Craving cheap dinner? Try beans

Before I learned how quick and easy dried beans really were, I used the canned approach as well. But the dried bean method is simple: Before you go to bed, place your beans in a pot and cover them with water. First thing you do when the alarm goes off in the morning is drain the beans, fill with fresh water and then simmer for one hour. I know you have one hour in the morning because most people take that long to get ready. Once they are done, just drain and refrigerate until you are ready to cook with them. SO easy... you can do it!

Below is my very favorite bean recipe. If you add up the cost of the ingredients per four-person serving, it adds up to only like $3.00. Talk about cheap! And this dish is super healthy and quick to prepare once you've soaked and cooked the beans. Most people think beans are boring and I tell them to try this recipe... the giant beans are bursting with flavor and anything but boring. Go ahead, try it for yourself and I can say "I told you so."

Giant Lima Beans with Spinach and Garlic

Serves 2-4

  • 2 cups dried giant lima beans

  • 4 cups water

  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 6 cups spinach or kale or a mix of both

  • Sprinkle of Parmesan cheese to taste

  • Sea salt to taste

Prepare the dried lima beans according the the above procedure. Store in the fridge for up to three days. When ready to cook, heat the oil over medium-high heat and add the garlic, cooking for about 1-2 minutes or until the garlic begins to smell heavenly and just shows hints of turning golden. Be careful, garlic burns easily!

Add the beans to the olive oil and garlic mixture and cook for about 6-7 minutes. Try not to stir very often since you're trying to get a crusty layer on the beans. Stir once or twice to flip the beans and then just keep a watchful eye to make sure your garlic isn't burning. Sprinkle with sea salt to taste.

Add the spinach last and cook for about 4 more minutes or until it just begins to wilt. Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.


If you're looking for an affordable weeknight dinner, look no further. Let me introduce one of my very best friends: the dried bean.

You see, dried beans are so often looked over at grocery stores but they provide a plethora of nutritional benefits as well as being tasty and filling! For only about $1.29 per one pound bag, you really can't get any better.

And now you are going to tell me you don't have "time" for dried beans. Umm, yes you do. You really do!

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