and/or broth).
    Boil for 10 mins and add remaining ingredients. Simmer until veggies are soft!
    ****************************************************
    Easy Baked Beans
    5 Cups leftover white beans
    1 cup jelly(yes!)
    1 1/2 cups finely chopped onions
    1 1/2 cups of ketchup
    Opt.- dash of Worcestershire, 1/2 t salt, 1/2 t black pepper

    Mix in a large baking dish and bake at 350 for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
    ****************************************************************
    Black Bean and Beef Hash
    1 pound of ground beef

    1/2 cup chopped onion

    1/2 cup chopped bell pepper

    1/4 t rosemary

    1/4 t sage

    1/8 t crushed bay leaves

    2 cups cooked brown rice

    1 can (or about 2 cups) of black beans, rinsed and drained

    3/4 cup hot water with dissolved beef bouillon cube OR 1 small can of tomato sauce (according to preference)

    Brown ground beef with onions and peppers, drain. Add seasonings, rice, beans, and liquid. Heat thoroughly.
    **This dish is simple, easy, and quick. The taste could be changed to Mexican or Italian by changing the spices. It could also be made without beef.
    *****************************************************************
    Bean with Turkey Bacon Soup
    1 16 OZ BAG OF WHITE BEANS (RINSED, SORTED, SOAKED, AND COOKED FOR 1 1/2 HOURS)

    1 PACKAGE OF TURKEY BACON CUT INTO SMALL PIECES, COOKED

    1 MEDIUM ONION CHOPPED

    1/4 CUP GREEN PEPPERS, CHOPPED

    4 STALKS OF CELERY, CHOPPED FINELY

    4 CARROTS, CHOPPED FINE OR SHREDDED

    2 TEASPOONS GARLIC

    1 CAN OF TOMATO PASTE

    Toss in a pot, simmer on low until veggies are tender.
    SALT AND PEPPER TO TASTE
    *frugal tip: Keep leftover bacon, stored in the freezer and use as a topping rather than a whole pack.
    ******************************************************************
    Crunchy Chick Peas
    Spray 9x13.
    Drain and rinse 2 cans (or about 4 cups) of chick peas (or cook your own if you like!).
    Toss in a bowl with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, 3/4 teaspoon cumin, and 1 teaspoon of olive oil.
    Bake at 350, tossing every 5 to 10 minutes for approx. 40 minutes, until crisp.
    Great snack, store in airtight container.
    ******************************************************************

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  21. Enchilada Bake
    1 pound lean ground beef or ground turkey*
    1 large onion chopped
    2 medium carrots, grated
    1 bell pepper, chopped
    Brown meat with veggies, drain any fat and add:
    1 package of taco seasoning
    2 cans chili hot beans (or homemade 'saucy' beans)
    1 can tomato sauce
    COOK UNTIL BUBBLY.
    Measure 2 1/2 cups shredded cheese, cheddar, mozz, etc
    Lay out 12 corn tortillas.
    SPRAY 9x13.
    Lay 6 tortillas in bottom. Top with half of meat/bean mix, then 1/2 of cheese.
    Lay remaining 6 tortillas on top. Spread remaining meat/bean and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
    Bake 25-30 minutes at 350 until bubbly around the edges.
    *Can omit meat.
    **************************************************************
    HOPPIN' JOHN

    1 pkg (16oz) black eyed peas (wash, sort, soak overnight)
    1 large onion
    3 stalks of celery sliced
    2 cloves minced garlic
    1 can diced tomatoes with juice
    1 t basil
    3/4 t thyme
    2 to 3 cups cooked brown rice
    salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
    1 cup turkey ham *optional
    After soaking the beans overnight; drain, rinse, and cover with water, several inches above beans.
    I like to boil them for 40 minutes or so, then add all remaining ingredients and cook until tender.
    (This is a great dish to add to a study of Little House books!)
    *Tip: Use leftover ham bone, cutting all the meat off to keep this frugal!
    ***************************************************************
    (Saucy)Bean and Cheese Pitas are very good!
    -especially on homemade pita-mmmm!
    *************************************************************
    Easy Beef-n-Beans
    3/4 lb extra lean beef-browned with-
    1 large onion chopped
    and 3 cans of pork-n-beans (or leftover white beans or BBQ baked beans)
    Heat on the stove or in the oven for about 20 to 25 minutes.
    (can add seasonings if you like)
    **************************************************************

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  22. Black Bean Brownies
    2 cups black beans, mostly drained
    1 1/2 cups cane sugar
    1/2 cup cocoa powder (dark here)
    1 t vanilla
    1/2 cup plain flour
    3 eggs
    1/4 t salt
    4 T coconut oil, melted butter, or other fat

    Mix well in food processor, blender, or with hand mixer.
    Pour into sprayed deep dish pie plate or 9X9.
    Bake at 350 for approx. 30 minutes.
    *********************************************************
    15 Bean Soup
    -3/4 cup barley
    -1 pkg 15 bean mix- throw out the flavor pack, you won't need it!
    -1 large onion, chopped
    -2 stalks of celery, chopped
    -2 bay leaves
    -1/4 t rosemary
    -several twists of fresh ground black pepper
    -water
    -12 to 16 oz sliced polish sausage (optional)
    -2 cups of leftover ham broth*

    (*The ham broth is the secret! When you cook hams for the holidays, ALWAYS keep your broth!)

