recipes to make cheap, easy, delicious prepacked meals-beans

Radford, VA(Zone 7a)

I am posting recipes for some bean seasoning mixes that I have found and adjusted. They make enough for an average person. They are meant to be quick and easy to prepare, usually by only adding boiling water and stirring, bringing them to a boil, cutting back the heat, and allowing them to simmer slowly--for however long it takes. These little meals can be cooked in a pint-sized canning jar in the oven, in a solar cooker, or over another source of heat. They should be handy for emergency situations, camping, etc.

(If you are interested in this sort of thing, I also have different rice recipes that are stored and prepared the same way. I have been posting recipes for making your own instant oatmeals, and mashed potatoes here: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1061038/ )

You'll see that the recipes call for powdered milk, powdered buttermilk, powdered butter, powdered eggs, and powdered cheese. Although most of us don't have those things in our pantry, I think it's worth the investment. It's also worth investing in the herbs and extracts mentioned. (These recipes should allow you to store food in a cool place, even if it can't be refrigerated.)

You can either make up these jars of spice mixes and add them to dried beans and water when you decide to cook them or (better yet) prepare and store them as instant meals to which you only need to add boiling water.

The point of doing this is to have delicious foods that you can look forward to eating if disaster strikes. Don't underestimate the difference this can make, emotionally, for you and your family! It's not going to be pleasant, if you have to eat emergency food you have stored, to find yourself stuck with bland cornmeal mush, plain oatmeal, and tons of dried beans--especially if you're not used to preparing or eating such foods!


‘Four Star Refried Beans’ spice mix

¼ C salt
¼ C chili powder
1½ t cumin

(use 1 t. per ½ C dried beans and 1½-3 C water)


‘Savory Beans’ spice mix

1 chicken bouillon cube
1 T dry, minced onion
3/8-1/2 t salt
¼ t cumin powder
1/8 t chipotle powder
1/8 t black pepper
1/16 t garlic powder

(use 4½ t per ½ C dried beans and 1½-3 C water)


In order to store them as 'instant' meals:
Sort and 'wash' and dry your beans first. (After they're dry, if you want to run them through a food processor or blender to break them up a bit, they'll cook faster.) Then add the dried beans and spices together in small jars or baggies, label them with contents, date and directions, and store them in a cool place.

I would suggest you try each recipe, before packaging a whole bunch, in case you want to tweak the recipe a bit to suit your tastes.

I'll add more recipes as I test them.

This message was edited Jan 3, 2010 1:16 AM

This message was edited Jan 3, 2010 1:29 AM

This message was edited Feb 24, 2010 2:03 AM

Calgary, Canada

What a good idea! Thank you for the recipes.
Caroline

Radford, VA(Zone 7a)

Sure-here's another. Absolutely delicious!

Maple Bacon Beans
½ C dried, washed beans
3/8-1/2 t salt
3 ½ t maple sugar*
1 ½ t Bacon Bits
1 ½-3 C water

Wash beans (Grind them if desired.) Mix ingreds. together. Bring to a boil, then let slow simmer until ‘gravy’ is thick.

*You can buy expensive maple sugar, or you can add 1 t. maple flavoring to 1 Cup sugar and blend well. This is great with oatmeal too!


This message was edited Feb 24, 2010 2:04 AM

Radford, VA(Zone 7a)

Here's one with a smoky mesquite flavor:


Chili Beans
1/2 C dried beans
1/16 t chipotle powder
1/8 C dried tomatoes
½ t salt
1/8 t black pepper
1/16 t onion powder
1/16 t garlic powder
1/16 t liquid smoke
2-3 C water

(Grind beans if desired.) Mix ingredients together. Bring to a boil, then let slow simmer until ‘gravy’ is thick and beans are done--adding more water if necessary.

(12-24 hours in crockpot on 'low', keep an eye on your water level after about 12 hours.)

(Makes about one cup of beans.)



This message was edited Feb 24, 2010 2:07 AM

Radford, VA(Zone 7a)

Why do we soak and rinse beans? I've found that, the way I cook pinto beans it isn't necessary. I don't have any noticeable problem with gas afterwards either.

I rinse and dry my beans thoroughly before packing them up with salt and spices, then when I'm ready to prepare them, I just put them in my mini crock pot (low setting) and add water. I DO cook them for a long time--more than 12 hours--stirring occasionally and adding water if needed.


**A note regarding the recipe above: liquid smoke can be found near the barbecuing sauces at Walmart and sells for just $1 a bottle (4 oz?). It comes in both mesquite and hickory flavors.**

Radford, VA(Zone 7a)

Here's a couple of yummy ones:

Seasoned Beans #2 250 cal.
½ C dried beans
1/16 t garlic powder
¾ t dried, minced onions
½ beef bouillon cube
½ t salt
1/8 t black pepper
1/8 t red pepper flakes
3 C water

(Grind beans if desired.) Mix ingredients together. Bring to a boil, then let slow simmer until ‘gravy’ is thick. (12-24 hours in crockpot on 'low', keep an eye on your water level after about 12 hours.)

optional topping: 1-2 T dried cheese

(Seasoned Beans #1 uses chicken bouillon instead of beef)



Lentil Soup 264 cal.
5 T dried lentils
1/4 t chicken bouillon
3/8 t dried parsley
5/8 t salt
< 1/8 t pepper
< 1/8 t dried thyme
¼ bay leaf
2½ T dried tomatoes
1¾ t Bacon Bits
1/4 t onion powder
4 t dried carrot slices
< 1/8 t celery seed
pinch garlic powder
14 oz water

Bring to boiling, then turn down and simmer about 1 hour.

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