Just before Christmas one of the community Facebook groups that I’m a part of had a post from a family asking for assistance to help replenish their bare cupboards. There were several posts from people indicating that certain churches in the area had pantry assistance programs.
One post really stuck out to me: “Churches are no good for food items from my experience. Can’t do much with dry beans and rice.”
I beg to differ.
Rice and beans can make many a wonderful meal. While it may not always be the most exciting dishes they can be nourishing and filling.
Several years ago I shared how our family was eating beans several times a week. Stretchy Beans were the basis of our menu week in and week out. Now is a good time to mention, I may receive a commission if you purchase something mentioned in this post. Read additional details here.
Stretchy Beans is a concept of making one big pot of beans and stretching that pot into many meals. It is the same idea as taking one chicken and turning it into numerous meals. Of course, the beans are usually the more frugal option. And properly preparing beans and rice makes them a nutrition option.
The first night I’ll make a large pot of beans, such as pinto beans, and a pot of rice. We’ll have beans and rice along with a side salad or other vegetable. One thing that I do to boost the nutrition of beans is to cook them in bone broth. I save all of my bones and at one time even let others know I’d be happy to take any bones off their hands. Several hunters were happy to share as were farmers who would either pass the bones on for free or at a very discounted price. When I didn’t have bones I made broth out of veggie scraps and egg shells.
The second night the beans become bean and cheese burritos wrapped in homemade tortillas.
Now my Stretchy Bean meals do assume you have a few other ingredients such as spices, flour, a little cheese and a few veggies. When our food budget was super tight the beans and rice helped us be able to afford some of these things but there were still weeks when we ate plain rice and beans at more than one meal.
Need a little more inspiration for rice and beans? Check out these posts:
What is your favorite way to enjoy rice and beans? Share your recipes or links in the comments.
Learn how to get the most nutrition from the foods you eat! You’ll love the books from my affiliate partner, Traditional Cooking School by GNOWFGLINS.
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