Really simple recipe coming at you today, friends.
Simple and cheap.
You might think it's hard to get any cheaper than a can of beans, but the truth is, dried beans are even cheaper.
Like me, you might be thinking that the whole soaking process is more effort than it's worth. It's not, I promise. And, even better, you can skip the soaking process by cooking your dried beans in the crockpot!
I had never cooked with dried beans until a few weeks ago when I made Deb's baked chickpeas. The recipe called for dried garbanzo beans, and, at Deb's urging, I gave them a try.
The only forethought required was covering the dried beans in water the night before. On the night of, I just drained the beans, added more broth and water, brought them to a boil, and baked them for 45 minutes. I noticed a big difference in the flavor and texture of the beans.
Same thing with these dried black beans in the crockpot--great texture and flavor, and you get to control the salt content and avoid that weird liquid found in canned black beans…
Beans and rice are a comfort food for me, and I think they are for a lot of people.
Besides the initial morning prep work, this could be a really easy weeknight meal. Throw everything into the crockpot in the morning. When you get home from work or school, start the rice, and add the spices to the beans. Prepare your toppings (salsa, avocado, cilantro, shredded cheese, etc) and you're ready to eat.
The whole meal will put you back $10.00, max. I think that leaves room in the budget for a beer….
Crockpot Black Beans
1 pound dry black beans
6 cups water
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 medium onion, outer layer removed and cut in half
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Rinse beans thoroughly in a colander. Pick through and remove any broken pieces. Add beans, water, garlic, and onions to slow cooker.
Cook on low for 7-8 hours. About an hour before you are ready to eat, add salt, cumin, chili powder, and cayenne pepper. If at any point the beans look too dry, add more water. This would also be a good time to start on the rice.
Before serving, remove large pieces of onion and garlic if desired. (Their flavor has already infused the beans.)
1 cup brown rice
~1 1/2 cup water or broth
1 can fire roasted tomatoes with green chiles
salt & pepper
Pour juices from can of tomatoes into a large glass measuring cup. Add enough water to reach 2 1/2 cups. Add liquid mixture and reserved tomatoes to a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil.
Add rice, cover, and reduce heat to low.
Cook for 45-55 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- sliced avocado
- shredded Monterrey Jack cheese or crumbled queso fresco
- chopped cilantro or parsley
- hot sauce
- shredded chicken