Linky time: I want your best bean/lentil recipe

Last week I paid over $3.50 for a gallon of milk, and my panic button finally went off. It’s been a while since I totaled my grocery expenses, and I really don’t want to do it now. I find it comical that the government excludes the cost of gas and groceries when they tell us we are not experiencing inflation on any significant level. It’s comical the same way a really, really bad day is comical: if I didn’t laugh, I would have to cry. Can they be any more obvious in the slant of their figures?

But I didn’t start this post to complain about the economy. I just want to keep the food budget under control, and I want to do it without resorting to ramen noodles, so we’re going to eat less meat, more beans and learn to use lentils.  Beans are great for diabetics (we have one) and proved to be a miracle cure for my morning sickness, which I hope to experience again someday in the near future.  We already enjoy beans, but I know we’re missing a whole world of variety when we limit ourselves to pinto beans with ham or taco seasoning. I want you to broaden our world with your favorite recipes!

Please join in by posting any or all of your favorite recipes for beans and lentils, then link up below.  Extra points for meatless recipes!

Remember your linky manners:

  1. Link to a single relevant post on your blog, not the front page.
  2. Link back to this post so that your readers can join the fun.
  3. If you find that your link is deleted, you probably broke one of the rules above.  Feel free to try again.


  1. lol i dont mean to be rude, but i would do a happy dance and stock up on milk at 3.00 bucks a gallon. here in canada is is 3.50 for 2Litres.

  2. I’ve been type 1 since I was 11. 🙂 So, yes, preexisting and with large monthly prescriptions. Fortunately we have a (somewhat) reasonable way to have insurance right now. But we love the concept and care of Samaritan and recommend it to everyone we can.

    You can do it with diet and exercise for type 2! Be strong and courageous and keep up the good work!

  3. Kim,
    This isn’t a bean recipe, though maybe I’ll come back to that part. But I was surprised to see that you have a diabetic in your family. If you have a type one diabetic and are figuring out how to get by on Samaritan Ministries, can you send me an email?? My husband and I were on Samaritan, and loved it. But as a type one diabetic myself, I could not figure out how to pay for supplies… I can see how you could do it for a type 2. 🙂

    Just real curious.

    • Corrie,
      Perry has a borderline case of type 2 diabetes, which we are working to control with diet and exercise. Have you talked directly to Samaritan about type 1 diabetes? If it wasn’t pre-existing, they would probably work with you to help with the costs.

  4. OK, sort of embarrassing to be so late in answering your question about quiche…perhaps I don’t spend as much time surfing the web as I should. 😉 When we make it meatless we just load it up with cheese! I have a pretty basic recipe that everyone in the family likes(which is a big plus). It’s often veggies on the side for our family–spinach salad and cooked carrots go well with it.

  5. I’m looking forward to looking through all of these recipes! We’ve been using beans more in our meals too.

  6. For those who are wondering, my mention of morning sickness was not an announcement.
    It was more of an anticipation. Parker is 12 months, and we have never made it past the 24-month mark when it comes to gaps between babies. That means that if our pattern holds, I could be expecting again within a few months.
    Then again, Parker is the first baby who hasn’t slept through the night at a very young age, and I think that wreaks havoc on my fertility. The little booger may break the pattern.

  7. Two-thirds of our family love beans and lentils… the other third can just slap together a sandwich =D

    I have three meatless recipes on my blog. I have linked to a couple of other recipes as well.

  8. I am all about saving money in groceries at every possible chance, without sacrificing nutrition. Because of this, we have become almost vegetarians in my house. Lentils are a very common protein at meal times, as are pinto beans and navy beans, since they are the cheapest and yummiest, in my opinion!

  9. Hi
    Yes, I’d say the texture is firm for slicing but still light. Slightly denser than a biscuit, hmm, more like cornbread. (I’m lousy at descriptions!). You will see tiny bits of the bean “skin” throughout the end product. A friend uses corneal instead of the biscuit and says its delicious as well. I haven’t tried that yet.

  10. Accidentally posted twice! 44 & 45! Sorry!

    To save on milk:
    * Buy it CHEAP and freeze it. Just open the jug and use a bit and close it tight and put in your freezer
    *If you can handle the “skim” taste, dilute your milk with water, especially with cereal or cooking.
    *Use Instant milk or powdered milk when possible.

