Apr 29, 2017

Archive for the ‘Beans’ Category


Saturday, November 8th, 2014

Almost 30 years ago, a dear friend shared this easy EASY chili recipe and it’s been our family’s absolute favorite ever since. In preparation for the newest granddaughter, Goldie’s, baby blessing (isn’t she the SWEETEST:)

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I used my entire three-month supply of chili ingredients cooking a triple batch for the family dinner. Loved having so many of the supplies already in my home and ready to go! With extra hamburger in my freezer, and butter always in the fridge, all I needed to purchase were the onions and green peppers.

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The first step (once the veggies were diced) was to melt the butter and saute’ the diced onion. I like giving the onion a bit of a head start. When the onions began to turn slightly golden I added the diced green peppers and minced garlic. (Remember, you’re looking at a triple batch here:)

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While the veggies continued to cook, I quickly opened cans and measured out the basic spices.

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Then, in a separate pan, extra large because I was making such a giant batch, I cooked the ground beef and spooned off the excess fat.

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Last step was to add the tomato soup, kidney beans with their liquid, diced tomatoes, spices, and cooked vegetables to the ground beef.

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Stir, heat, and done!

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This is exactly how food storage makes my life EASIER on a daily basis! Even when I need to prepare an extra large food assignment, the process is so much more efficient with most of the ingredients already in my cupboard.

Fresh Ingredients

3 tablespoons butter

1 large onion, diced

1 green pepper diced

1 pound ground beef

Storage Ingredients

1 can tomato soup (10 3/4 oz.)

1 can kidney bean (15 oz.)

1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz.)

1 clove garlic, minced

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon tabasco


Saturday, October 5th, 2013

Tonight, my plan was to serve a simple black bean soup for dinner. Months ago, our daughter, Samantha, stumbled across this recipe on Pinterest and said that she and the hubs thought it tasted great garnished only with a bit of grated cheese, sour cream, and fresh cilantro.

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Fine! I’m basically in love the idea of combining four pantry ingredients to create a hot dinner that can be ready to eat in less than five minutes.

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But I’m also pretty committed to adding piles of fresh ingredients to my meals, so this recipe became a terrific base for something with quite a bit more going on.

First thing I remembered was the container of shredded roasted pork in the fridge that needed to be used.

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That led me to think, beyond my original plan for cheese, sour cream and cilantro, about the fresh avocados, tomatoes, limes, and even leftover roasted butternut squash and asparagus that I happened to have on hand.

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With an additional five minutes of chopping, the black bean soup turned into a…black bean soup bar! And you know what? It was good. Dang good. This fully loaded soup was surprising similar to eating a yummy plate of those crazy layered nachos, but without the chips.

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As it turned out, Samantha and Chas (the before mentioned daughter and SIL), actually showed up in my kitchen at 10:30 p.m. needing something good to eat before they could collapse into one of our guest beds. Most of their day, and night, had been spent up in the mountains, shooting another wedding video and they were cold, a little wet, and a lot exhausted. I quickly microwaved the leftovers of our food-storage-plus-fresh-meal. Samantha said, “Oh my gosh, this is the best soup I have ever eaten!” (Pretty sure that the roasted butternut squash deserves most of the credit.)

The point of this long story is that food storage may, legitimately, at times, be the whole story. And that’s a good thing! Food storage may, at other times, serve as merely the starting point. And that’s a REALLY good thing!!!

Black Bean Soup Gone Wild

Fresh Ingredients

(All of these fresh ingredients are optional and may be used in whatever amounts you prefer, so have fun!)

sour cream

grated cheese


lime wedges

tomatoes, diced

avocados, diced

shredded pork, chicken, or beef/hamburger

roasted butternut squash cubes (Guaranteed to rock your world.)

Storage Ingredients

1 can black beans, drained (15 oz.)

1 can refried beans, (15 oz.)

1 can chicken broth, (15 oz.)

1 cup salsa

Combine all four storage ingredients in a pan and heat on stove. This is also something that would work well heated in a crock pot set on low while running a few more errands. Prior to serving, prepare fresh ingredients, heating the meat and squash cubes separately. Garnish as desired, and get ready to go crazy!

