I can’t say enough good things about beans. Beans are cheap, healthy, tasty and I love beans. While the most frugal beans start dried and are usually soaked overnight before boiling for a couple of hours. If you’re trying to put together a meal for pennies a serving, dried beans are a good place to start. Sometimes inspiration hits me and I can’t wait 24 hours for dried beans to be edible. That’s when I turn to canned beans for the following stew recipe.
Canned beans are great because they’re still very inexpensive and can go from unopened can to table in 5 minutes or less. In my pantry I usually keep plain black and white beans, refried pinto and or black beans and some flavored varieties, like Cuban-style black beans. One of my favorite things to do with canned beans is to use them as a base for a leftover stew. Below is a particularly tasty mix I created for a weekend dinner when I didn’t feel like cooking. This made just one serving.
Brazillian-style black bean and left over stew
- 1/4 lb of left over low fat turkey polish sausage, cut in moon-shaped slices
- 3 large cooked shrimp, cut in half
- 1/4 medium onion
- 1t olive oil
- 1 roma tomato, chopped and drained
- 1/2 can Trader Joes Cuban-style black beans (black beans with onion and peppers)
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
- 2T parsley, chopped
Fry sausage and onion in olive oil until it is browned. Add tomato and cook for another 5 min. Add the black beans and heat through until simmering. Add the shrimp and parsley to your bowl. Add the garlic to the beans and cook another 2 minutes. Add the bean stew to your bowl and mix well.
This recipe is based *VERY* loosely on the Brazillian feijoada stew that has all sorts of meat, sausage and black beans. If you like the combination of meat and beans, you should definitely look up a recipe for feijoada and give it a try. I’m sure I’ll post a recipe here soon since it’s one of my favorites.
This formula could work for lots of different left over meats and vegetables. Take your left overs and add enough beans to make a nice stew and heat it through. It could be as simple as that. I like to caramelize some of the meat and vegetables first for added flavor. I also like to add fresh garlic, onion and herbs to enhance the flavor. Be creative!