  11. I am currently eating one of my favorite meatless bean/pasta recipes–I don’t have a (relevant) blog for linking, so here goes:

    Boil your favorite shape of whole-grain pasta (I like fetticine or penne)

    When the pasta is almost done cooking, throw frozen edamame (shelled!) and peas into the water and cook a few more minutes

    Drain, and toss it all with pesto (I grow basil to make my own), alfredo, or just olive oil/parmesan/herbs

    Done! Super easy, and the pasta + peas/edamame make a complete protein with no meat

  12. We eat beans every day, sometimes twice or more. I posted one of favorites (chicken, beans and rice tacos) on a half-unused blog, just because it tastes that good.

  13. PS- I added a new one, properly titled. Could you please delete the one that says “Michaela” #37, as it won’t allow me to. Thanks!

  14. Oh yes, there’s always cheese on top of our lentil/barley “soup” and the next day we wrap leftovers in tortillas!

  15. The kids love Cowboy Beans, which is what I linked you to (though it asked for “your name” rather than just name or title). I’m off to add the backlink to my blog. We’re working on getting a new grocery budget here, too. It’s getting scary 🙁

  16. I don’t have time to do a blogpost but wanted to share {;0)

    I made this recipe a few days ago and it was fabulous…and it made plenty for our family of 7 with some left over!

    I make my own lentil and barley soup, but it changes based on what we have and I really don’t measure but here’s my guess roughly…

    I chop an onion and a few carrots and a few cloves of garlic and put them in the bottom of the pan to start to soften with some butter… I had a bit of salt as well. I think in the past I’ve added celery and/or sweet peppers chopped at this stage as well. After the onions are clear I add water/chicken stock…probably 8-10 cups worth and bring to a boil and then add in a half to 3/4 bag of lentils and the same amount of barley and then let cook till the lentils are done. I also add a few handfuls of frozen peas at the end so they don’t turn that funky gross green color from being cooked too long {;0) You can add more salt/pepper at the end to taste too.

    Hope that helps!

  17. Rachel K says:

    I don’t have a blog to put a link to, but we do eat lots of lentils and beans. We eat a low meat diet somewhat based on the eating style in the book Eat to Live by Dr. Furhman. One of my favorite ways to eat lentils is to put 2-3 cups of lentils in a medium sized pot, put in one Rapunzel vegan vegetable bouillon cube and one large glop (a cup or less?) of salsa. Cover with water, bring to boil and simmer til lentils are soft (sometimes have to add more water). Most of the water gets cooked away. I make lentils like this almost every Monday, a large batch, and they are great on veggie salads, on brown rice with mexican toppings, in tortillas as lentil burritos, on rice with spaghetti sauce and parmesan cheese, etc. I love lentils and the weeks in which I don’t make them, I almost don’t know how to feed my family. 🙂

  18. lentil soup: cook lentils with desired amount of water based on how soupy you want your soup to be. Add onions which you have sauteed in a different pan with butter and salt and pepper. Add uncooked rice (or cooked rice) and gently cook until rice is cooked. Serve with a splash of lemon juice in each bowl.
    Lemon and lentils are a delicious combination. Serve this soup with bread, summer sausage, etc.

  19. Gwenyth says:

    Kim… Is this an announcement??? 🙂

  20. tarynkay says:

    A really good way to cut expenses on groceries while not changing the way that you eat that much is to stretch ground beef with cooked lentils. You really can’t tell in tacos, chili, casseroles, etc- so you get the meat flavor, but at significantly less cost with less cholesterol. Start out doing half and half and work your way up to using less and less meat and more and more lentils. Lentils do not need to be soaked, so you can just boil them first (about 30 minutes or until they’re tender) and then add them to the ground beef as you’re browning it.

  21. Gabrielle says:

    “Beans….proved to be a miracle cure for my morning sickness, which I hope to experience again someday in the near future.” (Quote from above post.

    Is this supposed to be a hint? Or just saying? 😉

  22. Hi! I hit return too early and didn’t get the name of my recipe in there. It’s Vegetarian Bean Chili. I like it because it seems to work well with whatever type of beans I have on hand (navy, black, pinto, etc…)

  23. This is our new favorite lentil soup recipe…

  24. Heather says:

    Years ago I worked one time with a very sweet little asian lady. Only one day but she let me tasted her amazing smalling lunh and I have been making it ever since. SO simple. Lentils (red, yellow or brown) onion Simmered until slightly firm then add chicken bullion and simmer till soft. Serve over basmati rice. So simple but amazing combo.

  25. Here is a bean recipe I made lately (not my blog, I just used a recipe from it).

    It is not completely meatless, but by using plenty of beans, you can just use a little meat for flavor and still have a satisfying dish. I modified mine to use even more beans. I split a can (but of course you could use homemade) of drained black beans between the filling and the sauce.

  26. I’m so glad I found this linky today! My husband’s company is cutting back on the OT and we really count on that extra money since I’m now a SAHM. After that announcement and the always rising gas prices, I told him we’re going to start eating more beans! Perfect timing for this linky!!! Thanks so much!