Food Storage Smoothie

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

I know, I know. The name just sounds BAD. I’ve thought about calling it

The Shrek, or maybe…

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Veggie Vodka would be better. I go back and forth.

Fresh Ingredients

4 oz. spinach leaves (or 3 cups firmly packed)

1/2 banana

Storage Ingredients

2 dates, pitted of course

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 tablespoon ground flax seed

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup canned garbanzo beans, drained

1/2 cup water

2 cups ice

If using a standard blender, begin by first chopping the dates into small pieces. (Blendtec=Love) Then add to blender the water, almond milk, dates, garbanzo beans, banana, ground flax seed, cocoa, and spinach. Blend on high for one complete “whole juice ” cycle.  That’s 50 seconds in a Blendtec or a little longer in a regular blender. Add ice and blend for another 30 seconds.

Sounds gross but I promise it tastes GOOD! It’s the perfect lunch-on-the-run and keeps me feeling full and focused until dinner time.

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Remember to chop those little powerhouse dates if your blender isn’t super strong. (No shame!)

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Drain and rinse the canned garbanzo beans, and then measure out 1/2 cup.

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Starting with the liquid, everything goes into the blender and then just let ‘er rip! Now I’m warning you, at this stage it’s going to look freaky but go ahead and add the ice and let the blender do its thing one more time.

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What you’ll end up with is a velvety smooth, chocolate…slide…of refreshing goodness and fabulous nutrition!

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Don’t let the two glasses fool ya. It’s really only one serving and I always pound every last drop. Ahhh!

Oh, and Happy 24th of July!!! Obviously, I’m a pioneer. Well, sort of:)


Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

We’ve been enjoying these yummies for years. But now, instead adding cooked whole wheat berries to our ground beef, I’m following Heather’s suggestion for combining wheat with BEANS for the taco filling. I’m also using my favorite spice blend recipe and the easiest version of the now famous Cafe Rio dressing.

Nacho Mama’s food storage!

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If this sounds complicated, you should know that it really isn’t. Almost all of the prep is completed ahead of time. When we need a meatless Monday in minutes I simply microwave a small frozen Ziploc baggie of pre-cooked wheat berries. Add it to 4 cups of cooked beans–black, pinto, or kidney–cans from the grocery store or home bottled. Heat with 1-2 tablespoons of the spice mix and top with the creamy cilantro-lime dressing. Favorite fresh toppings are grated cheese, shredded red cabbage, diced tomato, and sliced avocado. So good!

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Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

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Remember when I told you about the easy wheat and brown rice pilaf recipe? Thanks to my friend, Paula, we’ve discovered a new way of enjoying this food storage basic. The picture looks a little weird but believe me the salad isn’t. First time I served it to my crew the 15 yr old kept saying, “MOM! This is SOOOO good!” A married daughter has phoned three times, asking me to please get the recipe posted so that she can give it a crack.

So, to give credit where credit is due, it all began when dear Paula explained that one of her simple dinners is an Asian salad. She combines shredded green cabbage, shredded carrots, edamame, and chopped grilled chicken breasts for a dinner salad that has become a family favorite. When ready to serve, she mixes everything with a ginger salad dressing and tops it off with crunchy chow mien noodles.

My version has Paula’s shredded green cabbage, carrots,  and edamame, but then I added (because I had these on hand) some fresh cilantro, diced cucumbers, purple cabbage, pot stickers instead of grilled chicken, and the wheat and brown rice pilaf instead of chow mien noodles. Basically, anything goes. The key might be the Asian dressing. Paula told me that her family’s fav is the one from Pampered Chef. Our salad dressing recipe came from Judy, a friend I originally met when we lived in New York. Judy is a talented, brilliant, sometimes professional caterer and we think her Asian ginger dressing is MONEY!

