Saturday, October 10, 2009

Three Budget Friendly Recipies

One of the best foods to stock up on is the bean.  Any bean- kidney, chick peas, black, cannellini, pinto, whatever your pleasure.  Beans are cheap, easy to store, and have tons of fiber and protein.  Plus, they are easy to grow.  All this makes them a great addition to your pantry.  Here are three great, cheap, tasty, bean-based recipes.

Note: Using canned beans is convenient, and relatively inexpensive.  However, there is a lot of unnecessary sodium in commercially prepared canned beans.  Dry beans are even cheaper and are easy to prepare, but they do require some time.  Dry beans need to be soaked overnight before using.

Black Bean Soup (serves 4)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh ginger root, shredded
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 bag (appox 15 oz) of black beans, previously soaked overnight
  • 6 cups of water
  • 3 large sweet potatoes, pealed and cubed
  • 1 teaspoon  salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup yogurt (I use Stoneyfield Farms full fat, cream on top, french vanilla) or sour cream with each serving (optional)
  • fresh cilantro leaves (optional)
In a large pot, saute the onion in the oil until translucent.  Add peppers, garlic, ginger, and allspice and saute until the peppers are soft.  Add water sweet potatoes, and beans and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft and cooked through.  Add the salt and black pepper.  Take 1-2 cups of the soup and blend in a blender, then replace to the pot.  Add yogurt and cilantro leaves to each individual bowl.

White Bean and Carrot Soup
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced*
  • 1 Tablesoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3-4 scallions/green onions chopped
  • 1 quart broth (veggie or chicken)
  • 2 lbs carrots, peeled and cut into 2-3 inch sections
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons dried sage
  • 2 bags (approx 30 ounces) cannellini beans (or any white bean), soaked overnight
  • Salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot, saute the onion in the olive oil until translucent.  Add the garlic, scallions, and saute 3-4 minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic.  Add the broth, carrots, oregano, thyme, sage, pre-soaked cannellini beans, salt, and pepper.  Simmer 30-45 minutes.  In batches, run the soup through a blender.

*To add another level of flavor, try roasting the garlic first.  Roast the entire garlic bulb and use the extra garlic in other recipes, flavor bread, etc.  Preheat the oven to 400*.  Leaving the garlic in its paper, cut the top off the bulb, and brush the top of the bulb with olive oil.  Roast in the oven  for 20 minutes, or until soft.  Squeeze out the garlic cloves.  They will be soft, sweet, and take the soup to a whole new level.

Refried Beans
  • 1 bag (appox. 15 oz) pinto beans, soaked overnight
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped finely
  • 5-6 garlic cloves (you could use the left-over roasted cloves from the above recipe)
  • 2 teaspons cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
Soak beans overnight.  In the morning, drain the water and rinse beans. Add beans to a large pot and add fresh water (enough water to cover the beans with at least two inches of water over the beans).  Cook beans for 1 and 1/2 hours, or until soft.  Drain beans.  In a skillet, saute the onion in the olive oil for 5 minutes, then add garlic and cumin and cook for another 4 minutes, being careful not to let the garlic burn.  Using a potato masher, mash the beans in a large bowl.  Stir in the onion mixture.  Stir in the cayenne or hot sauce, salt, and pepper.  Serve as a side dish, with rice (complete protein combo), in burritos, with guacamole and sour cream, and so on.

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1 comment:

  1. Can't wait to try your black bean soup recipe! We eat a LOT of black beans but I'm in a rut with them. We also store a lot of dried beans, but I often forget to soak them and would end up picking up canned beans from the grocery. I decided to pressure-can some of my own beans instead, which worked GREAT!