Monday, April 19, 2010

Anyone got some good beans & rice recipes? :)

OK, you know how sometimes you get walloped with a big financial crisis that you didn’t expect? Or how sometimes, things go in “three’s?” Well, it actually hasn’t been that bad . . . but a few weeks back, our car started having some trouble. Jim was able to diagnose the problem with our mechanic’s help (our mechanic, Dan, is a good friend who is also our former landlord from our first home--and he helps Jim figure out what’s wrong and do the work on our vehicles, and Jim has learned a lot from him over the years!), and so we ended up putting over $300 into the car. Now it’s running great! Then about 2 weeks ago, our dishwasher had a problem . . . the heating element burned out. We ordered a new one but it hasn’t come in yet (hopefully this week!), so we’ve been living the “old fashioned” way and it’s been fine. :) (I realize a dishwasher is a luxury, not a need! :) But still, it’s a “servant” that I very much appreciate!) Then today, Jim was on his way to work and his truck broke down. Here’s the “ouchie” part . . . it requires a new transmission. Ohhhhh, not exactly what I wanted to hear this morning!! A new transmission equals $$$$. But although it was difficult to hear that news (yes, I cried), I am so thankful for several things--first, we hadn’t yet used up all of our tax return money, so we have some in our emergency fund (dead transmission definitely = emergency!). Second, Jim has a good sized job going right now which will provide the rest of the money we need to cover it. Praise God! Even though it was not what we expected, and we may need to tighten our belts for a while (hey!--might help with my weight loss, right? ;)), God is faithful to meet our needs. We can trust Him to continue to provide. Yes, it is frustrating to seem to never be able to “get ahead” financially, but at the same time . . . we have also never lacked for anything. We have never gone hungry, we have been able to keep up with our bills, we have way more clothing than we need, and a roof over our heads. We are RICH, in comparison to millions around the world.

So, I just wanted to share those things that have been on my mind today. And really, although I could happily eat beans and rice often, I have several in my family who would balk . . . but we can even do that if we need to cut corners more. So even though I was halfway kidding about beans and rice, if you have any great ideas or recipes for them (or other frugal foods), I’m all ears! :) Thanks for listening to my ramblings!


Tracy said...

We actually eat rice several times a week. Sometimes it's just plain with butter, salt, & Pepper. Our favorite way to eat it is with homemade salsa (from the garden) and sour cream. Other times I'll cook up some veggies and add those to the rice with a little pat of butter. My kids have learned to eat it -- it's taken a little bit of time, but they don't balk at it anymore.

Beans, my favorite dish of beans is cooked beans with garlic, onion, and ham or bacon served over cornbread. With summer coming, you can also serve black beans and rice, or even add beans to lettuce from your garden for salads. You can also turn the pinto beans into refried beans and substitute for beef in taco dishes.

Beans and rice don't have to be the typical pauper's meal. There are so many ways to dress it up, and season them differently. Even add rice to the beans for a soup. Or add veggies to the beans for a bean stew. Experiment and have fun -- if you have the kids help you grow the veggies, and cook the meal (if they think it's their idea on what to add to it, they are more likely to eat it).

Kara even made a lentil soup a couple weeks ago that she ate because she made it -- I know if I had made it she would not have liked it.

Samara said...

When my husband and I were laid off back in 2007 we made a lot of dal & rice- dal are the little Indian lentils; they're usually pink or yellow. Lentils boiled and then cooked with chopped onion, tomato, and a few spices like turmeric & coriander are really tasty and can be eaten over rice or as wraps (with the dal, rice and some greens or other raw veggies wrapped in).

Arlene Grimm said...

So sorry to hear of your setbacks....I remember what it was like when we were younger and had less ready cash. Praying that all will be resolved for you Carrie. Now i did not fix beans and rice BUt...I did make a mean tuna burger. We ate those about twice a week for a while. They really were not too bad. I would add fixins to the tuna and fry it like a hamburger...serve with lettuce and tomato and it was pretty good.

Mary Ann said...

My easy, go-to, cheap recipe (that we ate OFTEN) as kids is Soupy Spaghetti. Make spaghetti just like usual & after you drain it, add tomato juice & a pat of butter. Heat it back up & then serve with grated cheese on top. We usually had a piece of buttered toast with garlic salt sprinkled on top to go along with it. The funny thing is, my husband's family made the same sort of recipe (they use elbow macaroni & call it Macaroni & Tomatoes). It seems we all go through lean times. Must be good for us! I'll be praying for your family.