Asian Ginger Dressing

Fresh Ingredients

1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated

1 teaspoon garlic, minced

2 green onions, chopped

Storage Ingredients

1/2 cup oil

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup honey

1 teaspoon sesame oil

To be quick about it, I measure all the ingredients straight into my blender, tossing in a large teaspoon looking whole clove of garlic with an abundant chunk of peeled fresh ginger. Buzzed for less than a minute, I transfer the dressing to a serving dish and top with the sliced green onions. Everyone builds their own salad, as they like it, and then we drizzle on the ginger glaze dressing. Oh my.

Who says that you have to sacrifice all fresh ingredients when using your food storage? I beg to differ.


Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

Hey friends! I’ve stumbled onto a really great way to enjoy the super health benefits of purple cabbage and mixed peppers combined with a few items from my three month supply.

First, dice 3-4 peppers, in any combination of colors. I usually go for 1 green, 1 yellow, 1 orange, and 1 red. Then add maybe a quarter, more or less, of a purple onion. This picture shows sliced green onion but the purple or red onion is better. The pepper and onion mixture can be stored in the fridge for days, which saves a ton of time. Next, shred or chop about a cup of purple cabbage.

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Mix about 1 cup of cabbage with 1/2 cup of the pepper/onion mix in a small mixing bowl, or simply layer on a plate if you’re in a hurry. Doesn’t that look pretty? I love all the colors in fresh vegetables!

Next step, select a protein option from your pantry storage. Some days I go for a half can of tuna and other days I go for beans. Sometimes you feel like a nut. Sometimes you don’t.

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Add 2 tablespoons of your favorite salad dressing and toss.

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I figure that this nutritious lunch has only about 5 or 6 Weight Watchers points. (Notice the variety of light dressing options?) This chopped salad is both filling and fun. I KNOW food is not supposed to be a reward, but this one is. Hope you like it!


Monday, March 14th, 2011

Storage Ingredients

3 cups chunky salsa

6 cups beef broth (or bouillon cubes and water)

1/2 cup long-grain white rice, uncooked

2 cans black beans, drained

Combine everything in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat for 4 to 5 hours or until done. Be careful to not over cook or rice will be mushy.

My ever wonderful and so helpful friend, Kris, shared this easy-yummy recipe. Thanks Kris!

With only a few optional additions, I served this soup to company that was staying with our family last week. Still simple to prepare, my good-enough-for-guests was a slightly richer and heartier version. Think ultimate Mexican slant on the classic bistro French onion soup. Got it? Good. I didn’t take pictures but I’ll try to explain.

My additions began with 2 cans of  roast beef chunks from Costco. Yeah for more short-term storage ingredients! Yeah that Costco has brought back this product. Really missed these babies. Feel like I need to stockpile. Know that I could make my own, but THEY’RE JUST SOOOOOOO EASY!

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Next, I prepared and grilled CORN tortilla quesadillas filled with shredded Mexi-blend cheese I found on sale.  One per customer, I cut the whole quesadillas into bite sized squares and placed them in the bottom of each serving bowl. With the hot soup ladled on top it reminded me of croutes or baguette toasts.

To finish, I garnished the top of each soup bowl with diced avocado and sour cream. Completely forgot that I had fresh cilantro and even a couple of limes in the fridge. Oh well, there’s always next time.

A few fresh ingredients help people want to eat meals made from food storage, on a daily basis. If I couldn’t go to the store, for ANY reason, this recipe for Salsa Fever Soup would be served just as Kris suggested, and it would be great!


Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Fresh Ingredients

1 onion, chopped

4 carrots, diced

4 stalks celery, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 big box of fresh baby spinach (from Costco)

Storage Ingredients

2 cups dry lentils

5-6 cups chicken broth (or water)

5-6 cups vegetable broth (or water)

1/4 cup olive oil

2 teaspoons dried oregano

2 teaspoon dried basil

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon paprika

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 can crushed tomatoes (28 oz.)

1-2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

At first, this recipe scared me. The list of ingredients seemed a little long and I had NEVER USED LENTILS. Can you believe it? Never! But the prep turned out to be lots easier than I expected and the results were WONDERFUL!