    Cover and soak your beans and barley overnight in water with 2 T lemon juice. Drain, rinse, and drain again.
    Dump them in large soup pot with 4 quarts of water, 2 cups ham broth, onions, celery, pepper, bay leaves, and any other seasonings that you might like.(The liquid will cook down.) Simmer, covered, for approx. 2 hours and add sliced polish sausage if desired and simmer another 30 minutes or so, until beans are tender.
    *********************************************************
    Bean dips are good to make with any leftover beans. Season with bacon drippings, olive oil, herbs, garlic, onions, etc to create all sorts of flavors and combinations.
    Serve with veggies, chips, flatbreads, etc.
    *********************************************************
    **********************************************************
    ************************************************************
    My MOST Useful Recipe (I use this in burritos, pitas, sides, etc)
    *Saucy Beans/Chili Beans*
    2 1/2 quarts of cooked beans
    1 quart of tomatoes, drain half the juice and crush the tomatoes
    2 bay leaves
    1 1/2 T chili powder
    1 T cumin
    1 t garlic salt
    1/2 t oregano
    2 T dried onions
    Simmer all ingredients in large sauce pot until juice is thick, onions are tender and re-hydrated. Remove bay leaves before serving.
    (*Tip: If you use these beans for burritos, the leftover liquid makes a nice enchilada style sauce if you strain it. Also, you can use any bean for this. Pinto, kidney, and black are my favorites.)

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  23. Love the ideas for having beans every night. My husband would kill me but I can eat beans every day.

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  24. Love these ideas !

    I eat beans at least once a day, and although I am usually content with my simple beans and rice recipe, I am excited to try out some of these, especially for the kids.

    Regarding the lime juice - Not only does it make the beans taste better, but according to my doctor(who is also a registered dietitian), adding lemon or lime juice to bean dishes, allows your body to absord the iron and protein more easily.

    (I follow a vegan diet, so this is important for me, as beans or a major source of both protein and iron in my diet.)

    I've been adding lime juice for years now, and love it!

    Thanks for the recipes !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vitamin C helps you to absorb iron, so this of course makes sense!

      We have a dollar store that sells a bag of 12 limes for a $1. That helps to keep the cost down!

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  25. Thank you thank you thank you!! I already use mostly beans as a staple in our meals, because of protein, healthier and cheaper than meat. But I am always at a loss for good recipes!
    This post was fantastic, and I am so thankful you posted it!! Definitely helps with my $60 a month budget :)

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    Replies
    1. Beth, have you looked at Mark Bittman's Food Matter Cookbook, or his How To Cook Everything Vegetarian? He's a NYT food blogger who converted to mostly-vegetarian for environmental reasons, then wrote several books about his experience and his recipes.

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  26. Wow, thanks for the inspiration! We eat more beans than most people, but I think more is better. :)

    Our favorite split pea soup recipe is here. It uses lemon for flavoring instead of ham, and we love it.
    http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/vegetarian-split-pea-soup-recipe.html

    Another family favorite is lentil nachos (homemade cheese sauce optional).
    http://be-it-ever-so-humble.blogspot.com/2012/02/meatless-nachos.html

    I actually have a lot of bean recipes on my blog here:
    http://be-it-ever-so-humble.blogspot.com/search/label/Dry%20beans

    I am looking forward to having a bean week with your ideas!

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  27. I am trying to cook more recipes with beans to stretch our grocery budget, meat is so expensive!!! I have a picky toddler and husband, but your white bean alfredo recipe looks like something I could pull off. I am definately trying it out soon. And I am going to start cooking more meatless soups and recipes for lunch, it would help cut the cost there as well. Thank you for all of your wonderful tips and encouragement. I love reading your blog and website!

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  28. Awesome thank u!!!

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  29. Freezer friendly black bean quesadillas. These are AWESOME!http://budgetbytes.blogspot.com/2012/02/hearty-black-bean-quesadillas-661.html

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  30. What a fantastic list! And all the wonderful comments to add to are just marvelous! I've run into this same problem with finding bean recipes without cheese or meat, and I'll be copying these. I'm wondering if you'd be interested in putting your recipes and these others into a free e-book? I think I'll compile them for my own use as, with a large family on one income, this is a must-have collection!

