Saturday, January 7, 2012

Eating Healthy on a Budget, Part 2: The Hugh Maughn Gus Bean Pot

In Part 1, we focused on obtaining vegetables cheaply. In this part, we will look at saving money with beans and legumes, which are on the second tier of the Furhman food pyramid.

Okay, everyone knows beans are cheap, especially dried ones (as opposed to canned), but there's only so much  you can do with a bean, right? Chili, burritos, then what? Well, with a few good variations, you can cook beans once, and eat different recipes the rest of the week! For example, when I make Enchilada Soup (which uses pinto beans)  I serve the soup, then Enchilada Salad, Sweet Potato Enchilada Wraps, Spicy Rice and finally Enchilada Pa-Tada. A similar technique can be used for lentils, black beans and white beans, as well.

So, rather than dwell on the point of eating cheaply with beans, I will just give you twenty economical and tasty bean recipes:

1. Enchilada Soup (from an old magazine; I don't know the author)
1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 anaheim chili, seeded and chopped
1 carrot, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
2 c. pinto beans, cooked
2 c. black beans, cooked
1 Tb. cumin
1 29-oz. can enchilada sauce*
2 tsp. salt
juice of 1 lime
1 bunch cilantro, rinsed and chopped

Saute onions, garlic, bell pepper, anaheim chili and carrot in a little water or broth. Add beans, enchilada sauce, cumin and salt. Add enough water to make it "soup-y." Simmer 1 hour. Add lime and cilantro just before serving.

*Note: you can make a healthier Enchilada Sauce by combining:
1/4 c. chili powder
1 tsp. oregano
q tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tb. cornstarch
2 c. vegetable broth
10 oz. tomato paste

2. Enchilada Salad
Leafy greens, any type
Bell Peppers
Any other veggies you have on hand
Leftover enchilada soup

Toss greens and vegetables together. Warm soup. Ladle onto salad.

3. Sweet Potato Enchilada Wraps
Cooked yam or sweet potato, mashed (1 per wrap)
Whole wheat tortillas, 1 per person
Leftover enchilada soup, 1/4-1/2 cup per person
Leafy greens

Spread sweet potato on tortilla. Spoon warmed soup over potato. Top with greens. Roll and eat!

4. Spicy Rice
2 c. cooked brown rice
1 c. enchilada soup, warmed
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1 c. leafy greens, finely chopped

Stir together rice, soup, jalapeno and greens. Top with salsa

5. Enchilada Pa-Tada
4 cooked potatoes, cubed
1/4 c. vegetable broth
2 c. enchildada soup, warmed
1 Tb. nutritional yeast
1/2 purple onion, sliced

Toss potatoes and broth together until potatoes are moistened. Broil in a roaster pan until evenly browned, turning occasionally. Top with soup. Sprinkle with yeast. Garnish with onion.

6. Lentil Joes (adapted from Mary McDougall)
1 c. onion, chopped
1 c. bell pepper, chopped
2 c. cooked lentils
1 Tb. chili powder
15 oz. crushed tomatoes
1 Tb tamari or Braggs
2 Tb. mustard
1 Tb. molasses
1 Tb. rice vinegar
1 tsp. Worcestershire
pepper to taste

Saute onions and pepper in liquid until soft. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve on whole wheat buns, rice or a bed of greens.

7. Lentil Tacos
1 c. cooked lentils
1 6-oz. can green chilies
1 Tb. taco seasoning
shredded cabbage
sliced tomato
sliced onion
taco shells

Combine lentils, chilies and seasoning. Heat through. Serve with cabbage, tomato, onion and taco shells.

8. Lentil Mac (by Kari Randleas)
1 small zucchini, sliced
4 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
1 c. lentils, cooked
1 15-oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 can artichoke hearts
2 c. cooked whole wheat macaroni

Saute zucchini, mushrooms, garlic and onion in water or broth until soft. Combine with remaining ingredients. Pour into a glass baking dish. Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes.

9. Lime-Curry Lentil and Quinoa Salad (adapted from Kari Randleas)
2 1/2 c. cooked lentils
1 1/2 c. cooked quinoa
1/3 c. green onions, finely chopped
lime-curry dressing:
  • 1 mango, peeled and pureed
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 Tb. curry powder
  • 2 Tb. fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • salt to taste
Combine all ingredients. Toss to coat. May be refrigerated up to 3 days.

