Friday, February 27, 2009

Beans for Breakfast - Frugal Friday

I like almost all kinds of beans. Especially beans and cornbread like my mom used to make when I was a kid. It was one of my dad's favorite meals because he grew up during the depression and they never went hungry because they always had a pot of beans to feed him and his four brothers and 1 sister. Some people who grew up during the depression had bad memories of "poor" food and when times got better they never wanted to eat beans or meatloaf again. But my dad always said that when he was in the Navy during the war his favorite day aboard ship was when they had Navy beans, I guess it reminded him of home.

I did a search for The Great Depression foods and found that most people did not go hungry during the depression. Due to deflation, food prices were pretty low and people were very resourceful. Charity groups sprung up to take care of the truly needy and they even had "penny diners" for people who were too proud to accept charity and wanted to pay for their meals despite the fact that they had no income. You can read about it here.

I visit some foodie forums and there always seems to be a thread with a question about your foodie secrets. Mine is that I sometimes eat leftover beans for breakfast. Just a bowl of hot beans and a corn muffin with a little butter. I like it because I won't be hungry for the rest of the day and really it is probably healthier than most regular breakfast food.

I usually cook pinto beans instead of white beans and I add a little ham or bacon and onion for seasoning. And I cook them down until they are really thick, then I add some water if I want to make a bean soup, or I can smash them to make refried beans for burrittos or heuvos rancheros.

Here is a quick Heuvos Rancheros recipe that makes a great breakfast or a fast dinner. If you don't have leftover beans to smash you can use canned refried beans.

Heat the beans.

Melt 1 Tbl. butter in large nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray on medium heat, break the eggs in the pan and cook until whites begins to turn opaque. Add 2 Tbl. water to pan and cover pan for a minute until the eggs are done on top.

Plate the beans and eggs.

Add about 1/4 cup per serving of salsa verde or tomatillo salsa to hot skillet and heat through quickly. Pour hot salsa over eggs and beans and sprinkle a little grated cheddar cheese on top. Serve with warm tortillas.

If you prefer, use scrambled eggs instead of the basted eggs.

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