All About Beans – Tips, Recipes, and More

Beans Tips & Recipes Wmrk

We love beans.

Limas, lentils, kidneys, black beans…you name it.

We love them for the way they taste, how versatile and nutritious they are, and for how beans can help save money in your whole foods budget.

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Pizza Dip (Pizza Hummus) – dairy and sesame free

This Pizza Dip (or Pizza Hummus) is Dairy-Free and Sesame-Free too. And super yummy. A great treat for those on a special diet (and even for those who aren't!)

I have a real treat for your today if you like hummus, bean dips, and pizza.

A hummus recipe that is–well, pizza hummus.  Or pizza dip.  Or just a great tangy, spicy hummus recipe.

Or just plain yum.

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Tips for Frugal Meals ~ and Super Fast Indian Lentils

Indian Lentil Curry Pressure Cooker


With the price of everything going up…up…and up….(you’ve noticed, right?)

Frugal is really in style now.

I know I, for one, have been watching our food budget got up and it’s gotten me thinking about ways to save more money in that category.

Join me over at The Balanced Platter today where I am sharing some of my favorite tips for making frugal meals.

And I’m also doing a recap of my recipe for Indian Lentils.

This dish a real “go to” for us when you’re looking for a

  • fast meal that
  • saves money and is
  • kid friendly too

I look forward to hearing about your frugal meals tips too.  I’m sure all of mine and the Balanced Platter’s readers would appreciate any and every tip that is shared.

To continue reading…….click here.

Shared at Butter Believer, Your Thriving Family, and Simply Designing.

"Beans and Rice" — and "Rice and — Fudge"?

Save Money Cooking Beans

Did you know that up until about a year ago, our family used to be almost completely vegetarian (and my son was basically a vegan due to his life-threatening allergies to dairy and eggs)?

The vegetarian lifestyle did two things for us:

1.  It helped us save a lot of money on our food bill

2.  It made me into sort of a bean gourmand :-).

Well, I am not recommending necessarily that you become a vegetarian or vegan, but if you are interested in some money saving tips and some great bean recipes, come over to Sarah’s Deals today.  I am sharing some money saving tips and some great bean recipes to help reduce your grocery bill and expand your recipe repertoire.  And I promise that they are not all rice and beans — or even beans and rice :-).

I will be checking in over there to answer comments, or you can leave a comment here where it will be a bit easier for me to interact with you.  Either way, I look forward to hearing from you!

What’s your favorite way to eat beans?

Indian Red Lentils

This lentil recipe is ready in a flash - in as little as 9 minutes! When you don't know what's for dinner, this lentil curry bean dish is a great healthy standby that is a great kid-friendly meal as well.

Our family loves curry. Anything curry.  In fact, though we like experimenting with cuisine from all cultures, I would say that Indian is one of our favorites.

Now, before I go on, let me say that this lentil recipe isn’t really curry – so don’t run away if you are not a curry fan.

And soon I hope to post a dish that DOES feature curry seasoning.  And it is for sure my most requested recipe EVER.

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Tuscan Bean Dip

Easy Bean Recipe

As I shared in my post on Chat Masala (the spice mix that now graces our table at literally every meal), sometimes “mistakes” turn out to be a great thing after all.

Now, sometimes they don’t — like the time when I baked a cake with my elementary school friend and it ended up being used as a frisbee.  No kidding.

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Adzuki Bean Shepherd's Pie (with Low Carb Topping)


Shepherd's Pie
Putting Shepherd’s Pie together with adzuki beans seems like…well…quite an odd combination, doesn’t it?  In fact, it is, but the result is actually quite nice.  Nice also is a recipe and history lesson combination. :-)

So before the recipe, here is a bit of “lore” about the pie and the beans involved.

The English tradition of meat pies dates back to the Middle ages. Game pie, pot pie and mutton pie were popular and served in pastry “coffyns.” These pies were cooked for hours in a slow oven, and topped with rich aspic jelly and other sweet spices. The eating of “hote [meat] pies” is mentioned in Piers Plowman, and English poem written in the 14th Century. (Cooking of the British Isles, Adrian Bailey, pages 156-7) The Elizabethans favored minced pies. “A typical Elizabethan recipe ran: Shred your meat (mutton or beef) and suet together fine. Season it with cloves, mace, pepper and some saffron, great raisins and prunes…” (Food and Drink in Britain: From the Stone Age to the 19th Century, C. Anne Wilson, page 273)

The key to dating Shepherd’s pie is the introduction (and acceptance) of potatoes in England. Potatoes are a new world food. They were first introduced to Europe in 1520 by the Spanish. Potatoes did not appeal to the British palate until the 18th Century. (Foods America Gave the World, A. Hyatt Verrill, page 28). Shepherd’s Pie, a dish of minced meat (usually lamb, when made with beef it is called “Cottage Pie”) topped with mashed potatoes was probably invented sometime in the 18th Century by frugal peasant housewives looking for creative ways to serve leftover meat to their families. It is generally agreed that it originated in the north of England and Scotland where there are large numbers of sheep–hence the name. The actual phrase “Shepherd’s Pie” dates back to the 1870s, when mincing machines made the shredding of meat easy and popular.” (The Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson, page 717). (From

The word, “adzuki” is actually a transliteration of the Japanese word for the same bean and in Japanese the word means “small bean.”  And they are small, which also means that they cook quickly.  They still need to be soaked before cooking, but in my pressure cooker, they cook in as little as 5 minutes.

