The last time I made a major shopping trip was February 2, during which I bought a month's worth of groceries. Since then, we've started the Crown Financial Ministries class at church, and I've learned (or been reminded) how much differently God's plan for money is than society's (and ours!). In an attempt to honor the Lord with our finances and use the money He's given us wisely, we've made a few changes. We recently reset our grocery budget envelope as it had some major IOUs in it. I am determined to only grocery shop with money that is in the envelope and not create any IOUs. To date, we have $7 in that envelope. This is the first time it's been positive in probably over a year!! And it's been over two months since I went shopping!! It's taken a lot of work and creativity, but God is so faithful to stretch what we already have and make so much more!
In light of all of that, I've been experimenting with some new recipes to use up some "dusty" items in our pantry. We had a bag of great northern white beans that I (actually J made it!) used with some (super on sale) chicken and some other stuff from our pantry to make a white chili. We were sorely disappointed, because it was too spicy for us. I wound up sending the rest of it to my dad. However, we only used half of the bag of beans, so we still have a pound to be used for something else...please let me know if you have any good recipes using these beans.
Another new recipe we tried was black bean burgers. I was a little skeptical as I was modifying a recipe in the cookbook to suit our family's tastes. (The cookbook recipe sounded really spicy.) Personally, I love black beans, but they are not J's favorite. Bless his heart though, he always tries what I fix. These were so not a disappointment!! In fact, I loved them a ton! I think it's one of my new favorite recipes...especially considering how cheap they are! Fortunately for us, we got most of the ingredients and condiments from the bakery, so they were even cheaper! Here's the recipe for anyone interested...super easy and super tasty (and super healthy)!!
Annie's Black Bean Burgers
Makes 4 burgers
1 can (15 oz) black beans, undrained
1 cup plain bread crumbs
Spices to taste (we used seasoned salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and cumin)
1/4 cup cornmeal
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Put black beans into food processor, and process until slightly mashed. Mix beans, bread crumbs, egg, and spices together. Heat skillet and oil on medium heat. Form into four patties about 1/2 inch thick. Coat with the cornmeal (makes the burgers slightly crispy). Cook on medium heat 4-5 minutes on each side. Serve with your favorite condiments.
J thought they were a little bland, so I'll add more of the spices next time and probably use diced onions instead of onion powder. For condiments, we used a smidge of mayo, lettuce, tomatoes, onion, and pickles...all on a whole wheat bun. They actually only had whole wheat rolls (not actual buns) at the bakery so we made eight baby burgers instead and J made some cooked carrots to go with them. Oh man am I glad we have more beans! My mouth is watering just thinking about them!