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Friday, April 1, 2011

Cook a Pot of Beans Weekly (Guest Post)

Once again please welcome Melynda from Mom's Sunday Cafe. Today she's here to share a recipe that can be made from pantry ingredients.

 Simple white Lima beans cooked in broth, garnished with snipped garlic chives.

I have been exploring beans for some time now, long enough to know that I have a lot more to learn. I have had a difficult time learning about beans, as my own dear Mother was a first class bean hater! She tended to be un-lady like in her loud opinion of beans and obvious dislike of them.  My Dad was on the other side of the bean fence and enjoyed beans. Because of this, we would have them for supper by his request, as much as Mother hated beans she loved Dad and cooked the foods he desired.

One of the easiest ways to be frugal is to cook a pot of beans each week. 

It is more fun to cook a different variety each time, however having cooked beans in your freezer ready to go, is the goal. Beans freeze very well, thaw easily in the refrigerator while you are busy with other chores or activities or the best part, playing! Serve them over some brown rice, add a sprinkle of sharp cheese and it is a complete, frugal and easy meal. Beans also make a great side dish, my own favorite way to enjoy them.

I could go on about the different ways to use the already cooked beans, but you don't need that. You already know about the many ways to use beans, this is simply a cooking pattern to share. There is no hard rules about flavor, it is all about your preferred taste and what your family household likes to eat.

Where ever canned beans are used in a recipe, you can use your own home cooked beans. So if you want to look for new recipes and ideas, check out the websites of commercial canned beans,  then simply substitute your own home cooked, custom seasoned beans. I guarantee you, you will never run out of ways to enjoy beans.

When I made Pulled Pork for our Sunday dinner last month, I had this great jar of stock from the simmering process. I knew when it went into the refrigerator that a pot of beans was going to be made from it. I also had a pound of small white Limas that I wanted to cook. Since I have not cooked small Lima beans before, this is part of my continued exploration of beans. When I came across this Lima bean recipe, I knew right away I wanted to make these beans. However, as with any recipe it is subject to pantry stock on hand and used as a guide only, yet as close as possible to maintain correct presentation and flavor.

Mother's Dried Lima Beans
adapted from:
In Mother's Kitchen
Celebrated women chefs share beloved family recipes

1 pound dried lima beans, sort and rinse, do not soak
1 ham bone, or diced ham or 2 hocks ( used pork stock and 2 slices bacon rendered)
1 head of garlic cut in half crosswise ( did not use, there is lots of garlic flavor in the stock)
1 onion sliced
3 T olive oil
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
water to cover

From the book:  Saute the onion in the oil in a large heavy bottom pan with a lid, when onion has softened add all remaining ingredients and enough water to cover. Bring to boiling, then reduce heat to simmer and continue to cook until beans are beginning to break down, about 1 1/2 hours. You will need to add water several times during the cooking process. Remove garlic head and bay leaves to serve.

I finally cooked beans in a crock-pot successfully, thanks Honey for getting me this new program-able  crockpot!

What I did:  Saute the onion and oil until lightly golden, added all ingredients to programmable crock-pot and let cook 3 - 4 hours on high, or until they begin to break down. Taste for seasonings preference, adjust and serve.
Serves 8 - 10

As always, thanks for taking a moment to stop by.

Thank you, Melynda, for sharing this flexible and frugal recipe! Be sure to visit her blog to say Hello, or stop by to check out Cookbook Sundays.


  1. Melynda always does a great job with instruction these beans looks awesome.. great guest post~

  2. Hi Melissa, I'm stopping by from Melynda's. My first time here and nice to "meet you". You have a lovely site here, I'm following you!

    Hi Melynda, Another yummy meal from you. I must admit that I'm not cooking beans often enough, my hubby does not really like beans, but when a bowl is served on the table, he does not complain! My kids are OK with beans and I have not tried cooking with lima beans either, will have to try, using the slow cooker definitely is a plus! Thank you for sharing this wholesome meal!

  3. I'm here from Melynda's blog. Love her recipes! This one sounds like another winner. I love beans (of all types) and I think anytime you can keep the oven off and just keep a Crock Pot running is such an energy saver too!
    So nice to meet you Melissa!

  4. Great post! I love beans. My husband loves beans. My kids are okay with some, not okay with some. Depends on type and serving format! I am not sure how that has happened!

  5. I love cooking with beans, but I have never cooked lima beans. I really must give it a try - yours look great!

  6. Hi! Thanks for putting Melynda on. I love her. She is always ready with a great recipe and a laugh.

  7. Oh yeah my dad would love these beans! He's a big Lima bean fan. Too bad for him they are the only beans I don't eat, even with Melynda's fabulous recipe!


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