beans beans the musical fruit

The more you eat the more you….

I’ll let you fill in the blank on that one- I’m sure your remember it from grade school!

So the food budget around here is pretty tight right now.  Business is down at Justin’s job and since he works on commission his checks have been down too.  The gas for my commute is killing us too- I have to fill my tank twice a week!  It will get better next semester because I will only be driving to school 3 days/week, so that will only be about a tank/week.

So my task this week is to spend around $20 on groceries for the week.  Yoinks!  Say what?  I’m used to spending about $100!! 

How the heck am I going to do this I’m wondering.  Well, honestly since we stopped eating meat the grocery bills have gone way down.  Nope, we haven’t become vegetarians.  I stopped eating meat (except for the occasional piece of chicken or ground turkey) for personal reasons. (I actually find cows and piggies to be quite cute and it breaks my heart to think of them being slaughtered and some of the practices at slaughter houses that I’ve learned about recently makes me even more sad).   I’m not going to label myself as anything though- I feel like that just sets me up for failure.  Why label yourself, ya know?

Anyhoo- back to the task at hand!

Twenty dollars.  What to do?  Beans to the rescue!  It helps that I have some black beans in the pantry already and some ground turkey in the freezer.  So what am I going to do with this stuff?  Black bean burritos, pinto beans and cornbread, and white bean burgers will all be coming into play at some point in the week.  Will I make my budget?  We’ll have to wait till tomorrow to see!!

While you’re waiting here’s some info on the musical fruit! 

Why eat beans?

Well, they’re awesome for you!  We discussed beans in my food prep class just last week and I learned all kinds of awesome stuff about beans!  Chock full of fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, low in fat, cholesterol free.

If you don’t eat meat, beans are an AWESOME substitute!  Just remember that they’re a limiting amino acid (incomplete protein- they’re missing an essential amino acid that make proteins complete- in the case of beans the limiting AA is methionine) so you need to complement them with another protein source so that you get that complete protein.  It doesn’t have to be at the same meal- that isn’t necessary.  Just at some point during the day.  What can you eat that will compliment them?  How about a whole grain?  Rice, whole wheat bread, corn to name a few. Don’t stress about it though- you don’t need as much protein as you think you do.  Only about 10% of your daily caloric intake needs to come from proteins.  Someday I’ll go into my rant on the people I call “protein pushers”.  That’s another story for another time though! lol


Cooking beans

Dried beans require soaking before cooking.  Either cold water overnight or hot soaked- place in cold water, bring to a boil, boil for two mins, take off heat and soak from 30 mins to 1 hr.  (lentils don’t need to be soaked FYI and they have a short cooking time)

They need considerable time to cook (cooking makes the proteins more available, destroys any toxic substances, and partially gelatinizes the starches in the beans).  Plan to simmer the beans for several hours or put them in the crockpot on low and let them hang out all day.

Acids slow the cooking of beans- so leave out any acids and salt until after the beans are cooked!

Toot toot!

Oligosaccharides in beans is what causes flatulence.  Overnight soaking them can help cut down on that if you’re worried about it.  (make sure you toss the soaking water) Or go buy some bean-o! 🙂


  1. I’ve always wondered why they say to soak beans overnight – good to know! Great post (found you from HEAB’s blog). $20/week – yikes!!! I spend way toooo much on groceries – but I figure I’d rather do that , I don’t go out or drink alot or anything so saves a bit??…but I know I really could do better with random spontaneous splurges or ‘gotta haves’. Check out my blog if you like 🙂

  2. Good luck! I can’t imagine cutting back to $20/week even though I know we need to cut back some. I used to try to use coupons, but we don’t buy that much brand name stuff anyway. Now I just try to shop the sales and stock up when something is cheap. Not sure I could do $20/week though – let me know how you do it 🙂

  3. ahah i love your opening to this post. cracks me up every time.
    but speaking of beans – kidney beans are probably my favorite 🙂

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