Made with canned black beans this easy black bean soup is a healthy budget friendly meal!
~by Regan Jones, RD
Some information in this post was obtained while attending a conference partially sponsored by Bush's Beans. I was not asked to include the information on my blog, nor am I being compensated to do so.
I know a lot of people focus on the state of their budget in April when taxes are due. But for a small business owner like me, the New Year is when I really take stock of how my business is doing. It's a time where I look back at what I spent last year and look forward to this year's projected expenses.
And typically I am left thinking -- Man. I could definitely do a better job of saving money.
I'm not big spender in all areas. In fact, I'm fairly frugal when it comes to clothing -- I love a bargain and seldom pay full price for name-brand, designer items. My car is older than both of my kids, and I'm still carrying an iPhone 5.
But when it comes to what I spend on food/groceries, OUCH. I really have room to improve. And while I've talked about how I cut costs by shopping at ALDI, the reality is when you cook a lot of food (which I do), you spend a lot on food (which I do.)
Because this is a problem for many fellow bloggers (and I'm guessing many of you readers as well), ReDux decided to challenge members this month to trim their food costs with a few fun budget meals.
I brainstormed all the different ways I could cook up a frugal meal and landed right where I think my grandmother would've been proud... in a big bowl of beans. Or bean soup to be exact.
Made with canned black beans and a few inexpensive pantry staples, this quick and easy black bean soup is the epitome of budget friendly. Sure, it's easy to find inexpensive, healthy items throughout your grocery store (and not just shopping the perimeter; that's a total health fallacy that needs to stop being repeated!). But take a stroll down the bean aisle to find cans, bags and pouches full of one of the most filling, inexpensive sources of protein, carbohydrate and fiber.
One of the main reasons I can never give a full embrace to Paleo as a truly healthy approach to eating is in its banishment of beans. Almost everything about the bean is beneficial to your body... and plus, they taste so darn good, providing the perfect canvas for fiber-rich, plant-based dishes. Any diet that says no to that is a diet I say no to in return.
If you shy away from beans because of... well, you know, their affect on your digestive system... PUHLEEZE let me encourage you not to give up. All of that -- I guess I gotta say it -- gas you may experience when you eat beans is just your body's good bacteria telling you they're being fed. And that's a good thing! Feed your bugs now and they'll be stronger to fight off bad bacteria in your gut later. Plus most experts agree that with time if you continue to eat a diet rich in beans, the gas producing effects will lessen.
So now that you know WHY you should be eating beans, you need to know HOW to make beans the best they can be. First, if you need a bit of a primer on cooking dried beans, check out this article by Cooking Light. Next, according to Jenny Chandler, author of Pulse: Truly Modern Recipes for Beans, Chickpeas and Lentils, to Tempt Meat Eaters and Vegetarians Alike, you should always drain your canned beans and rinse them well. I knew this helped to reduce sodium in recipes, but she says that the gas producing compounds in beans are water soluble and are found in high amounts in the canning liquid. Jenny also recommends you include each of the following in your bean-based recipes:
- Fat Seasoning
In the case of today's recipe, I've done just that with lime juice, parsley, taco seasoning and whole milk Greek-style yogurt. See? Simple. Fast. Frugal. I just may save enough to upgrade to an iPhone 6 before year's end.
Wanna see more great Recipe ReDux creations?
Made w/canned black beans this easy black bean soup is a healthy budget friendly meal! #beanbenefits #thereciperedux Tweet this
10 Minute Creamy Black Bean Soup
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup water
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Splash of lime juice
- 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
- 2 tablespoons Greek-style yogurt
- Parsley (optional)
- Combine first 6 ingredients (through taco seasoning) in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook 8 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in yogurt. Puree with a hand blender until smooth. Garnish with parsley, if desired.