Vegan Meal Planning (specifically beans) - Mothering Forums

Thread Tools
#1 of 7 Old 06-13-2009, 11:19 PM - Thread Starter
lovemyfamily6's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,690
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm trying hard to get in to better meal planning habits. I was doing great until near the end of the last pregnancy when I went on bedrest and I've just not regained all the organization I had back then. He's 2 now, so it's time to get back there!

At the same time, we've decided to give up the yucky processed nuggets and stuff which dh and I relied on too much for our own lunches or quick meals.

I want to focus on beans and having beans nearly every night in some way. I'd also like to get away from buying canned beans (or at least only having them as an emergency back up rather than a staple) because of the cost. I tried cooking dried beans last year. I bought a ton of different kinds and spent a weekend cooking them, some on the stove, some in the crock pot. They did not turn out well. They were all tough and awful, even after hours extra. The consensus I'm hearing is that my beans were probably old. I bought them from a hfs that sometimes has issues with dates and rotating things, so that's a good possibility. We have a new hfs that sees more business, so I'd like to try again.

Here is what I'm thinking. We could focus on a bean a week and I'd cook a bunch of that particular type on the weekend to use for the week to come. For example, if it's chickpeas, we could have chickpea tacos, chickpea gravy, chickpea cutlets, chickpea salad sandwiches...

Does that seem okay? My mom (who is very negative about not eating meat anyway, so I'm considering the source ) thinks it would be too boring. I disagree. How many times do people eat chicken or beef in a week? Meat eaters have it almost nightly, just prepared different ways. And it's only a week, it's not like we're only eating one kind of bean for months on end.

Can I get some pointers on beans as far as how many cups of dried beans equals how many cups of cooked beans? We have a family of six, so we eat a lot!

If I cook them on a Sunday, how long could they be refrigerated (I'd be portioning out in two or four cup containers)? Would they be okay for the week or would they need to be frozen?

I'm having a hard time with ideas for some beans. We love chickpeas, so that's easy, but black, kidney and pinto are harder. Can I get some suggestions for uses for those? Thanks!
lovemyfamily6 is offline  
Sponsored Links
#2 of 7 Old 06-14-2009, 12:21 AM
SundayCrepes's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,742
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
What about lentils? Do you consider them a bean? I have a couple crockpot recipes I cook them in and they don't require cooking ahead.

Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing and living as gluten, dairy, and cane sugar free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.
SundayCrepes is offline  
#3 of 7 Old 06-14-2009, 12:56 AM
notjustmamie's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Sioux Falls, SD
Posts: 1,941
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have found beans approximately double in size when you soak them, then get a bit bigger (but not doubling again) when you eat them. I've found that to substitute dried beans for a standard-sized can (about 14-15 oz), I use about 1/3 c dry beans.

As for your one-bean-per-week strategy ... it could work if you make quite different tasting dishes. A spicy chili one night, a vegetable soup another night, a creole-inspired dish a third night, etc. If you make black bean soup the first night and bean burritos the second night and chili the third night, it could start getting old pretty quick.

Two vegan recipes for you: Red Beans and Rice & Black Bean Burgers (though I've used assorted beans with great success).

Amy loving DH 5/04, raising DD 2/05 and DS 11/09; missing my mom& my babies 6/07, 12/07; and on the side
notjustmamie is offline  
#4 of 7 Old 06-14-2009, 10:55 AM - Thread Starter
lovemyfamily6's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,690
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Originally Posted by mybabysmama View Post
What about lentils? Do you consider them a bean? I have a couple crockpot recipes I cook them in and they don't require cooking ahead.
I do and I would love the recipes if you would share them! I forgot about lentils, thanks!

Hmm. Maybe what I should do is cook one type of bean each week and keep refrigerated what I plan to make that week for meals and freeze the rest. Then we could still have a varying meal plan each week and we should have enough beans (I'll probably keep buying canned for the next month or so while we build up our dried cooked beans).

Do frozen beans still taste good as far as consistency or do they get mushy? That's a concern I have, that I'll end up with a ton of beans that don't keep their shape and texture.
lovemyfamily6 is offline  
#5 of 7 Old 06-14-2009, 12:10 PM
CharlieToaster's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Indiana
Posts: 205
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I went to costco and bought a case of chick peas and a case of black beans. They don't always have veg. baked beans but if they do, they are good to have in a pinch. Personally, I think the canned beans are easier for being spontaneous. I'm not good at meal planning. I am experimenting with making my own black bean burgers and falafels. Bakes beans are always great in a pinch. Some nights we just want spaghetti or salads so for me, its easier to invest in canned beans. A lot less mess and a lot less waste.
CharlieToaster is offline  
#6 of 7 Old 06-14-2009, 02:54 PM
cathe's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Central Coast, California
Posts: 5,706
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
We eat beans almost every night and do not find it boring at all. I have a bean cooking chart but it doesn't translate well when I try to paste it here . . . if you want to pm me your email address I could email it to you as a word document . . . . Also, you can freeze cooked beans (I like to do it in 2 cup size containers since that's about the size of a can).

