Simple, Thrifty Meals
Beans (Navy, Black, Cannelini, etc) are a great substitute for meat or chicken and they are VERY inexpensive. Canned beans are super convenient to use. They are already cooked. Simply pour them into a colander, rinse them in cold water for one minute and add them to your recipe.
Black Bean Soup:
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans (16 oz each) Mexican style tomatoes with mild green chilies (do not drain)
2 cans (15 oz each) black beans, rinsed
1 can (15 oz) chicken broth
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Directions: In a medium-sized saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauteacute; for 5 minutes, until the onion is tender. In a blender or food processor, combine the onions, tomatoes, and beans. Process until smooth (this can be done in 2 batches, if necessary). In the medium saucepan, combine the bean mixture, broth, and cumin. Cook over low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve the soup hot, topping each bowl with any or all of the garnishes below.
Have a "Soup Bar" for dinner! Spoon the soup into bowls and let the kids sprinkle their own toppings on the soup! Here are some suggestions:
Thinly sliced green onions
Cubes of avocado
About the author: Cheryl Tallman is the co-founder of Fresh Baby, creators of the award-winning So Easy Baby Food Kit, available at many fine specialty stores, BabiesRUs.com, Target.com and national chains including Whole Foods Markets. Visit Cheryl online for more delicious tips.