Posts Tagged ‘crock pot’

Our Mailbox and Food Stamps Cooking Club

March 26th, 2012
Our readers have sent us some great bean recipes!

Oh, how we love mail!  Several of our faithful Club Members have contributed ideas and recipes and today we share one that will have you making plans to try this dish ASAP!  We owe a debt of gratitude to Carol    who thoughtfully sent her latest find:   (Incidentally, Carol lives in Northeastern USA)

“Campbell’s” style pork beans

1  lb dried pea/navy beans, rinsed, sorted

1  T cooking oil

3  cloves garlic, minced

1  medium onion, chopped fine

8  slices bacon, fried until crisp, drained and cut fine

2  tsp soy sauce (I used reduced sodium version)

1 and 1/2-2 cups water

1/2 cup ketchup

1/4 cup cooking oil

1 and 1/2 tsp salt

3 T sugar

2  T corn starch

1  T cold water


1. Soak beans overnight (or use the quick soak method), drain, rinse. Cover with fresh water and bring to a boil

2. Meanwhile, saute onions and garlic in 1 T cooking oil, until onions are translucent, set aside

3. Place beans into a crock pot and cover with 1 1/2-2 cups of the now hot cooking water. Add the soy sauce, onion/garlic mixture, bacon.

4. Cook on high for 2 hours, then set to low and continue cooking until beans are soft

5. Mix ketchup, oil, salt, sugar and add to softened beans in crock pot. Continue cooking on low, to allow flavors to blend.

6. Just before serving, mix a slurry out of the cornstarch and cold water. Carefully fold it into the beans. Let cook a bit more to allow the slurry to thicken the sauce.


I ended up making a double batch, we had some for supper tonight, and I have 2 meals’s worth of “Campbells” beans in the freezer.   ~ Carol

Thank you again, Carol!  We really appreciate your input! 

Another Member, Charlene, has also sent us some great ideas; Mother Connie will save that for another post!

It is heartwarming to know that there are peeps ALL OVER THE GLOBE who are interested to help one another with managing food costs.  The USA is not the only place where folks struggle to feed their family on a shoestring budget.  If you are holding an EBT card for SNAP  or WIC; if you frequent food pantries or use food commodities you know full well what’s going on with food costs.  Our passion is to help people S T R E T C H food dollars and food budgets by offering nutritious, low cost menu ideas.

Oh, and speaking of ideas—I must tell you that it was our great pleasure to host Kay, a lovely woman from England recently.   I was concerned about offering her a breakfast she would truly like to eat.  I needn’t have worried…Kay told me she is accustomed to her “proper English breakfast” of beans on toast!  I was surprised to hear this because it is so simple.  But, just think–it provides complete protein and that is a great start for anyone’s day!  Carol’s bean recipe would fill the bill perfectly  but I am just as fond of refried beans on toast.  When we use The Normanator’s home made bread, that is a VERY satisfying meal, indeed!  And it would be a proper English breakfast, after  all.  grin

We’d love to hear from YOU.  Our address is 

Connie Baum

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Food Stamps Cooking Club: It’s BEAN a Great Ride…

October 25th, 2010

Beans make for terrific soup even at the WHITE HOUSE! Just ask Maxine!

Beans are the centerpiece of a frugal cook’s kitchen.  Just ask Maxine, who has graciously offered another gem of her wisdom for our benefit!  Frugal cooks include users of Angel Food Ministries; holders of EBT cards from SNAP and WIC; people who have beans from food pantries and food commodities as well as those of us who pamper our food budgets know the value of preparing and serving beans to those we love best!

Here is great information from Maxine, with our heartfelt thanks:

“Nobody is going to make you give up your Cooking Club membership if you use canned beans instead of dry. Beans in a can are good, handy, and cheap.

But home-cooked beans are just as good,  even cheaper and dead simple to cook. You can cook a big batch and freeze the rest for another day.

I used to soak my beans overnight and cook them in a Crock Pot. After I discovered the quick soak method, and cooking the beans in a pressure cooker, I’ve never looked back. Nothing does a better job of cooking beans!

Soak beans overnight or use this quick soak method: preferred–faster and beans hold their shape better–Heat beans and water–2 cups water for every 1 cup beans–to boiling; boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let stand one hour. Drain water.

To cook beans:

Add 2 cups fresh water for every one cup beans. Add 1 tablespoon cooking oil to help prevent frothing. DO NOT ADD SALT. Bring up to 10 lbs. pressure over medium heat. Reduce heat gradually to medium-low in order to maintain 10 lbs. pressure. Cook for specified length of time (see below). Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes, then place under faucet to relieve pressure. Note: never fill pressure cooker more than ½ full of liquid. Always allow at least 2½ inches of space between top of liquid and rim of pan.

Black eyed peas, 10 min.
Black beans, 20 min.
Great Northern beans, 20 min.
Kidney beans, 30 min.
Lentils, 10 min.
Lima beans, large, 30 min.
Lima beans, small, 25 min.
Navy beans, 30 min.
Pea beans, 20 min.
Pinto beans, 10 min.
Soybeans, 35 min.
Small White beans, 10 min.

Here is my favorite recipe for bean soup. It is similar to the Navy bean soup served daily in the U.S. Senate dining room. I usually use small white beans, which cook faster than Navy beans. If I use my pressure cooker, I only make half a recipe.

