I have always known that it was more economical to buy dried beans and cook them yourself compared to purchasing can after can of cooked beans for chili’s etc.   It seemed like a daunting task though. Soaking, cooking, pressure cookers, draining, rinsing..  and the timing of it all.  Perhaps it comes from my white collar background but I just told myself ‘ your time is worth more than the pittance you will save.’   Bah.  I decided to give it another go.

I bought a standard back of white beans and one of kidney.  The kidney beans seemed more familiar to me and so they got tossed into a big tub just before supper last night and I topped it with water.  Just before bed I checked them and Croiky! I didn’t have enough water in them.  They had already absorbed all of the water and a few dried wrinkly beans protruded from the surface.  I tossed in a hefty amount more of water and left it to hope.

This morning I drained and rinsed them and measured them out.  What was 5 generous cups of dried had become 12 generous cups of hydrated. I tossed them all in a pot with an equal amount of water, 3 tablespoons of oil and a generous sprinkling of salt.  Let them boil away for 40 minutes.

That was it.  I couldn’t believe that was all there was too it! Out came the slow cooker and in went:

  • 3 large cans of diced tomatoes,
  • a can of tomato paste,
  • can of mushrooms,
  • 6 generous cups of kidney beans,
  • small can of green chili peppers
  • 1 pound of browned hamburger
  • Spices(Cumin, dried chili peppers, coriander, onion, garlic, basil, pepper & Salt)
  • several dashes of hot sause

and turned the dial to High.  Into the freezer went two bags each holding 3 cups of precooked, drained beans for future meals.

Tonight is chili night and the total cost so far for the whole meal?  WELL under $10. Round it out with a loaf of Udi whole grain bread and I think it’s a perfect supper for a -30’c day!

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