Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Beans, beans they're good for your heart.

I'm childish and think that title is hilarious.

Beans are really good for you though.  And if they are done right, they can be a super cheap source of protein.

Frugal cooking is something I enjoy.  I try to save money where I can, and still have a healthy and delicious meal that Eric & I can enjoy.  This can be tough.  Food is an area where we splurge because we both enjoy eating well. 

Tonight I'm serving good old fashioned beans and rice (yes, sometimes I cook. And usually it doesn't turn out well, as you'll see)

I hate buying canned beans.  They are overpriced compared to the dried variety you can find.  I used to justify it because I was out of the house so much (long commute.)  Now that I'm a short drive away, I have time to do things cheaper, which I LOVE. 

So anyway. 

I bought a bag of black beans at Market Basket for $1.49.  It made about 3 cans worth when cooked, so I saved myself about $1.50.  Here's how:

The Crockpot!  Magical beast & indentured servant. 

Step 1: Rinse beans in colander.  Remove any yucky-looking ones.
Step 2: Dump the beans in the crockpot and leave the colander in the sink. (You'll need it in about 4 hours.)
Step 3: Add water.  Enough to cover the beans + 2 inches.
Step 4: Add salt & any flavorings. (I added whole chiles, cumin, and salt)
Step 5: Place CP on high.
Step 6: Relax for 4 hours.
Step 7: Check to see if they are done!  They should be tender & taste like beans. 
Step 8: Dump into the colander (CAREFUL! They are hot.)
Step 9: Rinse the beans (yes. again.  I don't know if this is necessary but my cookbook told me to.)
Step 10: Freeze the beans for future use. 

In my next post, "DISASTER!" I'll share how I ruined two cups of rice & a whole bunch of chicken stock. :(  Will I make it in time for dinner? Will the meal be satisfying?  Only time will tell. 

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