I’m quickly approaching month 5 of unemployment, and one of my favorite grocery stores had a sale on all bulk items this week, so our lunches this week turned out to be a demonstration of some of the lovely things you can do with dried or canned beans. It’s great though, because there are so many delicious things you can do with legumes, and beans are very cheap.
We started the week with a can of chickpeas, rinsed and simmered with some onions and garlic. We spooned that mixture into a whole wheat tortilla with lettuce, tomatoes, bell peppers, and a little smear of roasted garlic spread.
The next day we added the leftover chickpeas and onions to a package of frozen chana masala.
These frozen packages are really handy to keep in the fridge, but I find that the serving suggestion of 1/2 a package doesn’t really fill me up. Plus, as is the case with most frozen meals, the sodium and fat content is a bit high and I don’t want to double it by eating the entire package. As a quick fix, we usually throw in an additional can of chickpeas and some more vegetables, like tomatoes and bell peppers. There’s enough yummy curry sauce from the package to flavor the entire dish, we are able 2-3 generous servings out of it, and we add more good stuff to the mix without increasing the fat or sodium content.
Then we moved on from chickpeas to black beans. I had a pound of dried from the bulk section, so I soaked them overnight on Sunday, and then cooked them on Monday. Half went in to spicy black bean and tomato soup, and the other half became black bean burgers later in the week. Both recipes were dinner first and then the leftovers became lunch. Both recipes were adapted from epicurious — soup here and black bean burgers here.
We’re teaming up with fellow food bloggers to host a Brown-Bag Challenge, a month-long initiative to eat consciously and save money by packing a lunch each weekday instead of eating out. Join us here and share what you’re eating on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #brownbag.
Still looking for more inspiritation? Check out some of the other challenge entries from last week.
Ambitious Kitchen: Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps With Sweet Mango Cilantro Salsa
Sweat=Success: Brown Bags and Book Bags
Cooking Channel: Smart Cookie Lunch Box
Cooking With My Kid: School Lunch Meze Graze
Confessions of a Curious Cuisiniere: Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork
Reve Noir: Brown-Bag Challenge Day 8
The Garden Ephemerist: Brown Bag Tales
I Brown Bag: Healthy Eating Starts at Home
Grecian Kitchen: Brown-Bag Challenge, Week 3
Essentials of Nutrition: Marriage>Bachelorhood
All Things Splendid: Day 12, Wild Rice Soup
Family Fresh Cooking: Project Lunch Box 30 Day Challenge (another lunch challenge for those who want to keep the momentum going!)
City Life Eats: Brown-Bag Challenge, Day 11
Netlycka’s Distracting Confusion: Snacks for Lunch
This Imperfect Plot: Brown-Bag Challenge, Week 3
Adventures in Every Day: Brown-Bag Challenge
Boys n’ Berry: Brown-Bag Challenge, (featuring many great sandwiches)
Healthy Plates: Quinoa With Peas and Spinach
Living Omily: Autumnal Brown-Bag
Glory Foods: What in the World is a Bento Box?
Nutritious Daily: Brown-Bag Pasta
Adventures in my Kitchen: Apple-Cinnamon Muffin Cake
The Adirondack Chick: Brown-Bag Challenge Week 3
Chick Bike: Brown-Bag Challenge, Day 12
Coupon Chef: Day 10, Jamie Oliver’s Cauliflower and Cheese Soup
Healthy Kitschy Vegan: Not Chick’n Masala Soup
Virtually Homemade: Steak Sliders With Cilantro-Jalapeno Vinaigrette
The Undercover Cook: Quick Inside-Out Chicken Egg Rolls