Note: Each week I try to share a popular post from our archives. This one was originally published in April 2011.
There’s a lady at our church who has a ministry helping families get back on their feet. It’s not something that our church started and she volunteers, it’s a ministry that she and her late husband started. They saw that sometimes families could finally afford an apartment (instead of being in government housing or at shelters) but they couldn’t afford any furnishings or household items. It was very discouraging for them to come home every day and eat dinner and sleep on the floor. Many would eventually give up and go back to the shelters where at least they had a bed and a table to eat at. So, the ministry takes donations of furniture and household items and gives them to people who are trying to get on their feet again. It’s an amazing ministry that has touched many lives in our area.
One day this amazing lady was talking with another lady at our church and mentioned that alot of these people her ministry helps have very little cooking skills. Alot of the time the food they get comes from the food bank and sometimes WIC and it is things like beans, oats and powdered milk. So they are putting together a cookbook of recipes that are made from staples – no canned soup or boxed biscuit mix.
I gave them the Peanut Butter Treat recipe and this bean recipe (which can make a variety of meals).
- 1 big pot - I use a 20 qt. electric Roasting Oven
- 4 lbs. pinto beans
- Lots of water
- garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, salt, black pepper and onion powder (optional)
- Rinse beans really well.
- Put beans in the pot (I use the roasting oven pan) and cover with water.
- Let sit overnight.
- In the morning drain the water and cover with fresh water.
- Cook beans (at a slow boil) for another 2 hours or so making sure they stay covered with water. They are ready when they are soft. You can add your seasonings at any time but I do it after the beans are soft (about 4 tbsp. of each garlic powder, cumin, chili powder; about 2 tbsp. salt and 1tbsp. each pepper and onion powder).
- warning: if you choose to put salsa or any tomato product in your beans do NOT add it until the beans are soft or else you can cook them for 2 days and they still won't get soft.
- You can use these beans in a variety of ways, we usually eat them the first night with cornbread. Then I take the leftover beans and put them in containers (usually quart size) and put them in the freezer. Over the week we will make...
- 1 lb of meat
- 1 quart of cooked beans
- 1 can of diced tomatoes
- 1 can of corn
- 1 packet taco seasonings (or just more of what you put in the beans)
- 1 small can of tomato paste (optional - my family likes it more like chili than a soup)
- Mix everything together and heat. If I'm feeling generous I'll serve it with some grated cheese and maybe even some tortilla chips.
Cooked ground beef
lettuce, tomato, onion, avacado, grated cheese, sour cream and salsa
Put chips on a plate and crunch them. Add beans, meat and whatever toppings you want and enjoy.
Chalupas ( Taco Bell calls these Tostados, I’m not sure why)
You can either buy chalupa shells already cooked or you can fry your own (they are just a corn tortillas that are fried flat). Mash your beans and put them on the shell along with lettuce, tomato, etc. and enjoy.
Bean Burritos (we eat these for lunch 3-4 times a week)
Flour or corn tortillas
lettuce, tomato, onion, avacado, grated cheese and salsa
Put the beans in a skillet and mash them (or in a food processor). Heat tortillas, put some beans on them along with some lettuce, tomato, onion, avacado and grated cheese. (Sometimes we have all of these things, sometimes we have only beans and tortillas, they’re still yummy.)
What are some of your favorite pantry staples recipes?