I'm cooking beans this morning. A big pot. Then, I have them to lean on for menu plans. They can last a week or more depending on if I freeze some or not. Also, if they get frozen, they don't have to be eaten every day, but can spread out over three weeks.
There are many more options for using beans than the five I have listed here. But these are fun and can feed a crowd pretty well. (I'm the type that has a weekly menu. If we have guests, I just make more of what I was planning to serve. I don't go shopping to make something special.)
I'm so inspired to cook this week. Could it be some fabulous looking groceries and great sales? Or could it be that my dishwasher is back up and running? Maybe it's just that my excitement in the kitchen goes in waves. Whatever it is, here's what I'm planning on cooking up for meals this week:
1 can Muir Glen Fire Raosted Tomatoes, chopped slightly in a food processor if your guests don't like chunky tomatoes
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, diced
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
1/2 large onion, diced
3 cups cooked pinto beans
3/4 t ground cumin
1/2 t chili powder
1 T olive oil
6 medium baking potatoes
Cheese as desired
Cilantro for garnish
Saute onions in olive oil on medium heat until translucent. May undercook for a stronger flavor. Add garlic and pepper. Stir and cook until just before garlic browns. Add tomatoes, stir, and simmer (until my frozen beans had defrosted enough in the microwave to remove them from their bowl). Sprinkle in cumin and chili powder. Stir in beans, cover, and turn fire to low. Continue to stir occasionally and monitor for 20 minutes or longer (depending on when the potatoes are done).
Spoon chili over potatoes, allow cheese on top as desired. Garnish with cilantro. Salt and hot sauce should be available at the table.
Our best results for baking potatoes in the oven is wrapping them in aluminum foil to keep them from drying out and setting them on the rack in a 450' oven for about an hour. You can also microwave them (max of about 3 at a time), but Paul claims that's technically steaming, not baking.
Being a working girl, I generally plan my menu for the week on Sundays, early Sunday. However, I've learned that a number of blog readers subscribe to the MenuPlanMonday.org idea. Therefore, to make my schedule fit more appropriately with readers, I have adjusted my posting schedule even though I must have some ideas in my head on Sunday.
Last week, I posted a menu for what I planned to fix for dinners for the week. It went much better than the first menu I planned went. Strange, this is the end of March and I've only fulfilled this New Year's Resolution twice? How sad.
Sunday, I made Mexican Couscous for us as well as for my dad who came over to entertain himself as my mother is out of town. Only, I didn't serve it with cornbread because I only had two slices leftover and didn't want to make a whole other batch. We had nachos instead (horrible trade off, I know), and Paul took the cornbread for lunch.