This months theme is tasty, inexpensive and wholesome meals for college students in need of sustenance.
After unpacking the contents of my kitchen cupboards I pulled out a large jar of Rancho Gordo heirloom pinto beans and put them to work. On a quest to properly “settle” into my new home, creating an aroma in the kitchen and sharing a meal made it feel lived in.
My number 1 go-to is always to roast a chicken, nothing is more satisfying. But I now have a new 2nd place contender with this big pot of seasoned beans. I was comforted to know that this big pot of beans was gently bubbling away all day while I worked to unpack the remainder of our house from the mountain of boxes.
Additionally this is a key staple in our house because of the one resident vegetarian. And this single pot of beans gave rise to a trio of possibilities to keep things interesting. Our love of avocado toast is enhanced by the addition of these seasoned beans with sun dried tomatoes, they fill burritos with freshly cooked rice and salsa, and top tortillas with tomato sauce and a fried egg for huevos rancheros.
A slow cooker can be a safe addition to a dorm room or shared house, requiring little energy. The reward at the end of a long day of studying is to return home to something delicious and nutritious to share with your friends, possibly with leftovers for lunch.
Watch out for us on WLS/ABC 7 on Sunday October 8th at 6.50am when Meg and I debut our first Instant Pot recipe for the pressure cooker and slow cooker.
- 1 cup / 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 2 tsp / 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup / 8oz dried pinto beans, rinsed and picked over
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp celery salt
- 2 cups / vegetable / chicken broth
- sliced bread, toasted
- 1/2 avocado per slice
- 3 cherry tomatoes / 3 sun dried tomatoes, halved
- sriracha or hot sauce
- combine the onion, garlic, pinto beans, bay leaves, cumin, celery salt and broth in the slow cooker
- stir, cover and cook on low for 8 - 10 hours or HIGH for 4 hours
- press 1/2 cup cooked beans onto the toasted bread, top with sliced avocado, tomatoes and sriracha
“I was determined to know beans.”