So, in the course of a single weekend the size of our little family has doubled.  Where we had been cooking for two adults and one toddler, we are now cooking for three adults, one toddler, and two little girls.  The kicker?  One of our new family members is a vegetarian.  Hubby and I are extremely carnivorous (Hey I can’t help it, my iron gets low if I don’t eat bloody steak every so often!).

Our vegetarian roommate says she loves sandwiches, but this simply won’t do.  Dinner is an important event in our household.  We kick it old school – dinner at the table in the kitchen every night, no tv, no phone calls….  It’s family time.  Except for every other Friday, when we splurge for a pizza and some beer and park ourselves in front of the tube with a movie.

Not only am I learning to stretch our grocery budget into oblivion, I am also learning to cook a lot of new meatless meals.  One thing I have learned living on an extreme budget is that beans are your friend.  They are a cheap source of high protein, they come in many shapes and sizes, they go with pretty much anything else you put in them and hey… they aren’t meat!  Also, they are awesome if you are a lazy cook.  Soak the beans overnight, toss all of your ingredients in a pot and let it simmer all day. You are free of the kitchen until its time to dish it up, perfect food for a busy household.

This dish is perfect for low budgets and hearty appetites.  It also pairs wonderfully with homemade chorizo.




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  1. Rinse and soak your black beans at least 24 hours ahead of time. The longer they soak, the less they need to cook.
  2. In a large stock or soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat and add onions, garlic, jalapeno and cumin. Saute until the veggies are tender. Add water, chicken stock is optional, but I like to replace some of my water with homemade stock to add to the flavor. Our vegetarian roomie doesn’t mind, but if you are living with a vegetarian who would it might be a good idea not to do the stock.
  3. Or at least don’t let them know!
  4. Rinse the beans again, getting rid of floaters and possible rocks (nothing like cracking a tooth on a bean shaped pebble) and add them to the pot. Bring to a boil. once its brought to a boil cover and reduce the heat letting it simmer for a few good hours.
  5. When some of the liquid in the pot has reduced its time to add the chipotle, tomatoes, and salt and pepper to taste. If you want a spicier dish, add more chipotle. I think put in about 4 the last time I made it. Yum! Hurts so good.
  6. Let it cook a while longer until the liquid is the consistency of chili, add in the lime juice and stir.
  7. You can serve these beans with rice or cornbread… Pretty much anything that might help cut the spice is ideal. Or you can do what we did, and add spice with some chorizo and then cut the spice with a tasty Corona.
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