Black Bean Bisque and Double-Duty Meals

>> Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Another way to cut back on grocery costs is to create less waste. I think we all have some rotting vegetables in our refrigerators right now. Or at very least, some moldy leftovers that have been forgotten. C'mon! Admit it! I won't judge . . . because, like I said, I am in the same situation. We've mentioned multiple times that we're interested in saving money on groceries.

More importantly, though, we're trying to use the foods we DO have so we don't literally throw our money away. There's nothing worse than reaching for an ingredient you spent your hard-earned dollars on . . . only to have it go limp in your hand (like some broccoli the other day. Ick!).

New to (never home)maker? To catch you up to speed, here are some of the adventures we've had with lowering our grocery bills:
SOLUTION: I came up with this Double-Duty Meal challenge for myself last night. Once a week, I plan to make a dinner . . . and then re-purpose the leftovers for lunch the next day. Or use them in some other creative way. Key words: USE THEM. Period. Because there are far too many times in our house when the stuff just goes to waste.


What you'll need . . .
  • 2 green peppers, sliced and roasted (see below)
  • 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1-1/2 cups almond milk
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1-1/2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed (or other light) oil
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin beer, optional

Method . . .
  1. I did this part the night before, but I cut up two green peppers and then roasted them in the oven under 425 degree F, flipping occasionally, until well browned. 20 minutes (or so). Then I refrigerated them overnight. You can make them right before you prepare the bisque, too. No worries!
  2. Then, combine the roasted green peppers, black beans, almond milk, water, and pumpkin puree in a blender (I started out doing this in my food processor -- BIG mistake! Leaked EVERYWHERE!). Blend until smooth.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat.
  4. Add in the ground cloves, garlic power, salt, and pepper. Stir in the oil and -- if you wish -- the beer. (It just gives everything some more flavor -- we used Dogfish Head Punkin Ale.)
  5. Serve warm. Perhaps with some white-whole wheat no-knead bread!
If you have some left after dinner (and we had about 2-1/2 cups of leftovers . . . after each having a HEAPING cup serving in the evening), simply follow the following recipe. It's simple enough to prepare in the morning before work, too!


What you'll need . . .
  • 1/2 cup red quinoa, dry
  • 1 (or 2) heaping handful(s) swiss chard (or kale), raw
  • 2 cups Black Bean Bisque

Method . . .
  1. Cook the red quinoa according to package directions. (1/2 cup quinoa into 1 cup boiling water. Lower heat, cover, cook for 15 minutes or so.)
  2. When it's done cooking, add in the Black Bean Bisque. Increase heat and cook for a few minutes.
  3. Add in the swiss chard (or kale). Stir and cook for another couple minutes. Then take off heat and let chard wilt more.
  4. Take to work. Or eat at home. Whatever you do, ENJOY!

Do you try to plan your meals out so you can get two-for-one? Any double-duty tips to share? Or just tips for being less wasteful with food in general? We'd love to hear 'em. Just leave a comment or email us at neverhomemaker [at] gmail [dot] com.

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