Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Beans for your "Beans and Rice Budget"

One of the areas we tried to keep under control in our budget was our grocery bill. I never became a super coupon-er (I generally forget any coupons I actually cut out), but we did a lot of generic and shopped the sales. We'd often hear Dave Ramsey talk about the "beans and rice" budget (as in, beans and rice are a cheap way to eat and you basically buy only essentials). While I'm a fan of saving money and a fan of having whole, natural foods, I'm not such a huge fan of rice. But I looooove me some beans, almost any way you can prepare them. And the cheapest/healthiest way to prepare them is from scratch-as in dried in a bag super cheap scratch. I tried it a few times, but always had horrible results doing the soaking and cooking, or was it cooking then soaking? Too much work. Then I found a recipe for crock pot beans in a healthy kids cookbook (sorry, I can't remember the name). So simple even I didn't mess it up. I've made them a few times and you get a lot of fiber-rich, healthy beans for cheap and you don't have as much environmental waste (i.e. cans) per amount of beans.

1 lb dried beans (any kind, I've used pinto beans thus far)
5 Cups water
Cook in crockpot on low for 5-7 hours

Then if you want to get a little fancy, using the pinto beans you can make "cowboy beans." Add 1 diced onion to the crockpot when you dump everything else in. When the beans are cooked, add 1 cup bbq sauce and a few squirts of ketchup and mustard (if needed). My favorite is to use Cookies Original BBQ sauce and they are super yummy and don't need anything else. Last night I used Walden Farms BBQ (it's a no-calorie BBQ sauce) with mustard and they okay, just not the same caliber as Cookies (I could just drink that stuff).

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