Here are a few recipes we eat often:

Tortilla Soup
This hearty, delicious soup is a favorite with my family and friends. Although the ingredient list looks long, this is really a quick soup to make if you have cooked or canned beans on hand. Since my children don’t like spicy foods, I leave the Tabasco sauce out of the soup and put the bottle on the table so each person can spice his or her soup.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups cooked pinto beans
2 cups cooked white beans
2 cups cooked black beans
4 1/2 cups water
2 cups or 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon Sea Veg Mix (page xxx) (optional)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon miso
1 tablespoon tahini
2 teaspoons nutritional yeast flakes (optional)
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce or to taste
Sea salt, if necessary
Tortilla chips

Optional Toppings:
Minced fresh cilantro
Sliced black olives
Shredded Jack cheese

Heat oil in large soup pot over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook 10 minutes without stirring so they brown. Stir in garlic. Add beans, water, tomatoes, Sea Veg Mix, cumin, oregano, and chili powder. Heat until soup starts to boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered about 30 minutes to let flavors combine. Remove 2 cups of soup and place in blender with miso and tahini. Puree and return to soup. Add Tabasco and sea salt to taste.
To serve, ladle soup into bowls. Insert tortilla chips into soup around edges of bowl. Top with cilantro, olives, and/or cheese if desired.

Makes 8 servings

Note: See the Bean and Legume Cooking Chart in the Appendix for instructions on cooking your own beans, or use beans you have cooked and frozen. Canned beans are also work well here; just use one can of each type of bean. You can also use just one or two types of beans or different ones than I suggest. Just make sure they add up to about 6 cups.

Black Bean and Corn Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
4 cups vegetable stock
1 cup water
5 cups cooked black beans
2 large carrots, sliced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 strip kombu, broken up
Sea salt to taste
2 cups corn kernels
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Heat oil in soup pot. Stir in onion. Sauté 10 minutes. Stir in garlic, jalapenos, and cumin. Sauté 5 minutes. Stir in stock, water, beans, carrots, oregano, and kombu. Simmer covered 30 minutes, or until carrots are tender. Puree soup in blender or food processor. (You will have to do this in several batches.) Return to pot. Season with sea salt to taste. Stir in corn and cilantro. Heat to desired temperature.

Makes 8 servings

Note: 2 cups dried black beans will cook up to 5 cups for this recipe. See the Bean and Legume Cooking Chart in the Appendix for instructions on cooking the beans.

Garbanzo Stew
This hearty, vegetarian stew supplies a lot of iron. Try it with lima beans too.

1 bay leaf
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
4 to 5 red potatoes, cut into bite-size chunks
3 carrots, sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 cups water or vegetable stock
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups cooked garbanzo beans
2 tomatoes, diced or 1 (15-ounce) can chopped tomatoes with juice
1 cup chopped green cabbage
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 tablespoon miso
1 tablespoon tahini
1 1/2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1/4 cup water

In large pot over medium heat, sauté bay leaf and onion in olive oil about 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent. Add garlic, potatoes, carrots, celery, and sauté 5 minutes longer. Add water or stock and sea salt. Cover and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender. Add garbanzo beans, tomatoes, cabbage, cumin, and turmeric. In small bowl, combine miso, tahini, and arrowroot with 1/4 cup water to form a smooth paste. Stir it into stew and heat for 5 minutes, or until broth thickens. Do not boil as this will destroy the beneficial enzymes in the miso. Remove bay leaf.

Makes 6 servings

Tamale Pie
You’ll be amazed how easy it is to make this impressive and delicious dinner. Although it doesn’t qualify as a (QF) dinner because the baking time is 30 minutes, it takes only about 20 minutes of actual hands-on time.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups cooked pinto, kidney, or black beans, drained
1 cup diced tomatoes with juice (canned is fine)
1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

1 1/2 cups cornmeal
3 1/4 cups water
3/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Oil an 8-inch square baking pan.
Heat oil in medium-size pan. Stir in onion and sauté about 5 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, and cumin. Sauté 5 minutes more. Add beans, tomatoes, and corn. Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper. Let mixture simmer uncovered while you prepare crust.
Whisk together cornmeal and water in medium-size pan. Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to boil. Reduce heat to low. Stir in sea salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened (about 10 minutes). Spread 2/3 of the mixture over bottom and up sides of the prepared baking pan. Pour bean mixture into crust. Top with remaining cornmeal mixture. (Don’t worry if beans are not covered completely.) Sprinkle with shredded cheese if desired. Bake 30 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes before cutting.

