Bean and Beef Burittos

Beans fresh out of the crock pot, rinsed and draining. Some will be saved for dinner, the rest will be packed in bags and frozen.

In my (renewed) quest to save money AND stock up on freezer meals for when Little Miss comes, my thoughts have turned to dried beans.

Dried beans are a wonderful way to get bang for your buck, the amount of food you can produce for the amount of money spent, dried beans are one of the most cost effective foods you can buy.  They are also full of nutrients, unprocessed, easy to cook (once you know how), and store forever.

One of my favorite go-to bean meals is burritos.  They are very versatile, you can throw almost anything into them, whatever you have, and if you keep precooked beans on hand they can make up the bulk of the burrito.  I serve them hot and cold, and they freeze beautifully.

Basic burrito made for freezing, cheese, beans, ground beef.

Rolled and ready for the oven. They don't need to be cooked before they are frozen, I just feel like they hold together better if they have been cooked first.

Fresh out of the oven, cooling, waiting to be bagged and frozen.

Once they are completely cooled, place in freezer bags and into the freezer they go. These will be warmed up later for a quick lunch or dinner.


Baked Beans

Tuesday I decided that I was going to try to make yummy baked beans. I have always enjoyed baked beans, every Easter Sunday as long as I can remember my aunt Beki brought beans to Easter dinner at my grandma’s. Since I have been married I have had cravings for her sweet and savory beans and I have tried to duplicate it with no success. Finally a couple of years ago I got the recipe from her and I have been enjoying them, and I have taken them several times to pot-luck dinners, and have always gotten compliments.

In the last year, as I have been trying to incorporate dried beans into our diet I started to experiment again at making Beki’s baked beans, and several times I failed horribly!

But yesterday, I did it!

and I am going to share with you all how I did it.

(don’t you feel lucky!)

Aimee’s Baked Beans
1 pound dry navy beans (or any other small bean) cooked
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup ketchup
1 small can tomato sauce (8 oz)
6 Tbsp molasses
bacon or sausage, cooked
2 Tbsp bacon grease (the secret ingredient) or shortening
salt and pepper to tasteI served this with Katie’s Sweet Corn Bread

and it was a hit with 4 out of 7 of us…
(but I loved it so that is what matters)

With beans, as with anything new, you need to keep serving them to your family. Even if they hate them at first the more you serve them, the more they become common place the more your kids (and you, and your husband) will get use to the idea of eating beans. Eventually they will find that they like beans.

I promise,

well, ok, I don’t really promise

but I am pretty sure it will happen….

Mix all ingredients in a dutch oven, bake at 350 for an hour and a half
Mix all ingredients in a crock pot and cook on high for 5 hours.

Trying Stuff Out

I am experimenting
with beans
I want to make a fabulous baked bean recipe from dry beans
I am going to loosely base this recipe on my aunt Beki’s baked beans which are to DIE for!
Wish me luck

White Bean Soup

Continuing on my series
Cooking Beans
I have another yummy, hearty, down home recipe to add to your collection.

Our Cast of Characters:
3 cups cooked great northern beans
1 onion
2-3 potatoes
2-3 stalks celery
2-3 carrots
4 cubes chicken bullion
Salt and Pepper to taste

Chop up your veggies
(or if you are lucky like I am have one of your punk slaves do it)

Put everything into a pot and add water
bring it to a boil
and let it simmer until all the veggies are tender

About 10 minuets before you are ready to serve add your beans so they will warm up.

(I also added some cut up polish sausages, I had some left over from Halloween and thought they would be a good addition, and they were! You could also add ham, chicken or beef)

This is a great meal for a cold wintry day.

and the cost…only a few dollars

I served this soup with the best french bread I have ever had!
Run on over to my friend Casey’s blog for the recipe
you won’t regret it!

Three Bean Soup

Monday I made Three Bean Soup for dinner.
I already had some Great Northern and Kidney beans cooked and in the freezer so I needed to cook some black beans so my soup could be a true “three beans”.

I decided to demonstrate the “quick cook” method for cooking beans.
(note: when cooking dry beans nothing is truly quick)
I started by measuring my beans, dumping them in a big pot and covering them by several inches of water, you will cook off a lot of water, so don’t be shy, start out with lots of water.

I needed 2 cups for the recipe, so I measured out one cup of dry beans.

I brought them to a boil, then turned the heat down so they would simmer.
It took about 4 hours of simmering for the beans to become soft. Be careful to watch the water level, it is easy for the water to simmer off, and burnt beans smell really bad!

When following recipes you need to take into consideration your altitude. If I was closer to sea level it would have taken less time, if I was higher, more time. The higher you get the lower the boiling point of water becomes. Therefore you are not cooking your beans as at high of temperature. I am at about 4700 feet, and it took about 4 hours.

Once they were done I rinsed them off and sat them to the side while I got my other ingredients together.

Here is the cast of characters:
4 cups cooked beans (any kind)
4 cups stewed tomatoes
1 1/2 cups corn
1 can chili peppers

1 Onion, chopped
1 tsp garlic powder
1-2 Tbsp Chili powder (depending on your taste)

Chop your onion….

And dump everything into a pot….

Bring everything to a boil and let it simmer for an hour.

and that is it

I served this with Cheese and Corn Bread.

It is soooooo good!
and so low fat!
Unless you count the cheese, and the corn bread…
This would also be good with tortilla chips…there are so many possibilities.

This could be easily be made in the crock pot.
Also if you don’t want to to the trouble of cooking the beans, four small cans of whatever beans you like would work, along with 2-15 oz cans of stewed tomatoes and a can of corn.

I figure minus the cheese and corn bread this meal cost me 4$, the tomatoes did come out of my garden, so if you added the cost of those it would be more…even then it would still be super cheap, and it fed my family of 7 with enough for left overs.

(p.s. I am going to blog my corn bread recipe soon. Actually, it isn’t my recipe, it is my good friend Katie’s recipe and it is really, really good…my all time favorite!)

If you would like some more recipes and kitchen tips, check out Tammy’s site