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    Replies
    1. There is a print option on all of my recipes on the website so that you can print these out for your own personal use.

      I like to keep things free! (No-ebook plans!)

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  31. Black beans have almost a meaty flavor. I once made chili using only black beans, and my husband didn't notice the meat wasn't there! I usually make chili with meat and either no beans or pintos. He thought I was kidding when I told him (after he had devoured two bowls) that he had just eaten meatless chili. ~Michelle

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  32. Thank you for sharing your amazing bean recipes! Just a couple of days ago I was looking at my food storage and noticed the many cans of beans I had accumulated recently. I thought to myself how I need to find some bean recipes on the internet. This post couldn't have come at a better time. I really look forward to trying out these bean recipes. I truly appreciate the inspiration you provide being a woman who is busy at home(Titus 2:4-5). God bless you!

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  33. These all looks wonderful! Thanks for the inspiration. I do have a question since I am not very good a "winging it" in the kitchen. For your Sunday beans and rice recipe can you tell me what quantity you use for the beans, lime juice and onions? Thanks.

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  34. New Vegan here!!! LOOVE that I found this page!!!!! I am clueless about beans... except green beans.. LOL THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART!!

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  35. I made the black bean burgers last night, but they were really soupy. I used canned black beans, since I had no more cooked dry beans in the freezer. Was I supposed to drain them? That is all I can think of that changed. I had to add more bread crumbs and they didn't form patties, just lumps on the griddle :)

    Allison

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    1. Yes, you should have drained them. I always drained and rinsed canned beans when I used canned ones.

      You can always email me if you have a specific question about a recipe.

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  36. I didn't even think about it until I had them all mixed up! Then it hit me that I probably should have drained them. They were good, but would have been better if I had drained the cans. I will try them again. Thanks!

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  37. Good tips! There are a lot of different types of combos with beans, that's why i like to make some interesting food with them.

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  38. Here from Couponing 101, these are great recipes! We like to eat mostly vegan so I pinned a bunch of these, thanks!

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  39. This is great! I just started cooking with beans and love that you have yummy and inexpensive recipes all in one place. Thanks!

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  40. Brandy, I am wondering why you don't use lentils more often, or anyway your wonderful recipes are not reflecting that?? Just curious, since lentils are one of the best/cheapest proteins.

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    1. We primarily use lentils in tacos for meatless tacos. Before I was married I made lentil soup quite often but my family did not like that. I haven't found another lentil recipe that they like quite as much. Lentils are more per pound (around .98) than I pay for other beans (around .65 for pintos, white beans, and black beans) and they don't get much bigger, like beans do, so they are more money than beans, making I a more expensive meal. Two weeks ago I made lentil sloppy joes; they weren't a hit, so we won't be repeating that recipe.

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  41. Ah, that rice and beans meal is almost the everyday meal in Brazil! And that combination (rice, beans, tomate, lime) is my favorite, just adding some garlic on top of it. About beans meals, that is more a snack, but have you ever tried "falafel"? It's made with garbanzo beans (chickpeas) and it's fabulous! Love your blog and I must try those black beans burgers! Thank you so much for sharing all those lovely ideas (both you and your commenters)

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  42. I make "chicken" and dumplings a lot. It's basically stock, cream of chicken, celery, onion, carrots, and flat/slick dumplings. It costs almost nothing to make but is so filling. I usually shred 1/2 a small chicken breast or thigh (whatever I have) and toss that in as the chicken part. Once shredded it seems like there's a bunch of chicken in there, little does my family know that they're sharing about a 2 oz portion :)

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  43. We really like this recipe for Vegan Split Pea Soup (lots of flavor too!) The recipe calls for barley & potatoes, but I usually just use rice (brown or white):

    http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Vegan-Split-Pea-Soup-I/

    It has been a while since I've used lentils, they just weren't that big of a hit here at our home. I can't stand Indian style flavored dishes (wish I did) so I tend to stick to more Mexican or Italian flavored bean recipes.

    I love the ideas posted above about chickpeas. That is one I've never tried and I just saw a video the other day explaining a recipe using them with quinoa and roasted veggies.

    Brandy, I just want to compliment you on the quality of blog you run here and the integrity you have. I so appreciate that you make your information available to all at no cost. It kind of irks me when a money saving website is screaming at you with ads and ebooks. I know people need to make a living. Yet with you, I think I would actually fork over the money because you are just so darn likable. =) I forget, do you have an affiliate link with Amazon? I would be more than happy to buy my products through your link to help you out. Hugs!

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