10. Indian Lentils (adapted from Kari Randleas)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
3 c. cooked lentils
1 can coconut milk
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. turmeric
1 Tb. curry powder
1/2 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. whole cumin seeds

Saute onions and garlic. Add lentils, milk, bay leaf, pepper, turmeric, curry, coriander and cumin seeds. Simmer 20 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Serve with pita bread.

11. Black Bean Burritos
2 c. cooked black beans
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. chili powder
salt to taste
whole grain tortillas
enchilada sauce (above)

Simmer beans, garlic, onion and spices until flavors are blended. Spoon onto tortillas. Roll. Smother with sauce, lettuce and tomato. Add cilantro and lime if desired.

12. Caribbean Black Beans with Mango (adapted from Caldwell Esselstyn)
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tb. grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
4 c. cooked black beans
1 c. orange juice
2 ripe mangos, peeled and chopped
brown rice
pico de gallo

Stir-fry onions and garlic in broth or water for 5 minutes. Add spices and cook 5 minutes more. Sitr in beans and juice and cook over low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until somewhat thickened. Mash a few beans for thicker consistency. Add pepper and mango and serve over rice. Top with pico de gallo.

13. Black Bean Nachos or Tostadas
Tostada shells or low-salt low-fat corn chips
Black beans, cooked
Chopped jalapeno pepper
Chopped onion
Shredded greens
lime juice

Layer and eat!

14.  Black Bean Salad (adapted from Robyn Openshaw)
3 c. cooked black beans
1 1/2 c. frozen or fresh cut corn, stir-fried just until soft
2 roasted red peppers, diced
Tomatillo dressing:
  • 3 tomatillos, husked
  • 1/3 c. cilantro
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 avocado
  • 4 green onions
Blend dressing ingredients. Toss with beans, corn, and roasted peppers. Serve over a bed of greens.

15. Hippie Burgers (adapted from Lindsay Nixon - the Happy Herbivore)
2 c. cooked black beans, mashed
2 Tb. tamari
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 carrot, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 c. mushrooms, chopped
1 c. quinoa, cooked
1 Tb. ground flax or chia seeds
1 Tb. Italian seasoning
3 Tb. whole wheat flour
2 Tb. catsup

Combine ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Form patties. Grill on a non-stick griddle until brown on one side. Flip and continue cooking until brown on the other side.

16. Zuppa Tuscany
2 c. cooked white beans
2 c. vegetable broth
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 c. fresh spinach, chopped
2 cooked potatoes, diced

Simmer beans, broth, onion, garlic, carrot and celery until vegetables are tender. Add spinach and potatoes and heat through. Stir in a little non-dairy milk if desired.

17. Mango Beans (from Caldwell B. Esselstyn)
2 c. cooked white beans
1 mango, peeled and cubed
1/2 red onion, sliced
juice of 1 lime
cilantro, chopped

Toss and serve on a bed of greens.

18. White Bean "Hummus" (printed in Forks over Knives by Chef Del Sroufe)
2 c. cooked white beans
4 tsp. white miso
1 roasted red pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tb. fresh lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
cayenne pepper

Puree in a food processor until smooth and creamy. Serve with veggies or pita.

19. White Bean Loaf (from Alan Goldhamer & Doug Lisle in Forks over Knives)
4 c. cooked beans (the original recipe uses garbanzos; I like white beans)
2 c. cooked brown rice
2 c. tomato sauce
1 Tb. dry mustard
1 c. grated carrots
juice of 1/2 lemon
onion or garlic powder, optional
Italian seasoning, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine beans and rice. Add remaining ingredients. Press into loaf pan. Bake 30 minutes, covering the top with foil if it is browning too quickly.

20. Chili Macaroni (Adapted from Neal Barnard, Breaking the Food Seduction)
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 c. celery, chopped
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. oregano
1 15-oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 Tb. Tamari or Braggs
2 c. cooked pink beans
2 c. cooked whole wheat macaroni

Saute onion, pepper, and celery in liquid until soft. Add seasonings and cook 1-2 minutes more. Add remaining ingredients and heat through.

To your health, happiness and prosperity,


  1. These are great! My girls love beans, and they are really cheap and easy! :-)

  2. Wonderful! I bookmarked this page.