Monday, February 28, 2011

Versatile, yummy beans!

Tracy and I learned early on
how economical it was to buy dried pinto beans to make up delicious, nourishing meals in the early days of our marriage.

In fact, there wasn't a week that went by that I didn't have a container of cooked beans in my tiny little apartment fridge. Meat was quite expensive,
also, our tiny 1960's style refrigerator had a small icebox inside the fridge that always iced up to the point of not being able to open it up and so even if we could afford a lot of meat, we just didn't have room for it.
So, beans/legumes made into soup, or, served on top of tostadas or in burritos, or, along side rice or with corn chips/corn bread was the most economical way to make sure we got plenty of protein. (we also enjoyed canned tuna and salmon as well eggs and some chicken)
YES, we eventually moved into an apartment with a real freezer in the fridge and then into a house with a LARGE freezer and as you can see from the recipes I post, we eat quite an array of meals with a variety of meat options.

As good and yummy as meat is, I always go back to beans/legumes as some of my favorite meals.

Right now...
dried Pinto Beans are 54 cents a pound
and Split Peas are 51 cents a pound.

There were five things
that were a constant in our early marriage:
cooking up pinto beans or split peas weekly,
cooking up a large stock pot of chicken/veggie soup, OR, Brown Rice with Chicken and Broccoli (aka "Cream a doo") that we would pretty much eat all week long (including taking it in thermoses to work)
Making up homemade bread and some sort of homemade cookie or dessert treat.
AND there was always an abundance of fresh fruit/veggies to eat

I still remember going on a picnic with our friends, the Archibald's the first summer of our marriage and I pulled out a Rubbermaid container of pureed pinto beans (that I had mixed with salsa) and tortilla chips. We also pulled out tuna fish sandwiches on homemade whole wheat bread, cut up broccoli and carrot sticks and Honey Cookies. They looked at us like we were a bunch of "Old Fogey's", because, who would eat that way? It was definitely different then how they ate.
Picnics in the Park, drives to the foot hills in our Land Cruiser, weekend getaways, lunches at work...we were always bringing our pureed beans and homemade treats to enjoy. Buying store bought was never an option.

don't let your Rotisserie Chicken, or your turkey carcass go to waste, .
I always boil up all of the bones from these and freeze up the broth to have to pull out for future meals. It is SO much more yummy to have real chicken broth too add to soups/beans, rather than bouillon, or canned broth.
I love making sure nothing goes to waste.
I connect greatly with our grandparent's era, where bones were carefully saved and put to good use to make a pot of soup for their families!
SO many yummy possibilities for these...
SO easy
to make up bean burritos for a week of quick lunches for your family.
Having a container of pureed beans in your fridge,
means you always have fixin's to...
make burritos,

yummy beans to put in a containers to take along
with veggie sticks for lunch or an afternoon snack,

(this is my favorite...
cut up veggies + bean dip= heaven)

beans to heat up and enjoy dipping chips in,
beans to spread on tortilla chips, top with cheese and broil
until the cheese melts to make DELICIOUS nachos!!

Delicious Pinto Beans
Soak 2 cups pinto beans overnight in 4 cups water.
After soaking keep just enough water to barely cover beans and
add in 2 cups chicken broth. (I just pulled a 2 cup bag of chicken broth from my freezer and added in)
Then add in:
1 finely chopped onion
2 cloves chopped garlic (OR, 1 tsp granulated garlic powder)
1 tsp. cumin
Bring to boil and then simmer for 3-4 hours until really tender.
(may need to add some salt after they’re cooked)
Puree some of beans and add back into bean mixture and
add in 1 cup shredded cheese and stir until melted. Store in an airtight container in the fridge (will keep for a week)
the possibilities to the use of these are endless!

54 cents for 2 cups of dried pinto beans...
what a bargain, great source of protein,
and what a wonderful, nourishing, healthy way to feed your family!
LOVE the thrift of Dried Beans!


gigi said...

Great recipe, thanks.

Garden of Egan said...

I totally {heart} you!!! I swear, you amaze me.

I am starting to stock up again cuz I let things get really low.
Every time I do stuff and put it in the freezer or storage I think hmmm, I wonder what Kimmie would do with this?

I need to get a bag of pinto beans. Do you get it from the storehouse or from winco?

Ya, Howie got home. He took the day off today.(good thing cuz he didn't get home till late Saturday night.)

We had a treat today and went to Cafe Rio and used a gift card and went to the movie.

Heather said...

Oh Kimmie, you are truly amazing! I never would have thought to substitute beans for meat. I will have to keep that in mind. You make the beans look so delicious!

I love all the old photos! I too did my hair like that! Love it!

Terrence said...

Yes beans are awesome! Have you ever visited the website She has a wonderful way to cook a large selection of beans at the same time and lots of fun recipes/ways to use them! She is also an advocate of using food storage for healthy meals! We definitely need to utilize beans more in our diet.

Candace said...

I am going to try it!