How We Eat Beans and Rice!

Dave Ramsey, in his FPU course has the phrase, “Beans and Rice, Rice and Beans!” and when I first heard him say it, I thought, “Ehh I could eat little of that but not all the time.” Well I am finding that we actually like to eat beans and rice more than we ever expected.

There are tons of ways to eat beans and rice. Today I am going tell you how I do my current favorite form of the meal. And yes even my kids eat it and enjoy it. I cooked this for dinner at our house on Tuesday night. My 5 yo came and asked me what was for dinner. I answered, “Beans and rice with cabbage.” She replied with a sigh of relief while falling onto the floor. “Phew! I am glad it isn’t soup again.” She loves beans and rice. Each of my kids adds their own personal touches to the meal, my 5 yo prefers to add ranch. My 4 yo son prefers BBQ sauce. Each one has their preferences.

How to serve beans and Rice

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I love cabbage with my beans and rice. It has a sweetness to it once it has been cooked and slightly carmelized. It really adds a nice touch. My husband prefers sautéed onions with his, those are good too honestly.

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I give my cabbage a rough chop after removing the core, and I saute it in a dutch oven with some butter and salt. I use a dutch oven because I often am cooking a lot of cabbage. This is actually a small head I would have prefered twice this much for our dinner but we made it stretch.

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Again my favorite dutch oven, I use this pot for almost everything.

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I cooked a pot of black beans for this dinner. I like to use either black beans or pinto beans for this meal. I don’t personally like kidney beans because the outer skin is so tough.

I cooked a normal pot of rice and when it is dished up it looks like this:

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I personally add hot sauce to mine, and mix everything together. I love spicy food and this is one dish that handles the spice well.

There are many different ways to cook beans and rice. Beans are really an amazing food that can be used in so many different ways. Some more ideas for ways to cook beans and rice are:

  • Stir-fry vegetables and add Navy beans and your favorite asian flavors or sauces. This one can be so yummy.
  • Make a Mexican themed dinner with your favorite mexican flavors. Beans and Rice, sautéed peppers and onions, cheese, salsa etc.
  • Make Creamed chicken and instead of the chicken meat or even in addition to it add navy beans and serve it over rice.

There are countless ways to use beans. They are an inexpensive protein that when combined with rice gives you a complete protein. Add your favorite veggies and flavors and you have  a great meal.

What is your favorite way to cook with beans?

 

 

 

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Making Chili with What You’ve Got.

Chili with LeftOvers

One great way to use up the food that you have in the refrigerator is by making soups, chili or stews. We cook with a lot of beans at our house and chili is a great way to use up some leftover beans that are collecting in the fridge.

This past week I cooked two pots of beans. One was pinto beans and the other was navy beans. I like both of these beans because they cook up soft and the skin of the bean is not tough.

I decided that Chili would be a good meal for us on Monday. I did not have any ground meat. My typical chili has ground meat in it and a lot of tomato sauce. It is more like your typical chili. This week I couldn’t make my typical chili because I didn’t have all the ingredients so here is what I did:

I chopped up

  • 2 Onions
  • 2 Peppers
  • 3 Stalks of Celery
  • 2 small zucchini

I added them to my pot.

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I sweated these down with a little salt and some olive oil in my dutch oven.

I then added:

  • pinto beans
  • navy beans
  • leftover beef stock from soup made earlier in the week
  • leftover chicken stock
  • 2 jars of my mom’s canned tomatoes

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I love having these tomatoes. It is such a handy thing to have garden fresh, preserved tomatoes on hand for things like this.

I then added my seasoning.

  • garlic powder
  • salt
  • pepper
  • chili powder
  • paprika
  • cummin
  • oregano

I pretty much just add to taste. Which means you have to keep testing your chili. Since my goal is to use up what we have in the fridge and not let those things go to waste, there isn’t exact measurements for the beans. Depending on how much chili you end up with will determine how much of the spices you add.

I believe that you know what you like, and you know how you want something to taste. So as you are cooking taste the food and think about what would make it taste good. Does this mean sometimes it won’t always taste the best because you made a mistake? Yes. Is that ok? Yes. 😉

That is how you learn. It is a good thing.

I ended up with a lot of chili. We ate our dinner, my husband took some to work the next day and I put two containers of it in the freezer for later. I might use it this weekend as our Sunday meal.

What are you cooking this week?

 

 

 

What am I feeding my Family This week?

Soup, a frugal go to meal

 

Over the weekend I try to limit my cooking. My husband doesn’t like me to be busy on Sunday’s so my goal is to have plenty of left overs in our fridge to eat through Sunday night.

Thursday I made this big pot of soup for our dinner.

Friday we had pizza night. I like to do something like this once a week so that I don’t have to do so much cooking at least one day during the week. Since we can’t go out to eat that often it usually looks like some sort of processed, frozen type meal.

Saturday I cooked a ham. We do eat a lot of ham. I buy it because it is relatively cheap. My family really likes it so that helps. I do all sorts of things with ham. Saturday afternoon I cooked the ham, and my plan was to make ham, potatoes, beans, and a vegetable for dinner. It didn’t work out that way. My husband had some trouble with our van so he was out taking care of car issues and I was home with the kids. So We had ham sandwiches. (I didn’t want to go to too much trouble, and the kids prefer the sandwiches.)

Sunday For our lunch we had ham sandwiches again, and for supper we ate soup. It was a nice thing to have available for such a cold cloudy day. — We don’t usually pay much attention to football so the Superbowl was not even on our radar.

Note: When I cook a ham there are a few things that I do with the stuff that is left over. Usually there is a good bit of mean that you just can’t cut off the bone. I wrap that up in a bag and stick it in the freezer. When cooking beans it is always nice to have a ham bone to throw in. The bone adds great flavor to the beans, and when you are running low on meat in the house you will be surprised how much meat can come off the bone once you cook it again in the beans. Also there is usually some ham broth in the bottom of the baking dish. I save that too and put it into the freezer. I use that for soups as well as for cooking beans. It also adds nice flavor to rice if you are looking for something different.

Plans for This week:

I have a good bit of stuff in my refrigerator. I will be eating what is there for a while. For example, we will eat the soup until it is gone. That will probably make a few good lunches for my husband and I.

I also have two types of left over beans that are in the refrigerator. I will probably make some vegetarian chili on Monday. To make my chili I take beans, and sometimes ground turkey if I have any in the house. I will add some beef broth for flavor because I have that in the fridge. I will add some veggies like carrots, celery, onion and garlic and then all the yummy chili flavorings.

I find that the best way for me to be careful with my budget is to really make use of everything that we have in the house. That means: If I cook something we eat all the left-overs. Sometimes that means sending them in a lunch for my husband, or I eat them for lunch at home. Other times it means having a dinner that it is a hodgepodge of different left over items.

Tuesday will probably be a beans and rice day. That is a go to meal here at my house that we eat a lot. I am assuming we will have some more beans left over and if so I want to eat them before they go bad. My favorite way to cook beans and rice is:

Saute some onions and peppers.

Warm beans

Cook Rice

Sauted Cabbage.

When I serve it I put the rice down, and beans on top of the rice and topped off with the sauted onions and peppers. The cabbage is served on the side. I like to add Saracha sauce to mine because I like spicy, but my kids usually add ranch. Another great addition is guacamole, but since some members of my family have an avocado allergy we don’t keep it in the house any more.

There are a lot of ways to cook beans and rice. This is a way that is simple and really tasty. If anyone has a favorite way they want to share I would love to hear about it.