Feed a family for a week with a single bag of beans

Beans are complete of protein and minerals. Plus, they’re extremely yummy. Mary Kearl

Beans are healthy—high in protein and fiber and jam-packed with nutrients like iron, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and more. They’re likewise a budget friendly and flexible method to feed your family—a one-pound bag of red kidney beans costs less than $2 and can make up to 11 portions. If you’re a single adult or have a little family, that can amount to a lot of healthy and tasty food for a low cost.

But since even the healthiest of foods ends up being a drag if you consume it the exact same method 5 days in a row, the secret is to prepare your beans in various methods. Stretch your bag of beans into distinct meals with these 3 interesting dishes gave from a conventional Salvadoran cook. You’ll have the ability to develop off of these meals, and either enjoy them throughout the week or freeze them for later on.

We produced 17 portions, which for our family of 3 translates to a overall of more than 5 meals. Including these dishes to your cooking collection is a excellent method to consume healthy on a spending plan.

The wish list

  • Two cloves of garlic
  • A one-pound bag of red kidney beans
  • A big onion
  • A lots eggs
  • 8 ounces of cream cheese
  • Corn tortillas (the number of will depend upon your taste and cravings level)
  • Two avocados
  • A one-pound bag of white rice
  • 8 ounces of queso fresco (or a more typical cheese, like mozzarella or Monterey Jack)

Total expense: $18 (lower if you have some active ingredients in the house)

Based on these expenses, these 3 dishes can assist you prepare a high-value meal on a spending plan. Compared to what the typical American family invests yearly on food, if you prepared a bag of beans two times a month at $1.06 per meal, you might cover the primary meals (breakfast, lunch, and supper) of a family of 3 for 10 days. This would lead to regular monthly cost savings of a little bit over $200.

Meal No. 1: sopa de frijoles (bean soup)

Bean soup served for three.
If you wish to up the carbohydrate rely on this meal, you can change the tortillas with tasty French bread (pan frances). You sure will not go starving. Mary Kearl

There are lots of methods to prepare beans. Frying is a popular alternative, however when you’re going back to square one, that includes a two-step procedure: preparing the beans, then frying them. If you’re currently preparing them, we’ve got excellent news for you: you’ve basically simply made sopa de frijoles, a popular soup in El Salvador.

Cook time: 1.5-2 hours (or up until the beans are soft)


  • 1 pound of red kidney beans (can be replaced with black beans, if chosen)
  • Two garlic cloves
  • 1/4 of a big white onion
  • Table salt (to taste)
  • 10 cups of water (to begin)
  • (Optional) 3 or more eggs


  • Knife and cutting board
  • Tablespoons
  • Measuring cups
  • A big pot
  • A strainer


  1. Rinse the beans with water and drain them with a strainer.
  2. Cut off one-quarter of the onion and put it in a big pot. There’s no requirement to slice it—it’ll disintegrate later on when you boil it. If you desire a tip of onion taste without real pieces in your soup, you can instill it by covering the onion in aluminum foil, and poking a number of holes with a thick needle or knife pointer. When the beans are completely prepared, you can take this out.
  3. Peel the garlic cloves, cutting off completions. Put them in the pot. As above, if you just desire a tip of garlic, you can instill the soup as with the onion.
  4. Add the beans to the pot consisting of the onions and garlic, and gather 7 cups of water. Salt to taste and position it on your range over high heat.
  5. Once the water starts to boil (after about 5 minutes), lower the temperature level to medium-high.
  6. Add water as required, prior to the water level starts to drop listed below the leading layer of beans. This isn’t a dish you can set and leave—you’ll wish to watch on your pot, ensuring there’s constantly some water inside and the beans never ever dry. Anticipate to include a minimum of 3 cups of water throughout the procedure. You don’t wish to learn what burned beans odor like.
  7. After an hour and 20 minutes, when you have about 10 minutes left of cooking time, include those optional eggs to be hardboiled along with your beans. Put the eggs into your pot whole and let them prepare.
  8. To see whether the beans are all set, take a spoonful and provide your meal a taste test. They need to feel soft as you take your very first bite.

