Beans, Mexican Style

Congratulations again to Sarah, who won our bean recipe contest! You got to see her winning recipe on Monday, and today I get to share our family favorite. This is actually one of our favorite crock-pot meals, but I couldn’t tell you about it when we did our week on crock-pot meals because it’s also my stand-by for a cheaper, bean-based dinner. And, like my other crock-pot stand-bys, it’s mexican. Surprise, surprise.

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This is our take on a cheap Chipotle dinner. It’s cilantro-lime rice, topped with Mexican pinto beans. For the pinto beans, I originally started with this recipe from allrecipes, but I have modified it to suit our family’s tastes. Here’s how it looks for us now:

3 cups dried pinto beans
1 diced onion
1 head of garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, minced (usually I leave out the seeds so the kids can eat it)
3 tsp. salt
2 (generous) Tbsp. cumin
8-9 cups water

Throw everything in the crockpot, and cook on low for 8 hours. I do not mash the beans when they’re finished, as the recipe suggests. Instead, we use a slotted spoon to serve them over rice.

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For the cilantro-lime rice, I cook a batch of rice in my amazing rice cooker, and when it’s finished, I add a little bit of oil, juice from a lemon or lime (or straight from the bottle of lemon-juice), a generous portion of salt, and chopped cilantro.

To make this dinner seem a little more appealing than your average rice-n-beans, we add a lot of toppings. We usually have cheese, sour cream, diced onion, cilantro, tomatoes, and salsa. If we’re feeling super fancy (or they’re on sale!), we add olives or guacamole.

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Three cheers for healthy, cheap eating!

 

*this post contains affiliate links*

 

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Now My Kids Eat Beans

We’re resuming normal scheduling this week by announcing the winner of our first ever blog contest.  This summer, our beans recipe contest post has gotten a lot of visits, and my kids have (mostly willingly) tried 20 new dishes, most of which were enjoyed by at least half of us.  Thank you so much to everyone who submitted recipes–we have definitely added several of them to our regular rotation.

The winner of this summer’s bean recipe contest is Sarah, who shared her family’s favorite Pasta with White Bean Sauce recipe!  Sarah requested Loving the Little Years as her prize.  We’re pretty big Rachel Jankovic fans here at E2S, so we’re thrilled at her choice.

Click the link above to get the original recipe, which originated from Katie at Kitchen Stewardship.  (Sarah tells me that this recipe doubles easily and freezes well!)  And here are my notes on it…

The first time I made it, I followed the recipe and used whole wheat flour to make my roux and put in the diced green chiles she called for (though only half as much so my kids wouldn’t complain about it being “too spicy”).  The second time, I used regular ol’ all-purpose flour (which I find makes a smoother white sauce than whole wheat) and added nutmeg, salt, and pepper instead of the chiles to make it more of a traditional alfredo.  I’ll probably keep playing around with seasonings from the excellent base recipe.  A key for me was using my immersion stick blender to puree the beans into the white sauce before I added the cheese.  Yes, my kids’ favorite beans meal was the one with no discernible beans–but it still contains all the fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals.  I find that white beans are mild flavored to begin with, but the taste did nicely meld into the sauce.  The first time, I let my kids pick out whole wheat elbow macaroni (which, combined with whole wheat white sauce, was a little on the “healthy” tasting side for my husband and me, to be honest!).  I kept the sauce pretty thick so it ended up a bit more like a hearty mac-n-cheese than fettuccine alfredo.  The second time, we used angel hair pasta and a thinner sauce that felt more like a traditional alfredo.  Both times, the kids loved it!

The best thing about this meal is that it is easy and fast.  Honestly, I can get the sauce pulled together in the time it takes to heat water and cook the pasta.  All of the ingredients are things I normally have on hand, and it would be even cheaper if I used dried beans and prepped those ahead of time.  What are you waiting for?  Make it for dinner tonight!

 

*This post contains amazon affiliate links.  The prizewinning book was purchased by me, based on earnings from our amazon associate account.  Every time you click on one of our amazon links and make a purchase, we receive a tiny percentage of that purchase.  We use that income to help support the cost of hosting this blog and, sometimes, to offer prizes to our readers!*

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Looking for a Bible study this fall?

In North New Jersey, that is?

I’m excited to announce that I will be running a Bible study working through this book this year:

Letting Go Of Anger: How to Get Your Emotions Under Control

I think this is an important topic for several reasons: anger is a topic that is often excused in articles on contemporary parenting, and so many women deal with it in one way or another. As the book makes clear, anger in itself is not necessarily bad, until we sin against those we love the most. As women, we need others to help us through this area. As Christian women, we can use the Word that we’ve been given to fight our temptation and sin.

Come and join with other women who would like to actively fight sin.

“When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away.” Psalms 32:3

Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed.” James 5:16

This study will be low-key. The chapters in the book are short enough that we will be reading each chapter aloud together, no homework required. However, if you like a little bit of homework, some of us will be memorizing Scripture together to help us in our fight (you guys remember how much I like Scripture memory, right?). We will be meeting Tuesday afternoons from 1-2:30, starting September 9. If you are interested, e-mail me for the location.

Is this study just for moms? No, not necessarily. Because of the time and subject matter, it will lend itself more toward moms, but I want to be very clear that it is for any woman struggling with anger. As the author tells us in her introduction,

“The truth is, the only time I’m really hard to live with is when I have to interact with humans or things.”

Anybody in?

 

*this post contains affiliate links*

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Hidden Art Friday

stump cake

tea tree

shower food

Pinterest, like every other popular website, can be a huge time-waster.  But it is pretty helpful when you’re an uncreative soul wanting to throw a nature-themed baby shower for your outdoorsy sister-in-law.  It all came together this past weekend back home in the church where I grew up.  While my other sister-in-law (an artist) handled decorations, I made my stock party food (fruit salad and scones), used these directions for the homemade stump cake (which my artistic dad thankfully was home to help me frost since cake decorating is not my forte), and threw in Cammy’s favorite lemon bars and some hummus cups with veggies.  And I shamelessly stole the idea for a “tea tree” from this party blog.  My kids are so looking forward to meeting their very first cousin, arriving this fall!

 

Elsewhere on the web, Kelly at My Daddy’s Tractor blogs about a gentle start to their homeschooling year.  Pretty much everything she says resonates with me (particularly the need to adjust schedule expectations), and this is how we started last year.  This year, due to our late summer vacation, we won’t have that luxury.  Stay tuned ’til next month when Anna and I will be doing another homeschooling theme week, or read our posts last year on a typical homeschool week at our houses: Anna | Bethany | Emily  (NB: Things have changed for all of us since last year!)

As I look forward to a clean slate with the start of the school year this fall, I find myself coming back to Christin at Joyful Mothering’s post on whetting our children’s appetites for the Bible and excellent things.

When does school start up in your neck of the woods?  Any exciting new plans for the fall?

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