Friday, October 22, 2010

Frugal Friday - Beans, Baby!

Incorporating beans into your meals is a GREAT way to extend your budget and give you healthy, nutritious meals. They contain tons of protein, and you can combine them in your dishes with small quantities of meat to help your meat go FURTHER. Or, if your spouse is more adventurous than mine, forgo the meat altogether. Go for the dried variety, instead of canned--not only is it cheaper, but you won't have all the added crap that comes in canned food. But for giggles, stop by and READ the back of a can. Yeah. Ew. A bag of beans or other legumes will cost you about $3, at most, and will give you many, many meals. While you do have to soak overnight, I usually cook in batches and pop some cooked beans in my freezer for those days when I don't plan ahead well.

I'm short on time today, so I'm going to link you guys to death.

Great article on the health benefits of beans:

If you've never cooked beans before, check out EHOW:

And a super duper easy lentil recipe everyone in my house loves:

Saute kale (or spinach) with a little bit of garlic and olive oil. Add tomatoes, combine with cooked wheat pasta, serve topped with freshly grated parm cheese. Seriously, does it get ANY easier than that?? That one's courtesy of my friend Carina :-)

Another favorite is Green Bean Chili Cheese Mac:

Steam fresh green beans in the microwave. Combine cooked wheat pasta in a skillet with cooked red kidney beans, tomato (or tomato sauce if you prefer), some ground turkey (if desired-we stretch our meat budget out by adding only .25 - .5 lb of meat to this dish--it appeases my meat loving husband) and green beans. Top with cheese and warm in skillet until cheese is melted.

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