Friday, February 26, 2010
Frugal Friday--Beans, Beans, Glorious Beans
If you happened to check out my menu plan and pantry challenge, you know I've inherited a large supply of beans....OK, a GIGANTIC amount of beans.....30 POUNDS!!! And as I stated before, thank goodness I lived in Brazil for awhile and learned how to make some very tasty beans, if I do say so myself. :) (My husband thinks so too, and that's pretty good because he IS Brazilian.)
Beans are a great source of protein, and of course VERY cheap...I mean FRUGAL. Ahem. Even though I got my beans free, I would still be buying them on a pretty regular basis, just because they are so frugal. (And because my huband grew up eating beans EVERY DAY OF HIS LIFE...up until he married me. So he likes himself some beans!!) AND beans are super easy to make! They are a tasty side to go with just about anything. (That's the way Brazilians see it anyway.) :)
A friend then asked if I would post on how I make beans.....so here goes!!!!
First, you need to spread out all the beans and pick out any "duds". Then rinse/wash beans.
Second, put the beans in a large bowl and cover with water, maybe an inch over the beans. Let soak overnight.
Third, cook up the beans! In the morning, you'll notice the beans have expanded, and soaked up most of the water. Put the beans in a big pot and again cover with water. (My husband measures everything in "fingers", so about 3 horizontal "fingers" of water over the beans.) :)
Fourth, boil beans. This is a LONG process of you don't have a pressure cooker. In Brazil it took only about 20 minutes to boil the beans with a pressure cooker, but if you just have a pot, depending on the amount of beans, it could take a long time. We cooked up about 8-10 cups of beans and it took over 2 hours of boiling.
Fifth, stir the beans periodically while boiling and add more water to keep it over the top of the beans. When the beans juice is darkening up and the beans are tender...they're done!
*****This is where I freeze the beans in smaller containers that are perfect for a meal at a time.*******
When you want to serve the beans with a meal, make sure you get them defrosted as much as possible beforehand. Use a medium sized pot, put in about 1-2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil (to cover the bottom). Heat up the olive oil and then add about 2-3 cloves of minced garlic.
Cook up the garlic for a few minutes, then add the defrosted beans. Also add enough water to cover them by about an inch. Add salt to taste. Then just boil/cook the beans until the juice thickens up a bit. DONE!!
You can also add any other spices to the beans that you like. My mother-in-law always cooks hers with onions too, but we don't eat onions. For example, last night we were eating a Mexican themed dinner, so I added some chopped green chillies and lime. They turned out great! Just serve over rice or as a side!! I also have blended them up and cooked them for re-fried beans. Much better then out of a can!!
I'm just so thankful I started eating beans a few years before I got married, or it would have been pretty hard to get used to "Brazilian Style" food!
So there you have a frugal and tasty way of eating your beans!!!