1 pound (2 cups) Navy or small white beans
Meaty ham bone or ham hock
3 quarts water
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup leftover mashed potatoes OR 1 raw potato, peeled and sliced
1 onion
several stalks of celery, including leaves
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
salt and pepper to taste

Simmer ham bone or hock in 3 quarts of water for 2-3 hours on top of the stove, or all day or all night in the Crock Pot. Remove bone and meat and refrigerate until fat hardens on top of the broth. Do this the day before.

Cover dry beans with water and soak overnight OR do a quick soak about an hour before you start the soup.

Drain beans and discard soaking water. Remove hardened fat from broth and discard. Remove ham from bone and chop finely, discarding all fat and gristle.

Chop onion and celery (this is a good way to use up the yellow center stalks). In a large stock pot or crock pot, combine beans, broth, ham and all remaining ingredients EXCEPT salt. Simmer until beans are tender–about 2 hours on top of the stove, most of the day in the crock pot, or according to pressure cooker timetable. Season with salt to taste.   if ham was salty, may not need any salt.

Note: For a very good veggie version, just use 3 quarts water and skip the ham and broth.

Remember, if you are using a standard size pressure cooker, make only half a recipe!

I like to serve this with cornbread and a fruit salad, such as Waldorf.

HOLY MATILDA, Maxine!  That just looks so scrumptious I can hardly wait to go soak a bag of beans!  I particularly like that you have paired them with cornbread because that will provide the complete protein necessary for the body to function optimally!

Again, we salute our dear Club Member, Maxine!  Thanks oodles.

Maxine has promised she will soon be Talking Turkey so do stay tuned for that piece of work!  Also, if you have not signed up for the series of cooking tips from the Food Stamps Cooking Club, we invite you to do so.

Please know that your comments are always welcome on this blog and you may send items to at any time.


You may find our sister blogs of interest:  Mother Connie Sez has to do with rants and raves about health, healing, and life’s happenings.  The Healthy and Wealthy You is pretty self explanatory but without ranting and raving; and Rapid Cash Review chronicles work at home opportunities.  The newest member of the family is Soapy Teeth.  This explains the fun of brushing your teeth with soap and without fluoride so your teeth can re-enamelize.  There is no ranting or raving there but you might find a video from time to time.  grin

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there are links in this post.  Should they be clicked, resulting in sales, your humble blogger would be fairly compensated.  Please do your due diligence when conducting affairs online or offline.  Always do business with those you trust implicitly.

Food Stamps Cooking Club: How Have You BEAN?

May 20th, 2010


Have you BEAN eating well?


One of our many faithful Club Members left us a note the other day with a message about beans.  She reminded us that they are great on their own and can even be sprouted.  She offered a  super reminder.  Thanks, Sandra!

Users of food commodities and food pantries, fans of SNAP, WIC, Angel Food Ministries and those who keep a close eye on their food budgets are likely to use beans in a wide variety of ways.

Or, NOT…sometimes we cooks get into a rut and just have the same old things fixed the same old ways.  It happens, all right.

This week I had a partial bag of dry red beans on the shelf.  I thought it would be interesting to pair them with some rice and add some spices to see what I could create.

I chopped some onions and celery and sauteed them in a bit of olive oil.  The fragrance filled the house and soon faces peered into the kitchen to wonder aloud if there were a need for “Taste Testers.”

The beans had been rinsed and drained; they had soaked overnight.  They bubbled along in a rich, tomato-y broth when the sauteed veggies went into the pot.  Then I discovered the barley!  I toasted a half cup of it, tossed it into the mix and added some rice, along with plenty of water so the grains could absorb that, along with the fragrant flavor.  A touch of garlic powder went in with the other goodies, followed by a pinch of red pepper flakes, and of course there was salt and pepper. Sea salt is the only type of salt Club House shoppers ever buy, for health reasons.

The resulting soup was a huge hit with those who put their toes under our table!  Some even begged for seconds!

This bean dish could have easily been prepared using the crock pot.  Since I was home to stir and taste and babysit the soup I opted to cook it on the stove top.

A simple salad of lettuce garden-fresh radishes, onion, celery and cabbage coated with a sweet dressing made for a filling and nourishing meal that was under budget.

Canned beans are wonderful to have on hand to add to salads, stir fry dishes and to use as a side dish.  One of our favorite snacks is an open faced pork-n-bean sandwich!

Another big rave in the Club House is the pork n bean dish with a chopped apple added in!  That combo sounds implausible but I promise you, it tastes really good.

Chef Shawn Bucher recommends that every meal should consist of a protein, a starch and a vegetable.  When you make your meals, consider beans for your starch.  When beans and grains are combined it makes for a complete protein.  The variety of beans that are available are pretty, tasty, and fun to create in your kitchen.

Getting the small fry in your household involved in choosing, preparing and eating these delights will do much more than fill young tummies:  you will form bonds and make memories; you will have fewer fussy eaters because they will feel invested; they will be contributing members of the family and that will enhance their self esteem.

By using beans and teaching your children to grow bean sprouts, choose varieties for the family meals and help to prepare bean dishes for the family you’ll create comfort food, happy tummies, and super kids!

Beyond that, you will have BEANED all that take out food, too!

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know that there are links in this post.  Should these links be clicked, resulting in sales, your humble blogger or your guest blogger will be fairly compensated.  Always do your due diligence when conducting affairs online or offline.  Only do business with those you trust implicitly.