Saturday, January 7, 2012

Pot o' Beans

We have been eating a lot of beans around here. In our resolve to eat less meat and to stick to a budget, beans work great. They are cheap, full of protein and fiber and very versitle. My favorite thing to do with them lately is to soak them overnight and then cook them in the crockpot all day. Then when I get home they are ready to eat on their own, in a burrito, added to soup, on nachos, etc. We are loving beans. If you have any good ways to cook or use beans please share them!

Beans & Rice with Sausage (pictured above on a very bright blue plate)
2 cups dried beans, soaked in water over night and drained (I used 1 cup of pinto and 1 cup of kidney)
2 cups of chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 large onion, diced
3 large garlic cloves, diced
3 cups chopped kale
2 chicken sausages, sliced (optional)
2 cups hot brown rice (or more for leftovers- I cooked it in the rice cooker with chicken broth for more flavor)

1. In a slow cooker, add the soaked beans, can of tomatoes, chicken broth, onion and garlic. Add water if needed to cover the beans by about a 1/2 inch or so. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Mash slightly with a potato masher to make the mixture thicker.
2. Pour beans into large pot and bring to a simmer. Add sausage (if using) and kale and allow to cook for about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. 
3. Serve over rice.

*Would also be great added to a vegetable soup

Versitle Black Beans
2 cups black beans, soaked over night
1 chipotle in adobo, chopped*
2 cups chicken broth
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
handful of cilantro, diced

1. Add beans, chipotle, chicken broth, onion and garlic to slow cooker. Add more water if needed to cover beans about 1/2 inch. Allow to cook on low for 6-8 hours. Slightly mash with a potato masher to create a thinker bean mixture (if desired) or drain out extra liquid depending on how you are going to serve the beans. Add cilantro, salt and pepper to taste.
2. Serve on nachos, tacos, buritos, tostatas. Add to a tortilla or mexican soup. Create a bowl with or with out rice, beans, tomato, lettuce, sour cream, salsa, and topped with avacado.  Use in Southwest Lasanga recipe or any recipe that calls for black beans.

* I buy a can of these and freeze them since usually you only need 1/2 or 1 per recipe. They are easy to break apart and chop even when frozen

Serious Baked Beans (adapted from my friend Michelle's recipe)
2 cups pinto beans, soaked over night
1 chipotle in adobo, diced* (see note above)
3 slices bacon, chopped (if desired)
2 cups chicken broth
1 onion, diced
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tsp mustard
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp worchestershire sauce
1 can green beans, drained

1. Add beans, bacon (if using), chipotle, onion and broth in a slow cooker. In a small bowl combine brown sugar, ketchup, vinegar, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Add to beans and cook for 6-8 hours.
2. Add green beans to mixture, stir to combine and cook for another 15 minutes.
3. Serve with sour crean and fritos or a piece of corn bread.

Note: All of these could be made with out the use of a slow cooker. Soak beans overnight, add beans and other ingredients that would have gone into the slow cooker, into a pot and bring to simmer, cover and allow to cook for about 60-90 minutes until beans are soft. Then add any additional ingredients and cook for 15-20 minutes more. Serve and enjoy!

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