Dried beans are undeniably a valuable food. They are nutritious, full of fiber and a good source of protein. As if that wasn't a compelling enough reason to serve them to your family, they are CHEAP!
That being said, I'm sure you gathered that beans are served regularly in our home. I have many recipes for beans but the following is the most common way we eat them.
Meal One - Ham N Beans
1) Rinse and sort 2 lbs of desired dried beans (we usually go with Pinto simply because they are easier to find in bulk quantity)
2) Put into large roasting pan, add a ham bone (bacon, ham pieces, or ham hocks can be used instead), a diced onion, a diced hot pepper (or dehydrated hot pepper), 1 tbsp of Cajun or Creole seasoning (we like spice so you might try less to start with) or a couple of tsp of cumin.
3) Add enough water to completely cover the beans, put on a lid or cover with foil.
4) Bake in 400 degree oven, adding water and stirring once an hour. My beans are usually very tender within 2 to 3 hours. I usually turn the oven to 350 after an hour and a half. Unless I'm in a hurry.
5) Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with cornbread or crackers.
Meal Two- Beans and Rice Casserole
1) Mix equal amounts of leftover beans with cooked rice.
2) Put in baking pan and reheat in 350 degree oven for 30 - 40 mins (covered)
3) Serve with shredded cheddar cheese, salsa and sour cream.
Meal Three- Bean and Cheese Burritos
1) Take remaining leftover beans, season with chili seasoning or cumin and garlic powder and mash while reheating in a skillet over med heat.
2) When cooked down to a creamy consistency, spread over tortillas and garnish with shredded cheese. Roll and serve with rice and salad.
I didn't put exact amounts of any ingredient because I am used to cooking for an army. I start out with about 4lbs of beans instead of 2lbs. I make the three meals from that batch.
Another note, I never soak my beans prior to cooking. I've found it doesn't take much time off the total cooking time plus I think the beans taste better when they've absorbed the other flavors from the beginning of cooking.
I'll post more bean recipes in the future.