Freezer Menu – Black Beans

Yesterday I mentioned that I am going to be putting up a stash of beans in the freezer this week. Well, I figured I would use this as a segue to a new feature (which I will hopefully continue), Freezer Menu Friday. So each Friday, starting today, I will post a link to a public menu at Recipezaar. This menu will be one of several things:

  • a freezer essential, plus some recipes that use it as a major building block
  • a mini-OAMC session based on one type of food
  • an actual menu for one meal which can be prepped ahead and frozen (for fancier meals or parties)

I am hoping that this will help people who are just learning to use their freezer, just learning to meal, just learning to budget their meals. Not all of the recipes will be things I have tried necessarily (because you and I won’t have identical tastes, right? *grins*), but I will tell you which I have and which I haven’t, and what I liked about the recipes I have tried.

So, without further intro, here’s this week’s Freezer Menu:
Black Beans

This menu starts with the basic beans recipes; one very Tex Mex, one a little more versatile, I think. Dried beans are much cheaper than canned, and once they are cooked, beans freeze beautifully. For example, at my store, I can get a one pound bag of black beans for about 79 cents. I can get a 15 oz. can of black beans for 50 cents (deeply discounted from the regular price of $1). One cup of dried beans equals about 3 cups cooked, and there are 2 cups in a pound of dried beans. So 1 pound of dried beans gets you 3 cans’ worth of black beans. 79 cents versus $1.50. Hmmm . . . half price. And you know exactly what’s in it.

Black beans are pretty much a staple of Central American and Carribean food, and is especially loved in the US Southwest (it used to pretty much define Santa Fe style, along with green chiles). But because they taste so good to so many people, they have really widened their appeal as well as their influence. So there is a range of dishes on the menu to use your beans in, from soups to main dishes, mainly focused on the Southwest and Tex Mex, but there’s some surprises, too. Enjoy!


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