In Japan, the beans are most typically mashed and mixed with a bit of sweetener and made into a soup base or thick paste that is the base of many traditional Japanese desserts.

And I’m an Irish/Japanese combination as well.  My father immigrated from Ireland in his 20′s and I lived in Japan for a year following college graduation.  Now, I don’t ever recall actually eating Shepherd’s Pie either at home or when I actually visited family in Ireland, but I did consume my fair share of adzuki beans both while I was in Japan and after returning to the States.

Adzuki Bean Shepherd’s Pie

This recipe is my remake of one from Whole Approach’s recipe forum.  Since our family has been trying to reduce carbohydrates, the cauliflower-based topping is helpful in that respect, while still being delicious!  My kids always ask for lots of “the white stuff.”  You can, of course, also adapt this by substituting the same volume of beans with beef.  For now, enjoy this high-on-vegetables-low-on-cost option.

Pictured above served with Moroccan Carrots.

Leave a comment and let me know how this turned out for you.

Savory Hummus

Homemade Hummus

I am always on the hunt for quick, easy, frugal, healthy (and did I miss tasty?) meals and snack ideas.

Well, this one really fits the bill.

This recipe is our version based on one that we found in a Cooking Light magazine years ago.  And I mean years.

My path to health started (though now I know that it was not in a good direction) back in my teenage days when my grandfather passed away from a sudden heart attack while driving.  He had already had heart surgery (a triple bypass) in previous years and his mother had died from atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).  I thought that low fat and especially low animal protein must be the way to go and so I did.   Hard core.  Armed with one subscription of Cooking Light magazine I was off and running to the healthy kitchen races.

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Fast and Yummy Bean Dip

Homemade Black Bean Dip

We love bean dips of all kinds.  But have you seen the price of them in the grocery store?  Unbelievable and untenable in today’s economy.  And really – for beans?  I thought they were supposed to be the budget-friendly food :-)!

Well, here is money and time-saving recipe for you.  And oh—it tastes great as well.

This recipe is a remake of one that I got from a Vitamix demonstrator.  It apparently used to be on the Vitamix website, but no longer.  What a loss – but at least you can find it here!

This is one of those “tried and true” recipes, a real go to when you need something fast that you know will be a success.  And boy, is it fast to make!

I gave the recipe to one of my friends two years ago and she said that she made it for all of her Christmas gatherings and it was a great hit!  Then another friend asked me for the recipe this year so that she could take it to her Holiday gatherings as well.  Finally, we had some friends from Nicaragua over this past summer and served this.  Again, a bit hit!  Simple and satisfying!


This is great served with vegetables, chips, or Focaccia Flax Bread (it’s gluten-free with a vegan option – and it’s super easy too!)

Time and Money Saving Tips:

  • Cilantro can be purchased in large amounts and then washed, chopped and frozen (stems and all) in baggies in the freezer.  Then it is ready at your fingertips year round! (For more ideas, see my post on 6 Super Tips for Cilantro)
  • For lime juice, I use bottled organic lime juice to save time.  (I recommend Dream Foods.)  However, you can also just throw in a whole washed lime into your blender or food processor if you happen to have limes in your kitchen.  The rind is healthy too!
  • Problems digesting beans?  See my post on How to De-Gas Beans, so you can eat a lot of bean dip and not suffer the consequences!
  • No time to make beans?  Try making them ahead of time and storing them in the freezer for quick access whenever you need them!
  • Tomatoes left over after making this dip? See my post on The Easiest Way to Preserve Tomatoes.  Works for fresh or canned!

Looking for other budget-friendly recipes?  How about

- Super Savory Hummus (w/ tahini-free option)
- Indian Lentils (ready in as little as 9 minutes!)
- Homemade Protein Bars

How about you?  Do you have a favorite recipe to share?

Shared at Ultimate Recipe Swap, Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, Designs By Gollum, Beauty and Bedlam, Far Above Rubies, Hope Studios, Naptime Creations, The 21st Century Housewife, Beauty and Bedlam, Learning The Frugal Life, Not Just a Housewife, All the Small Stuff, Sugar Bee Crafts, Chef in Training, Real Food Forager, Blessed With Grace, Tip Junkie, Coastal Charm, Delightfully Dowling, Ruth’s Real Food, 11th Heaven’s Homemaking Haven, Natural Family Awareness, My Sweet and Savory, Keeping It Simple, The Prairie Homestead, Marvelously Messy, The Girl Creative, The Healthy Home Economist, A Southern Fairytale, Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker, Make Ahead Meals For Busy Moms, Mrs Happy Homemaker, Home Savvy A to Z, Women Living Well, Lady Behind the Curtain, Dining With Debbie, The Trendy Tree House, Sew Much Ado, This Chick Cooks, The Humbled Homemaker, Raising Homemakers, Crystal and Comp, Kelly the Kitchen Kop, Blue Cricket Design, Sugar and Dots, Gluten Free Homemaker, Ginger Snap Crafts, We Are That Family, L Bratina, Day 2 Day Joys, Good Cheap Eats, Beauty and Bedlam, Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free, Life as Mom, and Moms Crazy Cooking.