Tell me that you eat beans once a week.
Because if you don't - you are WAY missing out!
We are always trying to stretch the budget here at the Troops. Even if money isn't tight (which it pretty much always is), we have much better things to spend it on than FOOD, for heavens sake.
So about once a week I make a big pot of beans. The kids love them. The Coach loves them. They taste fabulous. And they are CHEAP.
Here's what you do:
Buy a pack of "15 bean soup" beans. (any type of beans is fine - but these are our favorite) And a package of light turkey smoked sausage. And make sure you have the ingredients on hand for cornbread.
The night BEFORE your bean dinner, sort through the beans, pulling out any stones or gross looking beans. Rinse them in cold water and put them in your crock pot (turned OFF). Fill with water until a few inches over the top of the beans.
The next morning, pour it all into a colander in your sink. Rinse with cold water. I usually put them back into the crock pot, fill with cold water, swish around and drain, again. Two or three times (this will reduce the "gassiness" of the beans).
After they are sufficiently rinsed, put them back into the crock pot and fill with water, again. The water should be three inches or so above the tops of the beans.
Add: Minced onion (fresh is great - the Coach doesn't like "pieces" of onion, so I use minced), garlic powder, parsley, salt and pepper.
(of course you can add carrot, celery, etc.)
Turn crock pot onto high and stir. Leave all morning.
Around lunch time (you can start it on low with all of the ingredients if you'll be gone all day), reduce to low and add the sausage (I cut it into small, kid-friendly pieces, first).
Cook on low until dinner time, adding more salt as needed (salt is what gives beans flavor).
About thirty minutes before dinner, mix up some cornbread and pop it in the oven.
(And here is a tip. We like THICK soup around here. If you add too much water and the bean soup is too thin, just take the lid off of your crock pot for awhile - it will thicken right up. If it's too thick, just add a cup or two of water!)
Tastes good. Good for you. And extremely economical. Doesn't get any better!
I can smell them cooking right now - and since it's going to be a busy day, I'm so glad I already have dinner taken care of!