Here. Hold my hand. I’ll walk you through it. 

Three vegetables chopped, ready to be sauteed. Check.

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Spices present and accounted for.

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Cook veggies until softened. Fond is our friend. (vocab from Laura) Add spices and cook for 2 more minutes.

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Add broth, tomatoes, and lentils. ***Be sure to first sort and rinse your lentils to remove any grit or rocks. Phew. That was close.

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Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer covered, or not, for at least 1 hour.

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When ready to serve stir in the whole giant box of spinach. (Don’t even ask what I was trying to do here.)

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And don’t forget to add the balsamic vinegar when you stir in all those piles of spinach.

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Salt and pepper to taste.

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This is my new favorite soup. I love it with all my heart. Happy Valentine’s Day. Thankfully, this soup freezes well and is currently saving my life.

I came home from my happy little presentation tour through the lands of sunshine and gorgeous warm weather, sporting instead of a bronze glow, a terrible cough and cold. When I try to talk, it sounds like that kid you knew in Jr. High that thought it was funny to speak while burping . Plus, it’s 20 degrees outside! The report printed on the National Weather…something…site actually said, “Feels Like 13 Degrees”. Totally accurate description.

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Mmmmmm. Good thing I made this nummy soup before I went out of town.

This recipe is for sure being added to my monthly rotation.


Friday, October 8th, 2010

Me too!

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FINALLY, thanks to our funky Spring.

I’ve been using the little sweeties to make lots of fresh pico de gallo. The leftover pico went into bottles of black beans. It gives the beans just a little…extra…kick in the pants. (In a good way.) Most of you already know how to do this but in case you’re interested in the step by step, I used: 

1/2 cup pico or salsa 

1 cup of rinsed and sorted black beans

hot water to the neck of the jar, stir to release air bubbles

wipe clean, top with heated lids and rims, and fill pressure canner (mine is only an 8 quart cooker so it will can four quart bottles at a time)

allow to vent for 10 minutes before adding weight on top at 15 pounds PSI, and can for 90 minutes

cool naturally and *carefully remove jars

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So. You might notice that I have an odd number of bottles. That’s because something *odd happened.




But this is what I learned. DO NOT take a BOILING-BOILING HOT bottle out of the pressure canner and immediately try to wipe it off, in the sink (thank heavens) under a stream of warmish water. BAAAAAAM!

You should have seen my husband’s face. Makes me laugh just remembering, but it totally scared the dump out of us. Oh my gosh. It sounded like a shotgun.

Bean wars.


Monday, June 7th, 2010

Sweet Heather, from sunny St. George sent me this fun recipe for bean pancakes. The pictures may not do it justice but try to think happy thoughts.

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As I turned these little wheat-and-beaners, I topped the cooked side with grated cheese so that it was melted as they came hot off the griddle.

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Then we topped them with the usual favorites of diced avocado, salsa, and sour cream…curds? Hmmm

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Then we rolled them in half, taco style. Sorry about the picture. Here’s what the picky 12 year old had to say about them:


This is good!

It tastes like something gourmet…from a hippy…Mexican restaurant…in Arizona! (K, this one’s never even been to Arizona so…)

I thought the recipe was a really nice variation on the vegetarian theme. The bean pancake reminded me of a tamale, and a very happy, flavorful, tamale at that. We each gobbled down three. It’s an economical and fun way to enjoy pancakes for dinner without all the butter and syrup. (Nothin’ against butter and syrup.)

Fresh Ingredients

1 egg

1 tablespoon of chopped fresh cilantro

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

Storage Ingredients

1 15 oz. can of beans, rinsed, drained, and mashed (I used black beans that I had bottled myself. Woohooo!)

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour  (I just threw about 3/4 a cup of whole wheat kernels into the blender and ground them with the evaporated milk.)

1 12 oz. can evaporated milk

2 tablespoons of canola oil

couple shots of Tabasco

dash of lime pepper (Didn’t have it and didn’t miss it.)

Mix all ingredients and cook into pancakes. Top with grated cheese, diced avocado, salsa, and sour cream as desired.