Hey What's For Dinner

It’s no secret we’re tearing out our kitchen, wait is it? Check it out, we are doing it and it feels so good, don’t worry we’ll be putting back in soon. Oh I hope it is SOON. Part of my work building up to the remodel/tear out was making a whole meal plan for two months worth of meals, meal ideas, food stocked up and the like. I bought granola for easy breakfasts if needed, made meals ahead, baked small pizza crusts for pizza night, baked quick breads, stockpiled organic hot dogs and locally made sausages. I actually wrote out the plan and I will be posting it tomorrow to The Penny Worthy Project my weekly roundup of thrifty living. I am loving the thrifty aspect of NOT buying food except perishables.

One thing I really wanted to make sure we stuck to was a meatless meal every week, so I turned to lentils and garbanzos for that. I simply bought lentils to whip up as needed because they cook so quickly and I’m sure they will in the crock pot too although I have not tried it YET. For the garbanzos I started with dried beans and cooked them in the crock pot, no muss or fuss, pour them in, cover with water and bam four hours or so later cooked beans. Once they were done I divided them into freezer bags with the seasonings for hummus right in there, except the tahini and oil. Whenever we want hummus I thaw a bag, takes about 3 hours or so and then whip it up in the food processor. We can use fresh veggies for a truly veggie filled meal or use pita chips or even saltines if needed. We even have enough left over for boys to have hummus for lunch the next day, which is a PLUS for school lunches. School is over but I am going to remember this quick easy CHEAP lunch idea for next year too.

You can always make hummus from beans in a can but take a look at two things first

A) the salt-ridiculously high amount of salt in ONE serving-what if you eat more?

B) price-while canned beans are low priced dried beans are super cheap (and easy to use)
Once you look at the salt and price and compare the two I’m sure you’ll be interested in trying freezer hummus with dried beans too.

Slow Cooker/Crock Pot Garbanzo Beans

2 pounds dried beans
3 1/2 quarts fresh water

sort beans
cover with water in a slow cooker
cook on high 4-6 hours
cool use as desired in your recipes OR divide evenly between freezer bags and add 1-2 teaspoons salt, the juice of one lemon and 1 teaspoon garlic granules
freeze until ready to use

Freezer Hummus

1/2 cup of tahini
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cups frozen garbanzo beans–when making and freezing beans add some of the cooking water to eat bag-around 3/4 of a cup is nice included in the bag is 1-2 teaspoons salt, juice of one lemon and a teaspoon of dried garlic granules–

whip the tahini and half the oil in the bowl of a food processor for 1 minute or so
add the bag of beans and most of the liquid
whip the whole lot for 1-2 minutes checking after 30 seconds to see if you need the rest of the oil and water
after a minute taste for texture and flavor–add more bean water, oil or salt as needed
puree again until as smooth as you like it

If you can have fresh garlic by all means add it to the bag OR add it to the processor when you are making hummus. Enjoy this fabulously EASY to make bean dip, we sure do.