Thursday, May 19, 2011

Frugal Bean Recipes

Over at Life in a Shoe, Kim is hosting a Linky for Bean recipes. Why? She, like many of us, is becoming increasingly aware of the rise in food cost. The grocery budget just doesn’t seem to go as far as it use to. And, the sad news is, food cost are NOT expected to go down anytime soon.

I didn’t start this post to complain about the economy. I just want to keep the food budget under control, and I want to do it without resorting to ramen noodles, so we’re going to eat less meat, more beans and learn to use lentils.

So, what are we to do? Learn from our grandmothers and great-grandmothers. These ladies fed a family and providing comforting meals on near nothing! Don’t believe me? Take a look at how little people had to eat during War Time Rationing. We need to remember back to a similarly less prosperous time, and learn from out history. We have to remember how to keep our family comfortable and be frugal.

One suggestion Kim made was to eat less meat and more beans. Beans are easy, nutritious, cheap, and have a LONG shelf life. Beans are one of those foods you want to know several recipes for.

I love my cowboy bean recipe. You can easily use it as you "go-to" bean recipe and change it and adjust is according to what you have on hand. I sometimes use sausage. Sometimes beef. I've been known to throw in a can of Rotel or stewed tomatoes. It's a very workable recipe.



  • 1 cups dried pinto beans

  • 1 cup dried red beans

  • 1/2 cup dried Navy Beans

  • 5 minced garlic cloves

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 cup brown sugar

  • 1 cup BBQ sauce

  • 1/2 cup Ketchup

  • 1- 1 1/2 lb ground beef, browned

  • bullion cube

  • salt pork or bacon for taste

  • salt to taste

  • water


Quick Rinse Beans. Place onions, garlic, bullion cube, pork, and beans in crockpot. Cover with water. Cook on low for several hours (about 6-8) until beans are soft, stir occasionally and add water as needed. Once beans are cooked and soft, remove pork. Add BBQ sauce, Ketchup, brown sugar, and beef to beans. Combine ingredients well. Salt to taste. And serve.


Thrive foods carries a line of  “Instant Beans”. These beans are ready to go and can be cooked in less than 20 min!! What a time saver! Thrive also carried a full line of dried beans ready to stock up in your pantry. Beans are a great addition to the home store, especially when you are on a budget!

And when you are looking to save money on your food budget, cutting down on the amount of meat you eat is a great way to cut cost. Why not try a cost-effective vegetable protein instead? Taco TVP and beans make for a very cheap and very affordable and super healthy meal!


 THRIVE quick Taco 'Meat' and Beans

  •  1/2 c THRIVE taco TVP

  • 1/2 c THRIVE instant pinto beans

  • 1/2c THRIVE instant red beans

  • 2tbs THRIVE Red and Green Bell peppers

  • 2tbs THRIVE Chopped onion

  • 1 tbs minced garlic

  • salt and pepper to taste


Bring THRIVE beans to boil in 6c warm water. Add peppers, onion, and garlic. Allow to simmer for 15-20 min. Reconstitute Taco TVP by placing in a bowl and covering with water, allow to sit for 5-10min or until TVP doubles in quantity. Mix TVP into beans. Season to taste.



Pioneer Stew

  • 1 1⁄4 c dry thrive pinto beans or kidney beans

  • c cold water

  • 1 3⁄4 t thrive iodized salt, divided

  • T thrive freeze dried chopped onions

  • T thrive red & green bell peppers

  • c thrive freeze dried sweet corn, reconstituted

  • cn (16 oz) tomatoes, undrained

  • t chili powder

  • T flour + 2 t water

  • c thrive ground beef, rehydrated -or- thrive beef tvp

  • 1⁄2 c thrive fd cheddar cheese, rehydrated


In a small bowl, cover THRIVE freeze dried ground beef or TVP with warm water. Let sit for 5-10 minutes until softened or rehydrated. Drain.Place washed and drained beans, cold water, and 1 teaspoon salt in a large saucepan. Bring to boil, then cover and simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes.Add rehydrated ground beef, onions, bell peppers, corn, tomatoes, chili powder, and remaining salt to beans. Simmer an additional 20 minutes.Combine 1 tablespoon flour with 2 tablespoons water; stir into stew. Cook and stir until thick and bubbly.Stir in cheese and serve with any desired garnishes and toppings


Share your favorite Bean recipes by commenting below. What role do beans play in your home store and food storage? Do you use TVP? I'd love to hear from you!

Happy cooking!

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  1. [...] Frugal Bean Recipes « Tawny's Thriving Home In a small bowl, cover THRIVE freeze dried ground beef or TVP with warm water. Let sit for 5-10 minutes until softened or rehydrated. Drain.Place washed and drained beans, cold water, and 1 teaspoon salt in a large saucepan. [...]