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With Anj's recession post in mind...I want everyone's dry bean recipes!

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I'm looking for tried & true recipes that use dried beans. I'm trying to get my grocery budget under control, and with 3 teenage boys and 2 preteen girls, focusing on cheap ingredients is where I need to go! I need to be able to make meals out of mostly dried beans, and not just use the beans as a side dish anymore. Lay it on me, gals!:bigear:I'm listenin'!



Edited to add: I'll start. I use dried pinto beans to make refried beans, and then I cook a little bit of spanish rice, and we wrap it in flour tortillas to make burritos. I make the beans using either my crockpot or my pressure cooker. I don't soak the beans either way.

For the crockpot, in the morning I fill the crockpot about 1/3 full with beans, and fill the rest of the way with water. By the time dinnertime rolls around, I just have to mash up the beans, add salt, onion powder, and a little cayenne, and we're ready to eat.

For the pressure cooker, I put in the dry beans, water, and cook for about an hour. Then I just have to mash and season and the beans are ready for dinner.

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Lentils taste nothing like split peas. (thank goodness)


To make a crock-pot dinner feed more I pre-boil the lentils until they 'pop' That is go larger and paler. (about 15 mins will do) then add them to the crock pot. Straining them is hard so I add them water and all....I just don't add liquid to the stew until the lentils are in. They then thicken the stew and vanish! Its hard to tell they are there, and it makes the dinner go much further. I also add brown lentils to mince all the time...normally i'll prepare several pounds of mince ahead with some onion, seasoning and brown lentils. Brown lentils don't disappear though. you know you have them.


Fav. Chickpea and pumpkin soup. Do the chickpeas overnight on cheap electricity in the crockpot. (note they freeze fine, so go ahead and fill the crockpot and do a batch)

Fry onion, add pumpkin, stock, chickpeas. mash roughly when cooked, or eat lumpy. Also can be made in stock-pot.


Extra note...if cooking a batch of beans in the stock pot remember they swell to more than twice their starting size...add lots of water and leave lots of room....

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They then thicken the stew and vanish! Its hard to tell they are there, and it makes the dinner go much further.


You mentioned that the lentils that disappear are not brown lentils---are they green, red or are there other colors and does that matter (lol, pity the poor bean neophyte!)? I have gathered from other posters in other threads that there is a difference between the green and red in that the red have a milder flavor.


I am following this with great interest as I currently have a ten pound bag of dried black beans that I got for $3 and am also looking at ways to learn to use dried beans. I have limited experience with beans at all and then only the canned variety. I have learned (the hard way!) that one can't add acid (tomatoes, etc) to at least some beans before they are fully cooked or they never soften.


What is mince, btw? I've only ever seen the term as part of mincemeat pie, but that doesn't sound like the same thing at all....

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