Beans, beans…the magical fruit…
Yes, I’m a 12 year old boy. I just can’t help but hear that song when I think about beans. I mean, they are such a money saver, yes, but the jokes that comes from them. My mind swims in them!
But, in all seriousness, beans are a staple when it comes to reducing your grocery budget and saving money. The problem is, they can be so boring! Who wants to have beans and rice at every meal? Certainly not my family. My poor husband is not a fan of beans, but I’ve been able to introduce them into many meals without him revolting. Here are 4 new ways to add beans to your meal plan, without having to resort to rice and beans:
As a Sauce
This just might be the easiest way to incorporate any kind of bean into your meal planning. Place your favorite bean (we love chickpeas or pintos) in a blender or food processor. Add in your favorite spices, like cumin or lemon pepper, along with salt and pepper. While the blender is going, slowly pour in hot water. You have and instant sauce that is packed full of protein! You can toss this with pasta and sautéed veggies, or double the protein and drizzle over chicken, fish or even steak.
As a Dip
This is yet another simple way to introduce beans in a fun way. We’ve all heard of bean dips like hummus, and yes, it’s OK to serve these as a dinner. Serve a big bowl or individual portions to the family, along with their favorite raw vegetables, potato or tortilla chips. For certain dips, like a black bean dip, can also be mixed in with your favorite shredded cheese for some extra flavor.
As a Spread
You know those dips we just mentioned? These dips can also be spread on toasted bread or tortillas and used as the protein in your meal. Pack those sandwiches with raw or sautéed vegetables for a great lunch.
Add to Ground Meat
For families with hearty appetites, like mine, making a protein-packed meal will keep everyone satisfied. We’ve all seen beans and ground meat paired together in chili and stews, but it also works in your spaghetti dinner, or even when you create a cold bean salad to accompany your grilled chicken in the summer.
I hope these suggestions help you add beans to your meal plan this week. Beans aren’t as boring as you may think!
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