Serve with: fresh avocado pieces, a wedge of queso fresco, and tortillas (grilled for about a minute each in a fry pan)

Servings: 6 bowls of soup

Meal No. 2: frijoles fritos (refried beans)

Refried beans served with eggs, cheese and avocado.
Turn those bean soup leftovers into refried beans. Mary Kearl

Frijoles fritos are what makes a conventional Salvadoran breakfast, and are typically accompanied by eggs (sunny-side-up or rushed), Salvadoran sour cream (crema), queso duro or queso fresco (tough or fresh cheese), and French bread (pan frances), or homemade Salvadoran tortillas(which are thicker than the more commonly offered tortillas in the U.S.). In the dish listed below, we’ve provided alternatives for when these conventional parts of the meal are not offered.


  • 4 cups of bean soup (from Meal No. 1), broth consisted of
  • 3 tablespoons of grease
  • 1 tablespoon of sliced onion


  • Knife and cutting board
  • Tablespoons
  • Blender
  • Large, deep frying pan


  1. Heat the grease in the fry pan.
  2. Chop the onion and location it in the pan. Prepare on medium-high for about 1-2 minutes, up until it’s golden brown.
  3. Remove the grilled onions from the pan and put them in the mixer. Leave the oil in the fry pan to be utilized in a later action.
  4. Add 4 cups of bean soup to the mixer and puree up until it’s completely combined. For thicker refried beans, you can strain the soup’s broth.
  5. Using the oil you conserved in Step 3, put the mix into a deep frying pan and fry it on medium-high heat.
  6. As the beans start to bubble, stir as required to avoid them from adhering to the pan. When the bubbling corresponds, lower the heat to medium. Prepare up until the oil has actually blended entirely with the beans, which normally takes about 10 minutes.

Serve with: fresh avocado pieces, eggs sunny-side-up or nevertheless you like them, a generous dollop of cream cheese, and grilled tortillas (fried in a pan for about a minute each)

Servings: 6 plates of refried beans

Meal No. 3: casamiento (rice and beans)

Three dishes of Salvadoran Casamiento
Casamiento can be served with eggs, tortillas, and avocado, however you can likewise consume it with your preferred green salad. Mary Kearl

Casamiento, which actually implies “marriage”—describing the marital relationship of the beans and rice main to the dish—is a conventional meal prepared in El Salvador and Central America. It’s typically served with eggs, cheese, and tortillas or French bread (pan frances) for breakfast, lunch, or supper, or as a side meal served along with a much heavier meal like carne asada (barbecue).


  • 1/2 cup of rice
  • 1 tablespoon of sliced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of sliced onion
  • 2 tablespoons of grease
  • 3/4 cups of water
  • 1 1/2 cups of refried beans (from Meal No. 2)
  • Salt to taste


  • Knife and cutting board
  • Tablespoons
  • Measuring cups
  • Medium fry pan with cover
  • Large fry pan


  1. Heat oil on medium-high for about 30 seconds, then blend in the sliced tomatoes and onion, and the half-cup of rice. Let it cook for a minute, stirring every 10 seconds.
  2. Add in 3/4 cups of water and salt to taste, then lower the heat to medium. Location a cover on the pan and cook up until all the water is taken in by the rice, which takes about 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. In a different pan, reheat your refried beans for about 3 minutes. When the beans are warm, include your prepared rice to the pan of refried beans, then blend together. Prepare your rice and bean mix for about 2 minutes on medium heat.

Serve with: a dollop of cream cheese, a wedge of queso fresco, a part of avocado, and grilled tortillas

Servings: 5 plates of casamiento

Now you understand 3 various and penny-wise methods to prepare beans—and perhaps you even got some Spanish cooking vocabulary along the method. Go practice your cooking, accumulate your cost savings, and impress your good friends and enjoyed ones.

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