Thursday, August 21, 2008

A little encouragement means a lot...+ a bean recipe list

Long story short: the last time I made rice and beans, my children ate it. No frozen pizza afterwards, just a can of peaches to go along side.

The time that I fixed that recipe before this last time, I had mixed up the water:bean ratio. (Read--crunchy rice resulting in a what appeared to be a somewhat scorched mess when I tried to fix the problem by adding water and cooking it longer and not being attentive enough. Or something. :) We ended up eating something else for dinner. I scooped some of it into a container to save for my own lunch for the next day anyway. When I pulled it out, I explained that this time I had used black beans, how it colored the rice, etc., and my children wanted to taste it. They liked it. Then the last time I made it, one of the kids said something about liking the black beans. Since I had already opened the pinto beans, I said that I would use black beans next time. The same child said something about it being a favorite meal. (That statement has not been repeated to my knowledge, but I remember it well. :)

This recipe was not that well-received at first. If memory serves, we had to "supplement" the meal with additional food later. But as time has gone by, my children have learned to like it more. They do not all like it equally, but they will all eat it without complaint. For me, the fact that if I continue to make this recipe occasionally, it will be familiar in an emergency situation when there is no opportunity to "supplement" it is priceless, because it will be one less thing that's strange in a stressful situation. If you need encouragement to try something like this, I hope you find my experience encouraging enough for you to give your children (parents, spouse, fill in the blank) a few tries with ingredients so that they have the chance to get used to it. There may be some recipes that will never be tried again, but with perserverance something will work for your set of circumstances.

My goal was to learn how to cook beans starting with dry beans. Here is my list of what I consider to be successful bean recipes that worked for my family, all in one place (they are currently spread throughout this blog):

--the recipe just mentioned, which will probably usually be made with black beans from now on. This dish ends up being rice and beans together in one dish. The original post with changes I made is dated May 29th.

--the recipe that I just made Tuesday, which ends up as wonderful refried beans in the crockpot, and which we used with tostadas. You may remember that the last time I made these I mentioned that I used a 7 oz. can of green chilies as a substitute, and it was too hot. This time I used about half of a 4 oz. can. It was still too hot, but better. I would probably still use the same amount of the green chilies, but nowhere near the amount of black pepper mentioned, which I believe was the culprit. I'll change that next time, and see what happens. Live and learn. The original post on this is my June 19th post, where I indicate changes I made.

--this recipe, which I have only made one time before, but which was pretty well-received. I plan to repeat it in the near future. This also ends up as a one-dish meal with the rice and beans together. The adaptations I made for it are found in my July 11th post.

Well, the encouragement I received the last time I made rice and beans means a lot to me. Now that I have a few recipes for beans that I can fall back on, the plan is focus more on other items in my food storage that I need to learn to prepare. So much to do, and so much to learn. Hopefully my children will like the recipes I try. Or at least learn to.... :)


Anonymous said...

It's great that you're trying bean recipes now, and getting your family used to eating them. My dh is a picky eater (kid never has been, thank goodness!), so I have to experiment a little to find ones he'll eat.

Here's one I came up with that my family likes.

Beans Supreme by Nancy

2 cups dry pinto beans
water to rinse, soak & cook
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 cup molasses
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup ketchup
2 cloves garlic

Rinse beans, then soak overnight.
Drain liquid, then combine ingredients in crock pot, adding water until it's 2" above top of beans.
Cook all day in a crock pot.

Keep on preppin'!


Marie said...

My husband will eat pretty much anything and say that it tastes alright, so I don't worry that much about him. Although I do like it when he actually likes a recipe. :)
Thanks for the recipe! I will definitely try this--I love using the crockpot, and just having to put everything in and that's it makes it that much easier. I appreciate it--I am always looking for easy recipes, and this one looks tasty!

Ron said...

Oh, thanks for all the bean and rice recipes! It just happens that I LOVE beans and rice... Mel likes them to a lesser degree. They are a big part of our diet when the garden slows down since they are so inexpensive and healthy, and can be mixed with so many things. Give me a bottle of habanero sauce and a bowl of beans/rice, and I'm a happy guy. :)

I'm going to go soak a bunch right now so we can make something tomorrow. Thank you!


Marie said...

Ron--Hope your family enjoys the recipes--these are the ones that have worked out the best for us--so far. :) Thanks for your comment!


Ron said...

Hey, Marie, wanted to tell you that we cooked up that last recipe today (Haiti rice/beans?). Of course, we took liberties - ! I remember throwing a carrot in there, because it felt left out. And I know we chopped up a bunch of onion... not scallions. I think Mel used the rosemary, not sure. I'm pretty sure we left something out too. The end result? Tasted like good wholesome habanero. LOL Just kidding. It was really good. I just spiced it up, as usual. Abby ate a bunch of it on crackers. :)


Marie said...

It sounds like you are at the level that I want to be at--knowing what to add and/or delete and/or change in a recipe and have it still taste good. Hasn't always worked out for me... :) Glad that it worked out at your house--thanks for letting me know!

Ron said...

It doesn't always work out for us either. We've just failed so much that we're used to it.

Habanero sauce covers a multitude of sins. (sorry, that's a little out-of-context...) :)


Stephanie in AR said...

We tried the second recipe - refrieds without the refry. It didn't make it to refry as everyone ate it as bean soup. For our family the recipe is too bland, it needs more of everything except salt (we cook mostly salt free). But there isn't a bite left & that's what matters. Also answered the poll - we would eat everything as I can only afford to buy what we eat, just buy larger quantities. I am also trying to up the bean intake & looking for recipes. In the past we ate more rice & need to get back into the habit.

Marie said...

Stephanie--That's the interesting thing--what's spicy to some is bland to others, and for me sometimes it's just a little tricky figuring out the best combinations for my family. I love your idea--I have never tried this as soup.
I would like to increase my skills cooking from scratch with minimal ingredients that taste good, so I am also on the lookout for recipes that I could add into the regular meal rotation. Please feel free to share any that you find. :) Thanks for your comment!