Makes 6 servings

Shepherd’s Pie
This is one of my family’s very favorite dinners. Try it with other beans too.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, diced
2 cups cabbage, broccoli, or kale, finely chopped
1/2 cup water, vegetable stock, or lentil cooking water
2 cups cooked lentils
1 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
1 cup corn (fresh or frozen)
1 tablespoon soy sauce

4 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/3 to 1/2 cup milk (dairy or nondairy)
1 tablespoon miso
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion and sauté 5 minutes until soft. Stir in garlic, carrots, and cabbage, broccoli, or kale. Add water and cover pan. Cook 10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Stir in remaining filling ingredients. Cook 5 minutes, or until filling is hot. Pour filling into 2-quart casserole dish.
While filling cooks, prepare mashed potato crust. Place potatoes in medium pan with water just up to top of potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender (about 15 minutes). Drain potatoes and return them to the pot. Add miso. Begin mashing while adding milk a little at a time until potatoes are smooth. Stir in minced parsley. Spread potatoes evenly over filling. Sprinkle evenly with paprika. Bake uncovered 20 to 30 minutes until potatoes and filling are hot and edges are slightly golden.

Makes 6 servings

Note: 4 cups frozen mixed vegetables can be substituted for vegetables in this recipe.

Variation: Add 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes instead of the liquid in the filling.

Lentil Puree (Dahl)
We love this version of Indian dahl. It’s a delicious way to get lots of iron. If you want to be authentic, serve it with naan (Indian flatbread), but tortillas, lavash, and chaptis also work well.

1 cup lentils
1/2 strip kombu (optional)
3 cups water
1 tablespoon oil or ghee
1 onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
1 cup diced tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Place lentils, kombu, and water in heavy-bottomed pan. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 45 to 60 minutes, or until lentils are tender. While lentils are cooking, heat skillet. Add oil or ghee, onion, chili powder, turmeric, cumin, and ginger. Sauté 10 minutes, or until onion is soft. Stir in tomatoes. Cook about 5 minutes. Pour cooked lentils and tomato mixture into food processor or blender and pulse to puree, leaving some texture. Serve with millet, quinoa, or brown rice, and/or flatbread.

Makes 6 servings

Cathe Olson, author The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook, Simply Natural Baby Food, and LIck It! Creamy Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams Your Mouth Will Love.  
cathe is offline  
#7 of 7 Old 06-14-2009, 06:22 PM
SandyBeachBums's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Montana
Posts: 721
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
What crockpot do you have? My older one (it was a wedding gift) took 2 days at least to cook beans. When it broke I bought a new one. It has some bad reviews, mainly that it cooks too hot. But, it's perfect for dry beans. I figure it paid for itself that first month. It has a timer, too.

I cook a big pot of beans at least once a week. We really like black beans. Chili, tacos, tamale pie, taco salad, sloppy joes, baked potatoes with a bean topping, curried chickpeas, falafel, chickpea salad (aka tuna salad) are all some of the things I can think of right now.

I love the crockpot for curry. It gives it that good long cooking it needs. I don't have a recipe. I just had an indian friend show me how her Dad taught her. It's really good, easy, and versatile.

Process up an onion or green onions and garlic to taste. If you have some cilantro you can throw that in, too. I saute this in some oil or earth balance in my crockpot. Once translucent I add a good size spoonful of good curry powder. You can add some cumin and mustard seeds, too. Let this all cook till it's yummy smelling and if you add seeds they should pop. Throw in a can of full-fat coconut milk. Let it heat a big with the lid on. Then add your veggies and beans. Chickpeas or small red beans are good (I liked them pre-cooked). You can do all lentils/dal if you want. Potatoes, green beans, okra...seriously whatever you want. You can add some fresh or canned tomatoes. Serve with more cilantro, lime and rice. We blend up our cilantro with some lime, maybe a bit of coconut milk, and onion to make a really good chutney.

Dready Homeschooling Mom 
18 yob
15 yob
12 yob
5 yog
4 yob
SandyBeachBums is offline  

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

Online Users: 15,439

31 members and 15,408 guests
Aimee Duran , bananabee , Calayvie , debigebi , Deborah , Dovenoir , emmy526 , girlspn , hillymum , JaneD! , katelove , Katherine73 , LiLStar , Lydia08 , mama24-7 , Michele123 , moominmamma , NaturallyKait , philomom , RollerCoasterMama , scaramouche131 , scheelimama , sciencemum , Skippy918 , SophieXxXx , Springshowers , sren , zebra15
Most users ever online was 449,755, 06-25-2014 at 12:21 PM.