Friday, July 16, 2010

Convenience in a Can

Although the title of this blog is "Soak the Beans", I haven't done much bean soaking lately because it's been very hot.  It's times like these when I readjust my budget and allow for a little convenience: canned beans.  Yes, I know, canned beans are way more expensive than dry beans, but before you write me off as another spendthrift posing as a hip frugalista, hear me out. 

First and foremost, canned beans are convenient.  There's nothing wrong with convenience every now and then.  Convenience only becomes expensive when it's a way of life. Second, meals made with canned beans are still cheaper than eating out...believe me, when it's over 100 degrees I think about eating out often. Third, I've discovered that adding a can of beans to some old favorite recipes makes a heartier meal. This week, I have added a can of cannellini beans to my mushroom risotto.  Served with a cucumber salad this was a filling meal.  I also added a can of black beans to my taco hamburger recipe.  This would also be a good filling for burritos or a taco salad. Of course I can't forget the all-time-kid-favorite Beans & Weenies:

  • two cans of white beans
  • a bottle of BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 pkg Lit'l Smokies or cut up hot dogs
Adjust the ingredients to your taste. Combine in a sauce pan and simmer 20 - 30 minutes.

Personally, I like crockpot Beans & Weenies, but in a pinch or when the weather's hot, stove top Beans & Weenies get a thumbs up from me...and the kids.  So go ahead, give canned beans a try.  Be brave and buy some canned bean varieties you normally wouldn't buy.  It's still cheaper than McDonald's.

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