    Today, I am sharing two of our favorite chili recipes:

    Chipotle Turkey Chili
    Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili


  27. Okay–I posted 4, but we eat beans and lentils frequently and I have lotsmore posted on my recipe blog. 🙂 Can’t wait to look through other’s recipes and get some new dinners!


    We are vegetarians, so beans and lentils are a HUGE part of our diet. I substitute beans in place of meat in chili. We make bean enchiladas. We love Indian food in my house, and I frequently make Dal Tadka (which is a lentil dish). If you want some truly yummy meat free meals, I recommend the cookbook Vegan with a Vengeance.

  29. An amazing way to eat lentils is cooking them with onions, salt, and lots and lots and lots of garlic (uh, you must like garlic to like this, obviously) and cook until they’re smooth and like thick soup. Eat over brown rice sprinkled with cheese. Oh my. Wonderful additions are broccoli or a red pepper, cooked with the lentils. We don’t eat bizarre health-food concoctions or anything, but somehow the lentil/garlic/cheese flavor together is incredibly delicious.

  30. I don’t have any thing to linky to! so here is my easy peasy recipe.
    1 cup bisquick
    1 can refried beans
    1/4 cup water.
    Mix, spoon into pie pan or 9in square. bake 400 for 30 minutes.
    Top with all kinds of things:
    top with cheese and let it melt as oven cools.
    cut into squares and top with salsa, sour cream and green onions.
    top with sliced tomatoes and mozzarella
    If you want to add beef…,make taco beef, spoon the beans/biscuit mixture into a pie pan, have the beans go up the sides half-way. Spoon in beef, top with salsa and bake 30 minutes.

    • Ann,
      Can you describe the result of this recipe? Does the bisquick make the beans lighter and firmer, or is it altogether different?

      We’re big on cheese and garlic, so this sounds perfect for us!

      We love quiche and eat it fairly often because we have our own flock of laying hens. When you make it meatless, do you load it up with veggies? What are your favorite additions?

  31. My family needs to explore more bean horizons, so this is good. However, we’re big fans of egg meals…quiche is really yummy, you can make it meatless, and it’s inexpensive if you make your own crust and get a good price on cheese.

  32. HeatherHH says:

    I had never had lentils before until I tried this recipe for lentil soup recently. We really liked it.

  33. $3.50? Wow, enjoy living in the US! I am paying $4.50 – $5 here, depending on if I can buy it in the city or not!

  34. Sorry for double posting-thought I had managed to remove #13 but don’t seem to be able to do this.

    We have found our food bills have risen by about 30% this year. This is partly growing children but partly food inflation, here in England.

  35. mrs.pear says: has a lot of great bean recipes, and she is a Costco fan, so the ingredients are always reasonably priced.

  36. Beverly says:

    I don’t cook with beans much. I would like to learn how to more.

    Our milk at the PX is $2.85…I thought that was bad!

  37. Sorry, can’t sympathize–we are paying $3.99 for half a gallon these days.

    Will send you our best bean/lentil recipes by e-mail as my blog isn’t the place to post that information. We are vegan about 2/3 of the year for religious reasons (we are Orthodox Christians), so I have a bunch of good meatless recipes!


  38. I linked to this in a new post:

    Hope you try my black bean recipe. It is really, really yummy! I’m making some sometime this week.

  39. My Boaz's Ruth says:

    BTW if you buy milk 2 gallons at a time, you can get it at Costco cheaper. Its $5.30-ish for 2 gallons. I keep looking at that and can’t wait for the end of the summer when I think we can go through 2 gallons before it goes bad!

    • My Boaz’s Ruth,
      I stopped buying milk at Costco because it always seems to go bad very, very quickly. Sometimes it’s even off-tasting the day we bring it home. We keep it in an ice chest in the van, and I have no complaints with any other product from Costco. It’s my favorite place to shop, but I don’t buy the milk.

      You must be buying organic milk at that price! I’ll enjoy looking at your recipes. Any tips on where to start?

  40. My Boaz's Ruth says:

    Ugh at milk over $3 a gallon.! Me too!


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  2. […] 19, 2011 by Tawny Nicole Over at Life in a Shoe, Kim is hosting a Linky for Bean recipes. Why? She, like many of us, is becoming increasingly aware of the rise in food cost. The grocery […]

  3. […] 19, 2011 by Tawny Nicole Over at Life in a Shoe, Kim is hosting a Linky for Bean recipes. Why? She, like many of us, is becoming increasingly aware of the rise in food cost. The grocery […]

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