Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Making Five Meals from One Pot of Beans

So, this week we've been trying to take advantage of our crock pot, our last CSA week (so sad) and our pantry.  This meant that we cooked up a bit crock pot of pinto beans on Monday evening.  Beans and rice can get pretty boring pretty quickly, but here are a few ways you can mix things up.

Bean Tacos with Fixin's 
 We love tacos around our house.  They're always a hit with little man, and there are so many ways to fix them.  This week we prepared whole wheat soft tacos with rice, pintos, chopped lettuce, pepper jack cheese, Greek yogurt (higher protein than sour cream), homemade guacamole, and salsa.  You could also mix it up and saute peppers and onions for a veggie fajita.

Beans and Rice with Cornbread
We did beans and brown rice with homemade cornbread last night.  We topped things off with cheese, salsa, chopped avocado, and lettuce.  You could add sour cream, chopped tomatoes, jalapenos, or whatever else your family is into.

Crock pot Chili
This is your basic slow cooker chili with diced tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, jalapenos, and spices.  You can also add a cup or so of frozen corn, if you have it.  We'll be adding some ground sausage this time around too, since we have it in the fridge.  Chopped mushrooms are also wonderful in a vegetarian chili.  We usually serve this with rice, cornbread, or tortilla chips and top it with cheese, sour cream/Greek yogurt, and chives (when they're fresh in the garden).

Corn and Bean Gratin
I picked up this recipe from the library a few years and love it.  It's sort of like a quiche, but flavored with cumin and Mexican spices and filled out with beans and corn and cheese.  If you like egg dishes, this one is a fun one to try.  (I'll try to post the recipe in a later post.)

Bean and Cheese Quesadillas
If you still have tortillas around, bean and cheese quesadillas are a cinch and always a hit.  We love to serve these with guacamole, Greek yogurt, and salsa.  They make a great easy Sunday lunch after church or a nice side to go with a bowl of soup or chili.  You can make them a meal by serving a side salad or steamed veggies along side.

Can you tell we like Mexican flavors around our place?!  Of course, you can always add beans to pasta dishes, vegetable soups, etc. for added protein.  How do you stretch a buck and your time with a pot of beans?  I'd love to hear from you!

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