Slow Cooker Beans for the Freezer aka Refried Beans without the Refry

I have heard about the beans for years.  Yes, years!  And I can’t believe I had never tried them.  I first heard about them on the Sonlight forums, where they were made famous by Bethany of For the Love of Grub.

Bethany loves these beans and makes them often and tells the rest of us that we need to be making them.  Everyone who has tried them raves about them.

Do I take the hint and give them a try?  No, I wait 5 or 7 years before it finally hits me that I need to see what the fuss is about.  I mean, it’s just beans, right? They can’t be that much better than canned, right?

Call me a crazy bean lover!  These things are fabulous!

They aren’t spicy, and yet they’re flavorful.  They make a quick dinner, can be mashed or left whole and they’re great for stocking your freezer.

Bethany gives a lot of variations on her blog, but this is how I made them:  [Read more...]

Beef and Bean Topped Potatoes

This is a quick meal, except for the potato baking.  But even that can be done in the microwave if you’re really pressed for time.

And there are a couple things you can do to make it even faster.  Keep cooked ground beef in the freezer so it’s ready to go for recipes like this.  You can also keep cooked bacon and onion in the freezer.

Or you can slow it down by putting the topping in the slow cooker until you’re ready for dinner.

Another bonus, this recipe is versatile.  Vary the ingredients for what you have in your pantry.  I don’t think you can mess this one up.  Nearly anything goes.

Here’s what you’ll need: [Read more...]

Ingredient Spotlight: Beans

beans

This post is part of a new series where you get to link up your recipes!  Each week I’ll focus on a different common pantry ingredient.  I’ll link to a few of my recipes that feature the ingredient and then give you a chance to link up to your blog.

Beans are definitely a pantry staple for me.  I admit to using the canned version more often than dried beans, just because they are so convenient.  I have heard of people cooking dried beans and then freezing them, but I’ve never done it.  Maybe one of you will link to a tutorial for that neat trick.

Here are a few of my recipes that use beans: [Read more...]

Southwest Chicken and Brown Rice

I’ve expressed my love for Mexican/Tex-Mex foods before, so it’s no surprise that we really liked this dish.  I altered a recipe that I cut off a box many years ago.  I think it came from Uncle Ben’s instant brown rice, but I’m not positive.  I adjusted the amounts, altered a few things and instead of cooking the instant rice with the other ingredients, I served it over regular brown rice.  Yum! [Read more...]

Italian Sausage and Bean Soup

At the end of January I posted 19 Soup Recipes to Warm You Up.  I asked for your favorite recipes and several of you passed on good ones.  This recipe was shared by Connie.  It caught my eye for two reasons. 1) It uses Italian sausage and I have a freezer full of the stuff from my niece’s 4-H project. 2) It’s fast and easy.

The soup was delicious.  I admit to being skeptical when I poured in the can of butter beans.  I wasn’t too sure it looked good and I didn’t think my kids would eat it.  I was wrong.  The soup was wonderful and the kids loved it (except my child who hates all things sausage).  My youngest, very picky son even loved the butter beans.  The wonders never cease.  [Read more...]

Crisp Black Bean Tacos with Feta and Lime Slaw

I found this on Smitten Kitchen one day and it caught my eye because she said it only took 10 minutes to make. I think if I wasn’t taking pictures of everything as I made them, it would have been about 10 minutes.

[Read more...]

Taco Soup

This is a great recipe! First of all, it tastes wonderful. Secondly, the ingredients can be changed up and substituted as needed. I’ve used pork sausage and ground turkey instead of the ground beef. I’ve used chicken broth instead of beef broth. Often, I find that I don’t have any tomatoes and green chilis and I throw in salsa instead. I’ve even used a can of chili beans in sauce instead of the kidney beans.

The recipe makes a very big batch of soup. It’s enough for my family of 6 to have two dinners and a lunch. Sometimes I put the leftovers in the crockpot to heat for our second day of soup. (A whole recipe is too much for the crockpot.) The soup freezes well too, if you want to save it for another time.

 

 

Taco Soup

Yield: Serves 12-14

Taco Soup

Ingredients

  • Large package of hamburger (2 lbs. or so)
  • Large onion, chopped
  • 2 cans Black Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cans Dark Red Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cans Corn, drained (you could use frozen)
  • 1 can Tomatoes with Green Chilis (Rotelle)
  • 1 can Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 15oz can Tomato Sauce
  • 1 can Beef Broth
  • 2 packages of Taco Seasoning
  • 2-3 cups of Water

Instructions

  1. Brown the meat and onion together. I like to rinse the hamburger under very hot water to get rid of the extra fat.
  2. Add in all the other ingredients and cook until it’s hot.
  3. Serve with cheddar cheese and corn chips or with corn bread.

Notes

I usually put half of this in the freezer for another meal. I dump it frozen, into a 6qt. slow cooker and cook it on low all day.

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